THE ROYALS are on the up – and not just in the league. Reading FC have been moving up the Championship table in recent weeks and are also looking to move into a new, larger, training ground.
The club exchanged contracts on Friday, October 11 for the purchase of nearly 120 acres of land in Wokingham. They have bought from the Royal Merchant Navy School Foundation.
The site at Bearwood Estate will be the new home for the club’s first team and Academy, and plans have already been drawn up for 15 pitches on site, with purpose-built indoor facilities. The conditional contract will be finalised on the receipt of planning permission, and a full planning request will be submitted to Wokingham Borough Council in the near future.
A spokesperson for the club said: “We have been at our current Hogwood Park facility since 2004, and with the natural evolution of the club and our investment in the new EPPP structure for elite Academies, a new training ground is seen as a hugely positive step in the right direction.
“The Club would like to thank the Foundation, and in particular Secretary Charles Heron-Watson, for their professionalism and assistance in getting the process to this stage. Both parties believe this is a very positive step for the club, the Foundation, our Academy and indeed the local community.”
The Foundation added: “This sale will form a major part of the Trustees’ strategic decision to realise their substantial land holding by providing the funds necessary to focus on the Foundation’s charitable work, which is supporting the education of their beneficiaries in particular by helping them obtain employment.”