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Wolves Indoor Facility A Step Closer


14:16 29th August 2013

New St Edmund's Catholic Academy opens its doors

Steve Morgan spoke of his enormous pride today at the role Wolves are playing in £70m worth of regeneration in the city.

The club chairman was among the VIPs meeting to celebrate next month's opening of the new St Edmund's Catholic Academy next door to the Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground.

The facility has been built as part of the massive Compton Park project that includes the development of the club's new state-of-the-art academy.

Wolves will make room for that expansion of football facilities by demolishing the old St Edmund's School buildings over the next few weeks.

The indoor dome will underpin this as one of the country's very best academies and should be completed by next summer. It will also be used by students from St Edmund's and neighbouring St Peter's, who already play on some of the outdoor pitches.

At a time when the world has been marking the 50th anniversary of the famous 'I have a dream' speech by Martin Luther King, Steve told the assembled guests that the venture had much to do with the vision of Sir Geoffrey Hampton, from the University of Wolverhampton, two years ago.

Sir Geoffrey instigated the idea for which Wolves then acted as catalysts by pulling together a host of organisations.

"I thought it was a nightmare at first, not a dream!" Steve smiled. "It has been a huge, huge team effort and I can't believe we have achieved what we have in two years. It shows what can be done when everyone is pulling together.

"There will be £70m of regeneration for Wolverhampton at the end of it all, with all these jobs created along the way. It's absolutely massive."

St Edmund's, which has 850 pupils rising to 900, has been rebuilt on part of the former University of Wolverhampton site just off the Compton Road. Those uni facilities, used mainly for science, once housed 1,000 students are now being relocated in the city centre. Other components of the deal are the gifting of the indoor arena at Aldersley Leisure Village to the Wolves Community Trust, the construction of nearby luxury homes by Redrow and the building of new courts for Linden Lea Tennis Club.

The club are proud to have partaken in a project that has done so much to boost the local economy.

The Compton Park development is a £50m investment in education and sport which has directly created 150 construction jobs and led to an additional 250 posts in the supply chain.

Wolverhampton Council's Strategic Director Tim Johnson said more than 30% of the labour on the project had been sourced locally and 78 apprentices had been taken on.

Steve Morgan thanked all parties for making the scheme work, emphasising he wasn't used to such projects moving so quickly.

"I am so proud," he added. "In the six years I have been at the club, no fewer than 20 players, who’ve originated from the Academy, have been involved with the first team and you can see former Wolves players in all four divisions.

"With the new facilities, we are going to be right up there with some of the best facilities in the country."

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