Wigan Athletic’s plans for a new training ground are just one step away from completion, with Chorley Borough Council giving the project unanimous approval.
The Latics purchased Charnock Richard Golf Club last year, with the express intention of converting the land into a fully up-to-date training complex, allowing them to compete with the best teams in Europe. The eventual objective of the plan is to achieve Category One status under the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan, allowing the club to sign the best and most promising youngsters from their lower category rivals.
And it looks as if the plan is finally going ahead, with Chorley Borough Council agreeing to the plans, and only the Secretary of State to give final approval, which is expected within 21 days, before the club can start work on their new complex.
Quoted on the official Wigan website, the Latics' Chief Executive Jonathan Jackson revealed his delight at the news, moving the club firmly into the 21st Century - and to the level of their rivals.
He 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 and this week’s recommendation was a huge step in the right direction.
“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 an elite football facility for generations to come.
“We would like to thank Chorley Borough Council for their cooperation and help on this matter and to Signet Planning for assisting us through the planning process."
"To compete in the highest levels of English football, Wigan Athletic needs facilities that are comparable with other clubs in the Premier League and Sky Bet Championship.
"The Charnock Richard proposal will allow us to attract players of all ages and also develop future professionals.”
With final approval of the plans still being awaited, the chances of a new training complex may yet end, but having moved one step closer to the club’s long awaited dream, the Latics faithful can be delighted that owning facilities to rival the Premier League giants may just be a few years away.
The ground is expected to be open and operation by August 2016.