Liverpool legend’s football academy is set for city site

Former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher

Former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher

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A FOOTBALL academy run by a Liverpool Football Club legend could be on its way to Preston.

The Jamie Carragher Football Academy will applied to convert a former self storage firm’s site on Mercer Street into a 3G sports pitch and gym.

Claire Parker, a planning consultant at Cassidy + Ashton who is putting forward the bid, explained how the half-hectare site would be re-developed.

She said: “The Jamie Carragher Football Academy has been looking to expand into new regions and initial discussions have taken place for the development to form a part of the Academy’s network.

“The Academy specialises in an education programme for 16-19 year olds who wish to combine progression in football, either playing or coaching, with the dynamic area of physical education, sports coaching and sports development.

“It is therefore considered that the principle of the development is acceptable for this otherwise redundant and vacant building as it would allow it to serve a recreational and educational purpose for the community whereas, as existing, it is an unattractive unit which is not accessible for public use.”

Lawrence McBurney, associate architect at Cassidy + Ashton, said: “Acting on behalf of our client we have devised a scheme that will meet a need for recreational facilities of this type within the local community.

“Expected to serve residents of Preston, the facility will deliver on the Central Lancashire Core Strategy by providing the opportunity to access good sport, physical activity and recreational facilities.”

The academy works with school leavers in the North West who want to combine sport with education. The vocational course looks at physical education, sports coaching and sports development along with opportunities to play at various levels of semi-professional football. The academy currently has a site at The Brunswick Youth and Community Centre on Marsh Lane in Bootle.

Bosses from the academy will meet Preston residents tomorrow to reveal more of their plans. Anyone interested is asked to meet at the site at 10am.