Football Development Centre

Football Development Centre

Northamptonshire FA to relocate to brand-new, purpose-built football facility on Newton Road in Higham Ferrers 

Northamptonshire County Football Association is delighted to announce that it has applied to East Northamptonshire Council for planning permission to build a brand-new, purpose-built Football Development Centre on Newton Road in Higham Ferrers.

Football Development Centre

Developing a purpose-built facility will enable Northamptonshire FA to operate within a headquarters which not only meets the needs of the County FA but also the local football community, by offering access to facilities such as changing rooms, natural grass pitches and an artificial, third generation (3G) surface.

Through the Newton Road development, Northamptonshire FA aims to provide an increased football provision to the county of Northamptonshire by hosting training programmes, providing playing pitches for local teams to play matches and offering access to a high-quality training facility.

The site on Newton Road, NN10 8HN, will also act as the new headquarters for Northamptonshire FA, with offices, function rooms and car parking provision all part of the planned developments.

Bob Cotter, Northamptonshire FA Chairman, said: “The Association is delighted to make a formal announcement of its plans to build a £2 million Football Development Centre in Northamptonshire. This will be the focus of our work in the county and the location has been chosen to make the Centre conveniently available for all of our participants, from Daventry and Brackley in the west to Corby and Peterborough in the north east. 

“The central towns of Northampton, Kettering, Wellingborough and Rushden will all be able to reach the Centre within 30 minutes and many local teams will have access to play and train on the high-quality facilities. We would like to thank the Duchy of a Lancaster, East Northamptonshire Council, The FA, The Football Foundation and our developers, LK2 - all of whom are helping to make these exciting plans possible.”

Jon Sellick of the Duchy of Lancaster, added: “The Duchy is pleased to support Northamptonshire FA in its bid to create a central hub for local football and wider community sports. We have granted the Association a new lease on an 11-acre site on the outskirts of Higham Ferrers near another of our long-standing tenants, Higham Town Football Club. We hope that this will help to ensure that high quality sports and leisure facilities are accessible and available to all members of the local community.”

Paul Starbuck, Director of LK2, who are providing Northamptonshire FA with architectural support, said: “LK2 have delivered and are involved with over a dozen County FA headquarters across England including the recently completed Middlesex FA HQ, which has become the benchmark scheme for future FA headquarters designs. 

“The Northamptonshire FA headquarters will reflect the new model, combining the administration offices with a full-size artificial grass pitch (AGP), changing rooms and multi-purpose community, function, meeting and education facilities. The 9,400 square foot building will overlook the AGP and include approximately 150 car parking spaces.” 


football facilities

The new football facilities will look to include:

One main stadium with an artificial grass pitch, to eventually be at Step 4 standard
Two natural grass pitches at Step 7 standard
Four changing rooms (with the ability to increase to six in the future if required), officials changing, storage and toilets

office space

The office space will comprise:

Open-plan office (for 18-20 persons)
Meeting  and training rooms 
Function room (with a small bar and kitchen/preparation area) with flexibility to accommodate committee/education or meeting spaces
Reception area

frequently asked questions

Subject to planning permission we expect building to commence in spring 2020

It is expected to be ready for December 2020/January 2021

We have selected the location due to its centrality to the county and it's an area that East Northamptonshire Council identified as having a lack of good quality facilities for football. 

This is a long-term project for the County FA and to ensure our longevity we have secured a 30-year lease with the Duchy, with an option to extend for a further 15 years. 

We want to create a football hub for the community, local clubs and the county as a whole; and facilities that the local schools and community groups can also use for their own purposes. We have decided to have our HQ there because it makes sense for us to have all of our operations in one place.

Prior to going to planning permission we have commissioned full traffic, ecological, topographical, ground and flood surveys. All surveys have been completed now and their findings, we believe, satisfy the requirements of any planning permission.

It is important to us that we share our vision for the build with local families, businesses and football clubs. As such, we will be holding three events in November in Rushton, Thrapston/Raunds and a third in the Wellingborough/Northampton area. Details will be confirmed in due course.