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