Work to begin on England`s national football centre

London: Building work on England`s much-delayed National Football Centre will begin in January, the Football Association said on Thursday.

The 105 million pound ($167 million) project, which was first suggested in 2001, has been repeatedly put back because of doubts over funding. The site will be in Burton-upon-Trent, central England.

The centre, widely expected to be an English version of France`s Clairefontaine academy, is due to be completed in mid 2012 after the FA board agreed to underwrite the project.

"St. George`s Park will be a world class facility providing top class education for future generations of English football coaches," David Sheepshanks, FA board member and chairman of the National Football Centre board, said in a statement.

The centre will act as a hub to 1,400 coaches whose job it will be to train a further 250,000 coaches to work in clubs and communities by 2018.

"It will also be an internationally-leading sports medicine and performance research centre; a training home to enhance international team development; and an inspirational hub for everyone involved in football from the grassroots to elite," Sheepshanks added.

Bureau Report