£2.5m sports academy plan for Burnley's Prairie fields
A NEW £2.56 million academy for football, rugby league and golf could be set to take shape on Burnley’s Prairie playing fields.
Plans to redevelop the sprawling council-owned site, if successful, would feature a new artificial ‘3G’ pitch, pavilion and golf driving range.
The feedback from two major funding bodies, Sport England and the Premier League Community Facilities Fund, has proved positive so far.
And the likes of Burnley FC, the Lancashire FA, the Rugby Football League, the English Golf Union and Golf Foundation, are all supporting the bid.
Coun John Harbour, the council’s executive member for leisure and culture, said: “This is at a very early stage and much depends on successfully applying for funding.
“However, it’s the right time to lay the foundations for this exciting project and to press ahead.
“This complex would add to Burnley’s sporting facilities and, in particular, would help encourage young people to take up sport.
“The centre would be a major boost for the borough and an important investment in the area’s sporting future.”
Discussions have already taken place with officials at Burnley FC, councillors have been told, who are said to be keen to base their advanced training academy, centre of excellence for women and girls’ football and disabled football programme there.
The golf practice range would also feature a grassroots coaching academy and the pavilion would benefit from a gym, sports studio and a golf pro shop.
Rugby league chiefs are also thought to be keen on developing the game – which has little existing presence in East Lancashire beyond the West Craven Warriors side and East Lancashire Lions amateur club in Darwen.
The 3G pitch would also be suitable for the likes of the American football side, the Burnley Tornadoes, according to an executive report.