Major sports complex proposed for town

An artists impression of the proposed new all-weather football facilities to be built behind the current Roefield pitches. (s)
An artists impression of the proposed new all-weather football facilities to be built behind the current Roefield pitches. (s)

Ambitious plans to build an all-weather multi-sports facility behind the existing football pitches on the Roefield site are being explored.

A collaboration of Clitheroe Wolves FC and the Lancaster Foundation is behind the multi-million pound project, which will be subject to approval by Ribble Valley Borough Council planners.

Clitheroe Wolves have 36 teams, made up of more than 500 youngsters aged from four to 18, who are currently forced to travel further afield to Blackburn and Burnley, if fixtures are affected by bad weather and the grass pitches are unusable.

The proposed scheme would involve the council leasing the land behind the tennis centre to the club, so that they could apply for permission to build an indoor football centre, incorporating a new artificial 3G pitch. This would facilitate indoor training throughout the winter and be used as a year-round facility for rugby as well as football.

Clitheroe Wolves FC chairman, Ross Hibbert, said: “The offer of help with funding from the Lancaster family came in February last year and was an unbelievable one. They are making the donation to commemorate Rosemary Lancaster’s MBE in recognition of her charity work. “I am not very often stuck for words and my dad, George, who started the club, was reduced to tears.

“We have 500-plus kids in Wolves next season and the numbers continue to grow every week, so this facility will help us to sustain this growth and provide a venue for local schools and other sports clubs to thrive.”

Steven Lancaster, speaking on behalf of the Lancaster family, said: “As a family we are committed to the further provision of quality facilities and opportunities within the Ribble Valley.

“Our shared passion for the community and seeing young people aspire and achieve is evident through The Grand.

“Sport unites and encourages positive lifestyle and choices. We are incredibly proud to partner and support Clitheroe Wolves on this joint venture to provide a state-of-the-art indoor multi-sports facility in the town.”