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Trust Statement: Cliff Hill Training Ground


The future of Exeter City Football Club’s training ground on the outskirts of Exeter – which the club has leased for more than 20 years - has been secured in a significant investment which will contribute to the Club's ongoing stability.

Thanks to a £100,000 loan from its owner Exeter City Supporters’ Trust, the Football Club has purchased the freehold of the Cliff Hill Training Ground, signalling its long-term commitment to player development.


Prior to this week's important purchase, the club held a 25-year lease on the site which is located on the Sidmouth Road near Clyst St Mary and is the location of its £3.5million training facility which was completed last year.


Nick Hawker, chair of Exeter City Supporters' Trust, said: “This is a significant and important step for Exeter City Football Club, securing the training ground for the long term. This season has seen the club make huge strides in relation to its structure and staffing and to end the season with the news that the Supporters’ Trust is making this purchase possible is something to celebrate.


“We have known for a short while the potential of the land becoming available but, on advice, have maintained confidentiality around it due to the potential for other interested parties becoming involved. We believe this is a major step forward for the Club and Trust.”


The Supporters’ Trust has loaned £100,000 to the Club to fund the purchase. The loan will be repaid by the transfer of the training ground to the Trust once all arrangements have been finalised and approved. These arrangements will include the lease of the ground back to the Club.


The Football Club has leased the training ground for just over 20 years thanks to the generosity of former club chairman, Clifford Hill, who bought it in 2003 and leased it at a peppercorn rent to the club. That commitment to the club was continued by Clifford’s wife Jean, following his death in 2012. Jean sadly died in March last year, which led to the land becoming available to purchase by the club.


Nick added: “We are extremely grateful to both Cliff, and later, Jean Hill, for their generosity when we were a club in desperate need 20 years ago and for their continued support over the last two decades.”

In addition to the purchase of the Cliff Hill Training Ground, this week the Supporters’ Trust announced a member ballot regarding the purchase of The Park building at St James Park. Because the building cannot be subject to interest from any external parties, the decision as to whether to make this purchase will be made by the members of the Supporters’ Trust.


If you have any questions regarding this purchase, please email

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