Plans to develop Crystal Palace’s Academy into a Category 1 site have been approved by Bromley Council.

The site on Copers Cope Road in Beckenham was purchased in December 2018 and with work to begin shortly there’s hopes to secure Category 1 Academy status by the beginning of the 2020/21 season.

Development of the base will provide more than 220 young players with first-class playing, training and education facilities opposite the first-team training ground.

“It’s a fantastic scheme and it will create an elite facility and have a transformational impact both in terms of footballing education and personal development for the 200 plus boys that are in our care at any one time,” Palace Chairman Steve Parish said.

“We intend to commence work as soon as practically possible.”

News Shopper:

The new facility will boast a full-size covered pitch, a 3G pitch, six training pitches as well as a ‘show-pitch’ which will accommodate 500 spectators.

Away from the football side, there will be up to five classrooms, lecture rooms and meeting rooms, that will employ eight tutors and a full-time psychologist.

A new medical treatment, rehabilitation and sports science facility will also be a feature of the site.

The club expect to hire a further 20 scouts at the Academy which already employs 35 full-time and 100 part-time staff.

The site will also be available for community use through Palace For Life Foundation, bringing additional community benefits.

Palace For Life runs football schools, disability teams and community engagement initiatives, using the power of sport and the Palace brand to change the lives of young people in south London.