Ipswich Town have announced they are in the process of acquiring additional land at Playford Road ahead of a planned 'multi-millon pound' redevelopment of the training ground.

Since the club's new American owners arrived in 2021, significant money has been spent on infrastructure. The interior and exterior of a tired Portman Road has been upgraded, while a new £2.5m playing surface was installed over the summer.

Three brand new pitches were also installed at Playford Road last season, at a cost of £1.5m, but chief executive Mark Ashton revealed at a recent Fans' Forum that much more work is required at the team's day-to-day headquarters.

Today, it's been announced that land located on the Bent Lane side of the training facility will play a key role in those developments as the club looks to deliver an 'elite performance environment' for the men’s, women’s and academy squads.

“The next big project for us is the training ground,” said Ashton.

“We’ve invoked architects to work with us on the designs. We need a total rebuild of the training ground for the first team and we need a more professional environment that Kieran (McKenna) can work in, develop players, enhance players and recruit players to.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna and chief executive Mark Ashton.Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna and chief executive Mark Ashton. (Image: Steve Waller)

“We’ve got the pitches now, but we need a multi-million pound spend on the facilities at the training ground to bring us up to speed."

McKenna, who has worked at elite training ground set-ups with Manchester United and Tottenham, said: "I’ll have input into what I think would be essential and for what I would like, but it’s more about the future of the football club and the legacy we want to leave behind maybe many years down the line when I’m not here.

“If we want to be a top football club and operate at the higher echelons of the game, then we need a training facility which is suitably matches that.

“The owners have been fantastic in supporting the changes that myself and the staff have wanted to make within the building that we have here over the last 18 months, but there's still work to be done.

“It’s a building that was built for the academy and now we have the men’s team, the women’s team and the academy age groups all sharing out of that same building. The club has managed well with Portakabins, but having a more state-of-the-art, purpose-built first-team training facility would be beneficial for now and for the future of the club.”

Ipswich Town acquired the land behind the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand in October 2021 and have since demolished the Staples building that stood on there. The club is still deciding what is the best long-term use of that.

Chief financial officer Tom Ball said: “With Staples, it’s a case of being a little bit patient, to be honest. The main thing for us was dropping the building, a) to stop a rates bill, but b) to allow the works to be done on the pitch over the summer. It was a very handy grounds compound.

“The Staples site is adjacent to the football club and it’s also a two-minute walk from the train station. We’ve got to think around all the best uses of that land, mainly for the football club because we’re biased, but for the town as a whole and what delivers the best return for the town and the county.”

Regarding the long-term plans for a rebuild of the Cobbold Stand, which is now more than 50 years old, Ball continued: “It’s something that we’re working on and as soon as you say you’re working on it I think everyone anticipates that something will happen immediately.

“We’re working on it because we like to have options, we want to have things there ready for when the time is right. We’re talking years away - we’re not talking 12 months, we’re not talking 24 months, we’re talking a good few years into the future - because we want to be firmly established wherever we are and we don’t want to be turning fans away.”

Ashton also recently announced that the memorial garden behind the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand for the ashes of fans previously interred on the pitch will open on November 11.

In addition, the Blues CEO revealed that a couple of smaller screens, to complement the one installed last summer, could be placed around the ground at some point in the future.