Plans for ‘best in west’ sports facility

Site plan for the proposed new sports facility at Polwhele Farm

Architects acting for Truro City Football Club chairman Kevin Heaney this week unveiled plans and preliminary images for “the best sports facility west of Bristol.”

Heaney has appointed Truro-based CSA Architects to design and progress a new £9 million multi-facility scheme for the club’s relocation to a site at Polwhele Farm on the city outskirts.

Heaney has secured an option to purchase the 29-acre site and CSA will submit a detailed planning application to Cornwall Council later this year. It is also anticipated that the new centre of excellence would create up to 40 new jobs.

Key features of the scheme include –

  • Three full-size football/rugby pitches, with one to Conference League standard with floodlights and stands and total capacity for 4,000 spectators. The other two full-size pitches would be unlit, with one all-weather.
  • State-of-the-art clubhouse, low-energy construction, including changing facilities, offices, multi-purpose function room and sports bar/café.
  • A “sports dome” curved-roof building, with an indoor training pitch with 3G surface for use as single, two or four-pitch combinations as required, suitable for football, rugby and hockey. The “dome” would also house four indoor tennis courts and gallery area based on the David Lloyd tennis centre model.
  • Three junior pitches and a multi-use unlit training area.
  • Extensive, integrated landscaping proposals and parking with 875 spaces for cars, plus coach and cycle areas.
  • A new roundabout on the adjacent A39 providing entry to the site and an alternative “gateway” to Truro.
Computer image of how the clubhouse could look, as the central feature of the proposed Truro City sporting centre of excellence at Polwhele Farm on the city outskirts

CSA’s MD, Justin Dodge, explained: “This project would simultaneously solve the club’s chronic lack of facilities, with huge pressure currently on its Treyew Road base and other pitches in the city, and provide immense community gain for mid-Cornwall.

“What is on offer, undoubtedly, is the best sports facility west of Bristol. We urge Cornwall Council and the public at large to consider the benefits of such an investment. Opportunities like this do not come along every day.”

The latest move is part of a complex “bigger picture” that would ultimately see the Truro City first team playing in a new “stadium for Cornwall” to be created at a separate location – with a site at Threemilestone currently being explored by Cornwall Council, and with Heaney in talks with the Cornish Pirates rugby club with a view to a ground-share arrangement.

In the interim, Heaney is pursuing a possible temporary ground-share scheme with Falmouth Town football club while the Treyew Road ground undergoes its own redevelopment.

The latter plan currently features offices and a supermarket, with associated investment income being used to run the club.

The development projects at Treyew Road and Polwhele Farm would run simultaneously. Once Polwhele was completed, the Truro City first and reserve teams could play on the main pitch there pending completion of the “stadium for Cornwall.”

Dodge added: “Logistically at the moment, the Truro City club is totally fragmented. The relocation proposal puts everything in the one location and also opens up big opportunities for a host of other sports clubs and organisations.

”It’s not just for football – it’s for rugby, hockey, tennis, basketball, badminton and other compatible sports. In turn, it would lift a lot of the pressure from other sports fields in the area.

“The Treyew Road ground will not be sold as a development site; it will be retained on a long leasehold basis as a long-term investment for the club. The crucial underlying aim with the entire project is to make the club self-sustainable, removing its reliance on Mr Heaney’s personal financial backing.”

Heaney commented: “We are talking very big plans here, but they are emphatically not pie in the sky. I have been true to my word in what has already proved to be a sporting revolution for the county.

“Six years ago there were an awful lot of people who thought I was living in cloud cuckoo land when I explained how Truro City could rise to where we are now, with the highest standard of football, by a mile, in Cornwall’s history. We are on course to continue that journey, and now is the time for the next big step forward in the long-term development plan.”