18:01 Monday 11 February 2013

Snub as football centre left off AA's road map

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

St George's Park FA Centre / Hilton Hotel St George's Park FA Centre / Hilton Hotel

THEY said St George’s Park would put Burton on the map.

The problem is, they forgot to put IT on the map.

The £105 million national football centre was left out of one of the most popular road users’ maps, causing dismay among bosses.

Despite being opened in a blaze of glory by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and its facilities used by Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and co, St George’s Park was not deemed necessary for inclusion in the 2013 edition of the AA Road Atlas.

The omission was spotted by Mail reader Malcolm Bladon, who was left exasperated that the facility, more than a decade in the making, was overlooked, unlike other landmarks in the region such as the National Memorial Arboretum.

Mr Bladon said: “I think it’s disgusting. It’s an iconic thing. If anyone looks at the map and wants to find it, how are they supposed to get there?”

The AA said it compiled its data ahead of the release for the coming year in July, but Julie Harrington, managing director of St George’s Park, insisted it was one of the centre’s primary concerns to make sure people knew where the site was and that companies such as the AA had been notified before it opened.

She said: “We contacted all relevant satnav and mapping agencies to try to ensure that when we opened people could find us.

“We want to make St George’s Park as easy to find as possible. Obviously we don’t control what third parties use but it was certainly on the agenda. Our primary concern is to make sure people can find us as easily as possible.”

Despite it being widely recognised the centre would open in late 2012 – the keys were also handed over to the FA in July, when the majority of the building work was complete – the AA said they didn’t want to send people to a ‘building site’.

A spokesman said: “The maps are launched in July. If a new road was under construction it would be put on the map, but with a new building, anyone trying to find it would find a building site.”

The spokesman said the centre would be included in the 2014 edition, and that it was available to view on the AA’s online route planner.

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