A brand new £2.2 million sports hub, including football pitches and the potential for an athletics track, is set to be built in the heart of Chorley.
The ambitious scheme, led by Chorley Council, would transform the Westway playing fields into a first-class sports facility and provide overflow parking for events in Astley Park.
The news is a culmination of months of hard work to produce a design that will work on the site and proposals that will be able to attract external funding.
Coun Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, pictured, said: “We’ve been looking to improve Westway playing fields for some time and we’ve been working hard to come up with a proposal that can make best use of the space we’ve got.
“This will provide a fantastic facility, not only for the village, but for people right across the borough to use.
“And it will help to ease problems with parking in the village when events are held in Astley Park.”
The redevelopment of Westway has been in the pipeline for a number of years.
In 2015, Chorley Community Trust had plans approved to build a two-storey pavilion with a seated stand, viewing balcony, fitness suite, changing rooms and function suite, along with grass and artificial pitches.
The new proposals for the sporting hot spot will include:
• A floodlit full-sized artificial grass football pitch;
• Three grass pitches (one full-size and two nine-a-side);
• A pavilion including changing facilities, kiosk, multi-use social room and customer toilets;
• More than 150 parking spaces;
• A compact athletics facility including a 100m sprint track and two long jump pits.
Plans for the rest of the development are set to be submitted to the council’s development control department in August.
The athletics hub would be a future phase of the project after the initial development is completed as it is subject to further fund-raising.
And while the plans show an exciting future for the playing fields, the scheme is reliant on successful bids to the Football Foundation, with the remainder of the money to come from contributions from developments in the borough and money already set aside to improve parking for events in Astley Park.
“The plans are really exciting but there is still a lot of work to do,” said Coun Bradley.
“The proposals are based on feedback about what facilities we need to provide in the borough and the athletics element will be dependent on further funding bids and would be delivered after the initial phase of work is completed.
“The next step is to put the planning application in, which we expect to happen in July, and if everything was to go to plan work could start on site as early as March and be completed in 2020.”
The site is located between West Way and Chancery Road, to the rear of Buckshaw Primary School.