Exciting new proposals for cricket in Lancashire
Lancashire Cricket and Lancashire County Council have announced exciting new plans to create a high-quality sports facility in the heart of the county.
Led by the county council, the proposed development will bring together elite and community cricket on a site at Farington in central Lancashire.
Subject to public consultation and planning determination, the new facility will become a centre of excellence for women’s cricket in the North-West, further encouraging the growth of cricket in the region.
The aim is to establish a new year-round facility, which would host a number of men’s and women’s competitive matches each year when Emirates Old Trafford is unavailable, whilst also providing a training base for Lancashire’s men’s and women’s teams (from Age-Group to First Team).
The plans were announced earlier today (Wednesday 1 December) as part of the Stadium Business Summit taking place at Emirates Old Trafford.
Owned by the county council, the proposed site in Farington is alongside the A582 Farington Road on the west side of Stanifield Lane, and a short distance from the M65 and M6.
Public engagement is now underway to help to shape these initial proposals. The plans will be subject to public consultation through the usual planning application process, with additional opportunities for individuals to comment.
Andy Anson, Chair at Lancashire Cricket, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Lancashire County Council on this project as we aim to grow the game of cricket in all its forms, from elite right through to recreational club cricket, together across the county.
“With the number of international and domestic matches, as well as other events being held at Emirates Old Trafford, the need for a second ground has become pressing. It’s something that we’ve been working on for a while and the new development will provide fantastic elite facilities for both our men’s and women’s side and can also be used for recreational cricket and the wider community.”
The proposals include two full-sized cricket pitches with natural sloping terraces and training facilities, including nets, a new pavilion including a gym, changing rooms, hospitality space, as well as cycle and car parking.
The designs for the site have been sensitively and carefully designed to respect the open and green setting and protect the amenity of neighbouring residents. New tree planting, landscaping and green spaces would provide an attractive setting and provide screening for local properties.
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, Leader of Lancashire County Council, added: "These are exciting proposals and I'm especially pleased that these facilities would help to encourage more people to take part in sport, including younger people.
"Please give your views and help us to shape the proposals, which aim to transform cricket in Lancashire.
"We're working in partnership with the club to make the most of this opportunity to support high-quality sports provision in Lancashire, while using the county council's land to potentially provide a significant boost to our economy and create new jobs."
Sir Howard Bernstein, President of Lancashire Cricket, commented: “We are pleased to be collaborating with Lancashire County Council on this wonderful project that, subject to due process, could bring about vital opportunities through the game of cricket.
“This will be an important step in aiding us to grow the game in Lancashire, helping us to extend our reach in the county and engage with a wider demographic.”
Emma Lamb, Lancashire and England all-rounder from Preston, said: “Having grown up in the Preston area, it’s great to see that the Club and the county council are working together on this new project. It’s only going to help grow the game of cricket throughout Lancashire and the surrounding area.
“It’s so important that we do all we can to make cricket as accessible as possible and ensure opportunities are given to girls and boys of all ages and abilities. A facility like this will only help that and hopefully we’ll see some future Lancashire and England players from the local area.”
Lancashire will continue to use the club’s current outgrounds across the North-West at Liverpool CC, Southport and Birkdale CC, Blackpool CC and at Sedbergh School once the new facility has opened.
The new facilities will support the development of community and recreational, youth and elite sport in Lancashire. The plans include opportunities for wider community use of the facilities, encouraging more people to get involved, in addition to a centre of excellence for women and girl’s cricket across the North-West.
The project also aims to increase the education and training opportunities for students across varied age groups. The Club has an ambition to deliver a Lancashire Cricket experience into 1,000 state schools across the county by 2030.
The site has been identified as the preferred location after considering the necessary requirements for the new facility, including location, access and the space required.