Rugby club on track to open new training complex in North Somerset next season
PUBLISHED: 12:04 18 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:05 18 December 2019
A Premiership rugby union club is due to be training in North Somerset from next season.
Bristol Bears' training base in Abbots Leigh should be ready by the 2020/21 pre season and will feature two full-size hybrid pitches, a mixture of real and artificial grass, with full drainage and irrigation.
A two-storey pavilion will house a state-of-the-art gym and weight-training area, a medical centre and treatment room, a hydrotherapy room, and changing facilities, while the first floor will feature a team meeting and analysis room, a player breakout room, plus a canteen and kitchen, as well as offices and boardroom space.
The facility is designed to accommodate 94 players across the various Bears teams, along with the associated club staff.
Chief executive Mark Tainton said: "The first floor slab has been laid and the structure for the roof is nearly complete, with the insulation and sheets ready to go on after.
"In the lower floor, the offices, changing rooms and showers on the lower level have been divided, while the boundary walls have also come down from the pitches.
"At pitch one the lower plateau has been fully laid and is looking superb.
"At the barn, all the beams have been completed and the steel frame has been installed, which is a magnificent sight and shows how big the indoor training centre is going to be."
The rugby club was granted permission from North Somerset Council to build the sports complex in February.
Contractors, main builders and players enjoyed a barbecue and topping out ceremony earlier this month.
Mr Tainton added: "Pat and I have surveyed the building, he's very happy with his office space looking out at the lower tier pitch so on a wet day he can watch training from the comfort of indoors.
"The players are coming in and surveying the building and are very excited about it. For some it's the first time they've been on the site and they're amazed how much progress has been made.
"The squad signed the internal columns which will be there forever and I'm delighted with the progress that has been made."
Last month the club signed Fijian star Semi Radradra.