Swansea City take next step in bid to nurture stars of the future
A CENTRE of excellence which could help nurture future Swansea City stars has taken a leap forward.
Swansea Council cabinet has agreed to sell the RTB playing fields in Landore to the Premier League club.
The Football Centre of Excellence at the site will provide top- quality training pitches and facilities.
Work has already started on-site but the disposal of the land to the Swans means the club will be able to secure more funds for the centre in future.
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Huw Jenkins, Swansea City chairman, said: "We're delighted to secure the RTB Landore site. This agreement highlights yet again the great working relationship that exists between the Swans and Swansea Council.
"The Swans would never be where we are today without the Liberty Stadium being built and the fact that the club is doing so well in the Barclays Premier League is great news for everyone.
"I think everyone can now see for themselves what a successful football team and a forward-thinking council can do together to help promote our proud city to a level never seen before."
The playing fields had been home to the local football club and Landore Cricket Club played on the site, off Beaufort Road, for 60 years.
These clubs have now been relocated. The Swans have agreed to fund improvement works at Cwm Level playing fields, Morriston School and Heol Las Park to help those clubs in future.
Derek Davies, Landore Cricket Club secretary, said: "We have moved to Heol Las in Birchgrove. A deal was made with Swansea Council and the football club made a contribution towards the move.
"But it was sad because we could only go there because Winch Wen had folded."
Plans to develop the Landore site into a school of excellence were first unveiled in August 2009 at a press conference at the Liberty Stadium, with the then manager Paulo Sousa in attendance. The club had considered and ruled out other sites in Clyne Valley, Swansea Vale and Llansamlet.
And last year the Swans announced a new agreement with Swansea University to use and develop its playing fields at Fairwood, Gower. Meanwhile, the pitch at the side's current base in Llandarcy is also being improved.
Nick Bradley, Swansea Council's cabinet member for regeneration, added: "The contribution the Swans make to the city can't be understated. Figures show their first season in the hugely lucrative Premier League generated £58 million for the local economy and it's important we give the club all the support we can.
"They're doing wonders in putting our city in the shop window not just in the UK, but across Europe and the rest of the world."