Torus, the North West’s largest provider of affordable homes, has officially taken ownership of LFC’s former training ground Melwood.
As the red shirts leave and the final ball is kicked, a new era and legacy beyond football is being explored for the site.
With a portfolio that includes the award-winning transformation of Ogden’s Tobacco Factory, in Everton, Torus is determined that its redevelopment of Melwood will reflect the site’s deep roots.
Chris Bowen, Managing Director of Torus Developments, said:
“Melwood has been at the heart of West Derby for more than 70 years and we want to ensure that it remains there for generations to come.
“But it’s always sat behind closed doors. We want to open those doors and give Melwood a new and exciting future.
“Local people are strongly connected to the site. We think we can deepen that connection, by really exploring the potential of the site and repurposing the existing building. We will be looking at this in consultation with the local community.
“As a housing group our vision, of course, is centred around homes and our plans will very much be tied to local need.
“But this is a community-focused development. It isn’t just about building houses. This is about ambitious, sustainable design, shared spaces where people can connect, green infrastructure that people can enjoy. This is about creating a vital community resource, a place where people flourish and that’s got to be a fitting legacy for somewhere that helped grass roots football grow.”
On the handover of the facility, Andy Hughes, Managing Director, Liverpool Football Club said:
“When the famous sliding gate closes for the last time, it will mark the ending of an era for the club.
“It’s been over two years since we started this journey and we’d like to thank everyone who has been involved, particularly local residents in West Derby for their patience during this process.
“It is with heavy heart that we bid a fond farewell to Melwood – our training base for the last seventy years. However, it will always be ingrained in the rich tapestry of the club.
“For many it will be strange not to use this familiar word when referring to the first team base, but the new AXA Training Centre is genuinely world-class and will soon start to create many more chapters of success.”
Currently, Torus is still in consultation with local residents of West Derby, so no plans for the site have been confirmed but proposals will be issued for public consultation shortly.