Wigan Athletic unveils vision for training ground

ARCHITECT: John Hampton said the applicants will take on board any local issues
ARCHITECT: John Hampton said the applicants will take on board any local issues
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Championship football club Wigan Athletic has held a public exhibition of its multi-million pound plans to develop a new training complex in Chorley.

The club bought Charnock Richard Golf Club last summer with the intention of turning it into the new facility for its first team and academy.

It is preparing a planning application for Chorley Council. If approved, the complex is expected to be up and running by August 2016. The exhibition for the newly-announced plans was held at Charnock Richard Football Club on Tuesday.

Residents and local councillors met Latics’ representatives who were there to answer any questions.

John Taylor, chairman of Charnock Richard Parish Council, who attended, said; “On balance, I’ve got a positive feeling towards it.”

Resident Peter Hargrave, 61, of Preston Road, said: “I’ve just had a look round. I think it’s going to be good for the village. It will make sure it all stays green and no development.”

The scheme’s joint architect, John Hampton, who has also designed and delivered plans for Chelsea, Everton, Stoke and Wolves, said: “The idea is to explain the plans before we think of submitting them. We are here to take on board any local comments or issues.”

Wigan’s current training facilities at Christopher Park in Standish Lower Ground are not suitable for what it is proposing at Charnock Richard because the site is not large enough. Everything will move to Charnock Richard if the plans are passed.

Chief executive Jonathan Jackson said: “This is the most exciting project the club has been involved in since the building of the then JJB Stadium, now DW Stadium, in 1999.”

He added: “We feel that the site is perfect in terms of being able to provide the club with an infrastructure to grow into the future, and provide a Premier League facility for generations to come.”

The plans are now on permanent display on www.signetplanning.com