OXFORD United's training ground deal has been hailed as a significant step forward for the club.

Months of negotiation have resulted in the U's inheriting the remaining 23 years left on the lease at the Oxford Sports Park near Horspath from Fusion Lifestyle.

It is expected to produce a six-figure boost on an annual basis. Instead of paying rent to Fusion they will instead be able to generate revenue from the public using the facilities.

Significantly, the agreement with Oxford City Council, who own the land, is with Oxford United, rather than any holding company or individual.

The terms of the deal include a commitment to launch a wide variety of initiatives to benefit the community, which the club hope to have up and running by January.

Niall McWilliams, United's managing director, was instrumental in the talks and believes the impact cannot be underestimated – either for the club or community.

He said: "I think it’s an unbelievably significant step.

"We are more in control of our own destiny today than we were yesterday and in the club's 126 years they have never been in charge of their training facility.

"I think it’s really important and exciting that we are going to work very closely with the community."

He added: "I’d give my personal thanks to all the people who have worked on this.

"It’s clear Oxford City Council are supporting the football club."

Zaki Nuseibeh, who joined United's board last year and became vice chairman last month, was delighted with the news.

He said: "It’s a massive deal really, for a long time we haven’t owned any assets.

"We have talked about sustainability for a long time. Talking is one thing, doing it is another.

"The bottom line is when we talk about sustainability it means absolutely having assets for the club.

"It will help take the club to the next level."

It has also been warmly welcomed by Paul Peros, chair of U's supporters' trust OxVox.

He said: "We have had a nomadic existence with our training ground, but this gives us a great base.

"It feels like we have finally got a little bit of a home."

He added: "The fact that investment is being made into the long term infrastructure that gives us a solid base shows commitment from the directors.

"People have often asked are they in it for a short stint, but this is a long-term thing.

"The information we’re getting from the club is they want to put the club on a sustainable path and that’s really impressive.

"It’s the club’s, we’re not racking up assets for directors here and there."