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January start date for building work at the National Football Centre

The FA board has approved a proposal for building work at the new National Football Centre in Burton-on-Trent to begin in January 2011.

The unanimous approval of the St Georges’s Park project includes a commitment from both The FA’s Professional and National Game Boards to ensure that the £105m project is underwritten.

FA Board member and Chairman of the National Football Centre Board, David Sheepshanks commented: “St. George’s Park will be a world class facility providing top class education for future generations of English football coaches. It will also be an inter­nati­onally-leading sports medicine and performance research centre; a training home to enhance international team development; and an inspirational hub for everyone involved in football from the grassroots to elite.

“Today’s decision means that we can open in 2012 and help to deliver the first exciting legacy of a golden summer for sport in this country. “

FA General Secretary, Alex Horne, added: “Today’s decision is excellent news for English football. There is a demonstrable need for a National Football Centre, in particular to elevate the status and improve the quality of coaching across the country, which addresses a critical barrier to participation at the grassroots level. We are delighted to have put together a sustainable financial package to deliver the Centre.

“I believe this project will be transfor­ma­tional. From being the standout country without a national training centre, it enables England to set a new standard in coach education, sports medicine and research. It will effect a fundamental change in the way that football is taught and will help to transmit consistent values across game.”

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