Wasps Rugby have finally secured a new training base after years of having to make do with renting grounds in the Coventry area.
A new high-performance centre for the club is set to be created in Henley-in-Arden after the sale of a 13-acre site close to the town.
The absence of a proper training facility has been a bugbear of the club’s supporters – and reportedly several of their top stars – for years.
The lack of a training facility had been linked to Elliot Daly’s decision to sign for Premiership rivals Saracens and a number of other high profile players who have left the club in recent years.
The Ricoh Arena outfit has not had a training base of its own since moving to the region in December 2014, but WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) has agreed a deal to sell the site on Stratford Road.
Contracts have been exchanged, subject to planning approval, and the deal will see a new training base for the first-team and Academy set-ups, complete with two grass pitches, an all-weather surface, skills area and gymnasium.
According to a statement, the club will shortly be submitting all applications with the aim of operating from the site for the start of the 2020/21 season.
The club have had to deal with their fair share of financial challenges in recent years and securing a training base will be seen as a significant boost for the Coventry based side.
Stephen Vaughan, Chief Executive (Sports) at Wasps said: “It is no secret that we have been searching for the right location to create a high-performance centre that we can call home and the site in Henley- in-Arden ticks all the boxes.
Remember what a menace he was to the @lionsofficial
during the 2009 tour?
Go well in retirement.https://t.co/vHqFvD0yIl
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 23, 2019
“It is important to have long-term stability around our training base location and owning our own centre will bring a number of advantages to the Club.”
Wasps’ first-team and Academy currently train at Broadstreet Rugby Club and have been in discussions with Old Leamingtonians Rugby Club for several months about potentially creating a training base adjacent to its ground.
Vaughan added: “We have discussed the proposed move with our friends at Old Leamingtonians and Broadstreet and we look forward to maintaining strong working relationships with them as two strong local clubs.
“We would like to thank them for their understanding and co-operation, and they appreciate that the opportunity to have our own dedicated performance centre is the best option for the future of the Club.
“We will continue to liaise with WCG, Stratford-on-Avon District Council and other stakeholders throughout the planning process, in a move we believe will benefit not just Wasps but also the wider community.”
The site was previously a sports-focused college and preparatory school, but for the last three years has been run by WCG as a commercial sports centre.More News
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now