Wasps scrap plan for train­ing com­plex on same site as Cov City’s Academy

Coventry Telegraph - - NEWS -

WASPS have pulled out of plans to build their new train­ing com­plex on the same site as Coven­try City’s Academy.

The rugby club was given planning per­mis­sion last year for a £7mil­lion base at the Alan Higgs Cen­tre, off Al­lard Way, de­spite protests from the foot­ball club which was fac­ing hav­ing no home for its suc­cess­ful Academy.

The foot­ball club gained an ex­ten­sion to its ten­ancy at the cen­tre op­er­a­tors Coven­try Sports Foun­da­tion (CSF) un­til sum­mer 2018 as Wasps put their plans on hold. The Aviva Pre­mier­ship side has now shelved the idea and is look­ing at other sites.

The news comes as planning per­mis­sion is sought for a pre­vi­ously an­nounced 50-me­tre swim­ming pool on the site of the cur­rent in­door pitch at the Alan Higgs Cen­tre, which is pro­posed to be re­placed else­where on the site as part of the ap­pli­ca­tion.

The new in­door pitch would be ready for com­mu­nity use in Septem­ber 2018 with the pool an­tic­i­pated to be open to the pub­lic in sum­mer 2019 but it is not yet known if a deal will be agreed to keep the Sky Blues kids at the Alan Higgs Cen­tre be­yond next sum­mer.

Wasps Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Nick East­wood said: “Un­for­tu­nately it has not proved pos­si­ble to co­or­di­nate our own plans with the time frame needed for the con­struc­tion of the pool and re­lated com­plex, and we do not want to hold up the wider de­vel­op­ment in any way.

“A num­ber of sep­a­rate sites have been iden­ti­fied as pro­vid­ing vi­able op­tions for our train­ing ground needs, in­clud­ing what is cur­rently our pre­ferred site. Those av­enues are be­ing ac­tively pur­sued and are in an ad­vanced stage of dis­cus­sion.”

Wasps are cur­rently us­ing a tem­po­rary train­ing ground at Broad­street Rugby Club’s Rugby Road home just off the A46 in Bin­ley Woods, af­ter leav­ing their old base in Ac­ton.

Wasps first re­vealed their plans to move to the Alan Higgs Cen­tre af­ter CCFC had re­peat­edly in­di­cated a de­sire to build its own sta­dium and first team / Academy hub. Cen­tre op­er­a­tors Coven­try Sports Foun­da­tion (CSF) say these pub­lic state­ments led them to seek al­ter­na­tive users for the Higgs Cen­tre which was built with CCFC in mind and opened in 2004.

Foot­ball club bosses in­sisted they never told the Higgs Cen­tre op­er­a­tors they wanted to leave and feared the new de­vel­op­ments threaten the Academy’s fu­ture and put at risk its prized ‘cat­e­gory two’ stan­dard.

Talks had been held be­tween Wasps, CCFC and CSF to try to keep the foot­ball club Academy at the site. Foot­ball League sources also in­di­cated that a cat­e­gory two Academy could be pre­served even if it was split across more than one site. The Tele­graph pre­vi­ously re­vealed that a “ten­ta­tive ap­proach” had been made by CCFC to ex­plore op­tions over the use of fa­cil­i­ties at Warwick Univer­sity.

CCFC have pre­vi­ously said they want to fo­cus on re­main­ing at the Higgs Cen­tre, but any deal there would be short term af­ter it emerged the pre­vi­ous own­ers of the leisure cen­tre (Alan Ed­ward Higgs Char­ity) had in­serted a clause to pre­vent any part of the site be­ing sold to or leased for more than seven years to any or­gan­i­sa­tion, or as­so­ci­ated en­tity, in­volved in tak­ing le­gal ac­tion against the char­ity. That would rule out Coven­try City.

The Alan Ed­ward Higgs Char­ity had been a share­holder in ACL, the com­pany which op­er­ated the Ri­coh Arena and was sold to Wasps in 2014. That sale is the sub­ject of an on­go­ing le­gal chal­lenge, with the com­pa­nies that make up the foot­ball club named as par­ties seek­ing a ju­di­cial re­view in the High Court.

City cur­rently nowhere to play their home games be­yond the end of this sea­son, as their

TWO women were taken to hos­pi­tal af­ter a col­li­sion closed the M6 slip road near Coven­try for sev­eral hours on Mon­day.

They had to be cut free and were hos­pi­talised af­ter the three-car smash on a slip road of the mo­tor­way.

Both the north­bound and south­bound exit slip roads were closed due to the col­li­sion be­ing on the round­about.

Crews from all emer­gency ser­vices – in­clud­ing po­lice, am­bu­lance and the fire ser­vice – were called to the A446 af­ter re­ports of a three-car smash at around 6.20pm on Mon­day, Novem­ber 14.

A spokesman for West Mid­lands Am­bu­lance Ser­vice said: “We were called to the A446, near the junc­tion of the M6, af­ter re­ports of a three-car col­li­sion.

“Two am­bu­lances, a para­medic of­fi­cer and a crit­i­cal care car from the air am­bu­lance were sent to the scene.

“Upon ar­rival, crews found two pa­tients trapped in the car.

“A woman in her 70s was treated for a mi­nor head in­jury and taken to Heart­lands Hos­pi­tal. A woman in her 40s was im­mo­bilised and taken to the Ge­orge Eliot Hos­pi­tal.”

A spokesman for War­wick­shire Po­lice said: “Po­lice were called at 4.21pm to a re­port of a col­li­sion on the A446 slip road onto J4 of the M6.

“The col­li­sion in­volved a black Vaux­hall In­signia, white Peu­geot Boxer, black Audi A3 and a white Ford C-Max and re­sulted in the north and south­bound slip roads be­ing closed un­til around 8.35pm, while po­lice, am­bu­lance and fire ser­vices at­tended.”

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