New sports village for Penwortham could get the go-ahead tonight

Exciting plans for a new sports village in Penwortham will be debated by council chiefs today.

The scheme, for a chunk of land gifted by a developer on the former Vernon Carus factory site, will go before South Ribble's cabinet with officers urging the authority to accept it and spend millions on creating a multi-sport facility for the borough.

Plans include refurbishing or rebuilding the current sports clubhouse and cricket scorebox, creating a 4G synthetic sports pitch, two multi-use games areas (MUGAs), a new pavilion and shelter for the bowling club and either improving or rebuilding the boxing/fitness facility.

The project will also involve a new BMX track, new football pitches, upgraded car parks and footpaths, a garden and picnic area and improvements around the adjacent Penwortham Reservoir which is also included in the blueprint.

Vernon Carus sports facilities could get multi-million pound boost.

The land has been offered to the council by Lane End Developments Construction Ltd who are spearheading the building of hundreds of homes on the rest of the former factory site.

The company has even offered South Ribble £650,000 for the upkeep of the land which is surplus to its needs.

A report by officers to tonight's cabinet says the scheme is "an opportunity to take forward the new concept of Leisure Local" put forward in a leisure facilities strategy adopted by the council in October last year.

It says that if the council does not grasp this opportunity then it would "represent a missed opportunity in terms of developing a local sports and community hub in line with the objectives of the leisure facilities strategy."

The old mill site during demolition.

The council has "aspirations to develop a multi-functional sports village at Vernon Carus, building on the amenities that already exist on the site.

"The masterplan proposes a phased approach. The first phase will be a refurbishment of the existing club house and changing rooms.

"This will address safety issues within both buildings and enable the club to generate revenue and be more sustainable.

"It is intended that the scheme of refurbishment will last a period of years until such a time that the existing clubhouse and changing rooms can be replaced with a new build facility."