South Ribble Council has this week approved an 18-acre land transfer for the development of the Penwortham sports hub.Advertisement
The council will also receive up to £650,000 for the upkeep of the land, which includes the Vernon Carus Sports Club and Penwortham Reservoir.
£150,000 will refurbish the existing sports club facilities, with an additional £25,000 investment from the council leisure budget.
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Other medium and long-term options for the site are currently being explored, with a draft master plan recently submitted to the cabinet.
Councillor Matthew Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Assets, said: “The transfer of this land to council ownership presents an incredible opportunity to deliver a top-class sport and community hub for the people of South Ribble.
“The sum of money received will also ensure the land is properly maintained for years to come. All in all, this is a fantastic deal for South Ribble, and we can now look forward to planning an exciting future for the site.”
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Following the transfer of ownership from Lane End Developments Construction Ltd, the council will work with Vernon Carus Sports Club on refurbishment plans for the current clubhouse and cricket scorebox.
Further development of the area, north of Factory Lane, may include additional sports facilities, such as a new BMX track and upgrades to the boxing club and bowling green. Proposals include a garden and picnic area and expanded and improved parking.
The council said a new sports pavilion and changing rooms could replace the current sports club building. Other proposals include upgrading the reservoir footpath, new picnic areas, viewing points and benches, and storage space for water sports equipment.
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Councillor Mick Titherington, Deputy Leader of South Ribble Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The potential for Vernon Carus Sports Club and the surrounding area is absolutely enormous.
“As a council, we want to get ‘More People, More Active’ and encourage our residents to ‘Leisure Local’ – and key to those aims is providing access to the very best facilities.
“We’re already well on the way to delivering a fabulous playing pitch hub for football in Bamber Bridge, and this is yet another perfect example of how we are determined to invest in sports and leisure across the borough. This was simply an opportunity too good to be missed, and I can’t wait to see our exciting plans start to take shape.”
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The transfer of land to the north of Factory Lane extends to 4.6 hectares (11.42 acres) and includes the Vernon Carus Sports and Social Club House, together with recreational land comprising of football and cricket pitches, a bowling green and pavilion, a boxing/fitness gym and several surfaced car parks.
Penwortham Reservoir covers a surface area of 2.33 hectares (5.76 acres) and last year benefited from improvement works funded by Lane End Developments Construction Ltd.
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