EXETER City Football Club has officially unveiled its new £3 million training facility.

Supporters, volunteers, sponsors, staff and local dignitaries gathered at the Cliff Hill Training Ground on the Sidmouth Road, for the official opening ceremony, which was conducted by David Fursdon, HM Lord Lieutenant of Devon.

The new two-storey facility includes a larger fitness suite, separate canteen facilities (no longer shared with the gym), larger changing and physiotherapy facilities, improved office accommodation and multi-use theatre/match preparation/classroom space.

It was constructed off-site using modern modular construction techniques, and then transported and erected at the training ground.

It replaced a severely dilapidated building, which was constructed in 1974 and was always intended to be temporary and despite regular maintenance, including time devoted by volunteer work parties, was beyond repair.

Exeter City Football Club, which is owned by its supporters, gave members of its Supporters’ Trust the opportunity to vote on whether the project should go ahead. The vote was overwhelmingly in favour of the development.

Nick Hawker, chair of the Supporters’ Trust, said: “Opening the new training facility this week was a truly significant moment in our club’s history. It is extremely fitting that this important project was completed during the 20th year celebrations of our club being purchased by the Supporters’ Trust.

“We intentionally invited supporters who had contributed so much to our club over the last two decades, and longer, to the opening. It was important to us that our fans were at the heart of this ceremony.”

Nick added: “Supporter ownership brings its own challenges, but to see this development completed and the staff and players already reaping the benefits, is extremely rewarding for everyone across the club and a reflection of what can be achieved under our unique ownership model.

“Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to deliver this fantastic project.”

A campaign to “Kit Out the Cliff” raised an incredible £63,000 for the development, funding items for every room in the new building, including weights, mirrors and Watt bikes for the gym; an oven, dishwasher and refrigerated counter for the kitchen; cutlery, crockery, tables and chairs for the canteen, as well as TVs, WiFi, projector and screen, noticeboards, whiteboards and carpentry through the building.