Work on refurbishment of Carrington facility starts today

Foster & Partners has been appointed to design a £50m revamp of Manchester United’s Carrington training complex.

Work on the architect’s plans for the men’s first team facility starts today with all parts of the building set to be overhauled.

Manchester United co-owner Jim Ratcliffe said he wanted to create a “world class environment for our teams to win”.

Carrington, officially known as the Trafford Training Centre, is the club’s training ground and academy headquarters.

Located near the village of Carrington in Trafford, Greater Manchester, it was originally built in 2000 when the club was under the management of Alex Ferguson and later expanded in 2013.

Ratcliffe, who purchased 27.7% of the club in December last year, said the facility has since fallen behind those operated by rival clubs.

“When we conducted a thorough review of the Carrington training facilities and met with our men’s first team players, it was clear the standards had fallen below some of our peers,” he said.

“This project will ensure Manchester United’s training ground is once more renovated to the highest standards.

He said Foster & Partners founder and fellow Mancunian Norman Foster had ”brought some great inspiration to the design”, adding that he and the team looked forward to seeing “improvement to the facilities but most importantly on the pitch”.

Foster said the project will “modernise and revitalise the building as a catalyst for future footballing success, creating spaces that inspire a culture of collaboration, unity and belonging”.

He added: “As a proud Mancunian, it is a particular honour for me to see Foster & Partners given this responsibility and we will ensure that our design captures the spirit of industry, grit and ambition that exemplifies both Manchester and Manchester United.”

The start of work on the scheme comes as fans eagerly await a decision on the future of the Reds’ home ground Old Trafford, which is expected by the end of this year.

The club is currently weighing up options to either refurbish the existing Old Trafford stadium or build an entirely new one on neighbouring land that it already owns.

A taskforce looking into the redevelopment includes London Olympics veteran Sebastian Coe, Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and ex-Manchester United captain Gary Neville, along with Trafford council chief executive Sara Todd and a fans group member.

Burnham said in March that the project could be “the biggest regeneration scheme in the country”, including much wider infrastructure investments in the surrounding area.

Ratcliffe has said that his preference is to build a new stadium rather than refurbishing the existing ground, which he believes would “not be perfect” because of the age of the building.

He has already committed £237m of his own money for infrastructure improvements in his recent investment in the club.

Any redevelopment of Old Trafford would cost far more and the club is expected to look for financial support, both from private funders and a public-private partnership.

Laing O’Rourke has previously carried out improvement work at the ground, which dates back to 1909.