One of Jürgen Klopp’s first stated goals following his arrival at Liverpool was to consolidate the club’s entire player base, from youth to reserves to first team, at one facility. Today, the club have begun work towards seeing that realised at an overhauled Kirkby Academy.
According to The Liverpool Echo, Fenway Sports Group have sanctioned a £50M project. There will now be a public consultation but, assuming permits are granted, the club intend to purchase 14 acres of land adjacent the current academy. The club have committed to improving the surrounding public lands as part of the project.
If building goes ahead, the club would expect to complete the new facilities by the summer of 2019, after which the first team would move from their Melwood training grounds to Kirkby. Melwood would then be turned into a residential neighbourhood.
The current academy buildings at Kirkby would be overhauled and would remain as the primary base for the youth and reserve teams while the first team moved into an adjacent complex. The club would construct and maintain public pitches adjacent to the new combined academy.
The preferred route, and the first option considered, would have been to expand the club’s Melwood facilities, but it was determined there simply wasn’t room to house both the academy and first team there, forcing the club to explore alternative options.