Blackpool Cricket Club welcome proposed 'second home' for Lancashire in Leyland
The proposed new second home for Lancashire Cricket just outside Leyland is a welcome commitment to the sport in the heart of the county and would not threaten the future of outground matches in Blackpool.
That’s the verdict of Blackpool Cricket Club chairman David Cresswell on plans unveiled yesterday by Lancashire Cricket and Lancashire County Council to develop a top-class sports facility in the village of Farington.
The venue would become a second base for Lancashire County Cricket Club, staging matches when Emirates Old Trafford is unavailable.
The facility would operate throughout the year as a focal point for elite and community cricket and as a centre of excellence for the women’s game.
It would provide a training base for the game at al levels, from junior to first-team.
Owned by the county council, the proposed site is alongside the A582 (Farington Road), a short distance from the M65 and M6.
The proposals include two full-sized cricket pitches, with natural sloping terraces and training facilities, a pavilion, gym, changing rooms and hospitality area, as well as a car/cycle park.
The project is subject to public consultation and an application for planning.
The announcement comes with an ongoing commitment to outground cricket at Blackpool as well as Liverpool, Southport and Sedbergh School.
Blackpool CC chairman Cresswell told The Gazette: “We have known about this project for a few years and have had conversations with Lancashire, who indicated a long-term commitment to the outgrounds which goes beyond the opening of the new facility in 2025.
“There are no guarantees but the strategic direction of the ECB is for more cricket at outgrounds, so the intention is to continue using venues like Blackpool in the long-term.
“Leyland is central to Lancashire and this is a welcome commitment from Lancashire to provide a training and match venue in the heart of the county.”
Lancashire Cricket chair Andy Anson 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.”
Tree-planting, landscaping and green spaces would provide an attractive setting and provide screening for local properties.
The plans include wider community use, encouraging more people to get involved in the game.
The project also aims to increase the education and training opportunities for students. The club’s target is to deliver a Lancashire Cricket experience into 1,000 state schools across the county by 2030.
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