OXFORD United have announced the agreement to take over the long-term lease at their training ground has now been completed.

It follows lengthy discussions between the club and Fusion Lifestyle, who were awarded a 25-year lease to manage the Oxford Sports Park near Horspath by site owners Oxford City Council.

The £4.9million project was funded by BMW as a replacement for the sports grounds lost to their planned expansion at Roman Way, where the U's had previously been training. 

United moved in during summer 2018, but the rest of the facilities set aside for community use, including 3G pitches, a pavilion and facilities for cricket, have not been used.

The club’s announcement features plans to engage with the community.

Their plans include free nutrition and fitness classes for vulnerable groups, mental health workshops and literacy sessions combined with training led by their players.

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United also want to host school football finals and an annual kwik cricket festival.

It is a significant deal for the club, who have never had such control over their training base.

Chairman Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth, who thanked the City Council and singled out U’s managing director Niall McWilliams for his role, said: “This is fantastic news for our football club, a massively positive move in the right direction and a big step forward that will give us a proper training base and truly enable us to build for the future with our Academy and Community work.

“We firmly believe that the club should be at the heart of the community and this gives us somewhere to bring local footballers to experience professional facilities and benefit from the experience of the staff here.”

Aileen Carlisle, executive director for communities and customer services at Oxford City Council, said: “The City Council’s plan for the site has always included a tenancy for Oxford United, and this agreement secures their place for the long-term.

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“Oxford United have outlined a wide range of community activity, which is part of the covenant for Oxford Sports Park.

“The new terms significantly increase community sports provision, with Oxford United offering activities based on their professional expertise as well as use of the facilities at the site.”

The only time the grounds will not be available for community use is Sunday mornings, when United’s academy runs games.

EFL rules state no other users can be on site at the same time.