West Brom’s academy officially moved to its new base directly opposite the Hawthorns on Wednesday in what has cost £1.3 million to build.

The work in Halfords Lane is just one part of an overall project worth £2.5million which will include the upgrading of the academy facilities, with money also being spent on pitches at the Great Barr training ground.

The club have also announced to Express and Star that they will be committing £3 million a year to fund player development after being awarded category one status in the Premier League's new elite player performance plan.

Sporting technical director Richard Garlick has left a statement of his delight at moving into the new facilities, which has taken more than six months to renovate. 

“The new facilities are part of the club’s wider investment in the academy," he said. "We are endeavouring to create the best environment in which to develop and nurture young talent.

"When the Premier League saw our plans for the redevelopment of the Halfords Lane site, they described it as ‘the creation of a footballing hub’ – and we believe that is exactly what we have achieved.”

The new project will allow for the housing of up to 20 academy staff and will be available to more than 200 youth prospects aged between six and 18. 

The Baggies academy manager Mark Harrison has also expressed his happiness at the announcement.

“We now have fantastic purpose-built facilities located on one site," he told Express and Star. "Now we have a central hub where we can endorse and develop even further the work we do."

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