PLANS for a new stadium and training facility for Aberdeen Football Club to the west of the city have been revealed.
The proposed ground is expected to be open by the 2019-20 season and it is hoped the training complex would be up and running a year earlier, chairman Stewart Milne confirmed.
He said the new facilities were “absolutely essential to the future success” of the club.
The Kingsford site near Westhill is close to the new Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR).
The club had previously been considering a plan to move from Pittodrie to a site at Loirston.
Mr Milne said: “Kingsford offers an opportunity to locate both the stadium and the training facilities within a single site, as was the original plan for Loirston, and it is in an ideal location for supporters travelling from all areas in and around Aberdeen.
“Crucially, we have full control of the site via a concluded missive with the landowner. Extensive site diligence has already been carried out at Kingsford to establish the feasibility of the land area and also the requirements for the planning process.
“Since Loirston was previously identified as our site for the new stadium, there have been various changes in circumstances and furthermore the development of the AWPR will now provide easy access to the new site at Kingsford.
“AFC and Aberdeen City Council see a new stadium and training facilities as a vital part of the region’s infrastructure, and there is a strong desire by the club to deliver these new facilities as soon as possible.”
Mr Milne said a 12-week period of public consultation would be held after which initial planning for the training facilities would be applied for, with the outcome expected later in the year.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes described the announcement as “fantastic news”.
“I’ve said from the day I arrived here that the one most important aspect where the club needs to drive forward is in terms of its training facilities, so the fact the new stadium is potentially going to be at the same location as these is an added bonus,” he added.
“When completed, this will have a huge impact in terms of AFC’s ability to attract and then improve players, both in terms of youngsters for our youth academy and also established first team players.”