The Club is pleased to announce that it has secured a supplementary training facility agreement with Houghall College in Durham.
The Club moved to Durham University’s Maiden Castle Sports Centre in the 2020/21 season after being without a permanent training facility for a period. The then newly opened £35m+ university facility represented a significant step forward for the Club in terms of creating a professional environment for both first team and EFL academy.
Both the first team and the academy in current guise will continue to use Maiden Castle as their permanent training base with ongoing access to facilities including grass and artificial pitches, gyms, analysis, medical, classrooms and canteen.
This new additional agreement with Houghall College, which sits immediately next to the Durham University Maiden Castle Sports Centre, will give the Club access to extra pitches particularly during winter months.
Joe Monks, Head of Football Operations, commented:
“I’ve seen lots of training grounds at both National League and EFL level and I feel very comfortable that through our partnership with Durham University, the facilities at Maiden Castle ensure our training ground is in line with some of the best set-ups in League One and Two. Having Maiden Castle as a base for the players is excellent and we have been speaking with the University about longer term plans.
Since the Club moved to Maiden Castle in 2021 we have had access to the full site, including the grass and astroturf pitches at the venue. However, we have now been able to add an additional agreement with Houghall College that is right next to our University training base. Houghall College has some excellent pitch-based facilities linked to their horticultural and land management expertise. Ultimately it means that our teams have more grass options and the ability to spread training load across pitches, which becomes particularly beneficial when reaching winter months and trying to get optimum sessions.
The relationship with the University is part of a longer term plan and I know additional pitch capacity is something that Lee Rust and Rose Stoker have been working on as a next step within that. We are all delighted to get this over the line and we are looking forward to working with Houghall College. Alongside the relationship with the University, it will give the Club a fantastic training backdrop moving forward.”