National Football Facilities Visioning and Development
Football Association of Wales, FAW Trust
We have worked with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and the FAW Trust for over 10 years, helping them to develop their vision for Welsh football. We have helped them to plan and bring to life two national football centres, with work in progress on a third.
Initial Review and Visioning
In 2009 we began our journey with the FAW and Trust, drafting a report describing their vision for a national football facility that could be used by all FAW and FAW Trust representative squads, as well as for coach education, under 21s and women's team development and collaboration with visiting professional clubs.
We helped the FAW to grow this vision by writing a full proposal for the project later that year, which included a more detailed vision and options appraisal for the proposed development.
Progressing the Vision: Dragon Park
Following the initial proposal and vision, Just Solutions helped translate the plan into action. We conducted a review of over 50 sites, ultimately selecting a location in Newport in 2010. Over the following years we prepared design briefs, facilitated legal agreements with Newport City Council, wrote funding proposals and managed the project and budget.
In 2013 the facility was opened by Michel Platini, President UEFA. This was a significant step for Welsh football, representing the first National Football Centre in Wales.
Assessing Impact & Planning for the Future
Three years on, in 2016, we conducted a review of the facilities at Dragon Park against the objectives and planned outcomes of the original 2009 vision.
We interviewed a wide cross section of FAW and Welsh Football Trust staff and Newport City Council senior managers to assess a variety of objectives. These included the efficiency of the operational arrangements, the current and future financial plan and the relationship with the City Council.
Going North: Colliers Park, Wrexham
Alongside this review, we developed a 5 year plan for the Dragon Park facility as well as a 10 year plan that included a vision accounting for the FAW's future performance needs.
That same year, we were also contracted to conduct a feasibility study assessing the possibility of hosting a UEFA European Youth Championships in North Wales at Colliers Park Training Ground, Wrexham. Alongside this, we investigated and advocated for the possibility of developing a further 'tournament legacy' in North Wales, delivered in Wrexham, the 'spiritual home' of Welsh football.
This would be a much needed development for Welsh football: our National Centres Review had identified a need to deliver 'national' training, coach education and competitive opportunities away from Newport and Cardiff.
Following this study, we were commissioned in 2017 to design and project manage the development of Colliers Park as a national facility utilised and run by the FAW and its Trust, in collaboration with Wrexham Glyndŵr University.
We carried out a variety of roles for this project, including helping the FAW negotiate terms with Wrexham Glyndŵr University, appointing a design team and contractors, writing funding applications and project managing the development.
The site opened in September 2019, representing a crucial advance for the support and development of players throughout Wales, as well as an important landmark in the development of the FAW.
Completing the Trilogy: Vale Resort, Hensol
The most recent stage in our journey with the FAW has been helping them deliver a new National Elite Centre and Executive Headquarters at the Vale Resort, Hensol. Our roles include design and project management, negotiating maintenance and usage agreements and supporting the appointment of a manager.
Work started on site in February 2020, marking the beginning of another exciting step in the FAW’s national facilities journey.
“I would have no hesitation in recommending Just Solutions”
The FAW have repeatedly engaged Just Solutions, since 2009, because of the uniqueness of their expertise, knowledge and experience, the high quality of their work, outputs, responsiveness and standards of service as well as excellent value for money.
There is no doubt Just Solutions have significantly helped the FAW tackle a range of business challenges by providing that extra capacity, experience and knowledge. In the course of their work for us, Just Solutions have repeatedly contributed new ideas and innovative thinking that has challenged our own thoughts and helped us move forward.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Just Solutions to other organisations – national governing bodies or local authorities and community clubs. I hope to continue to call on them for their excellent support services as and when appropriate into the future.