Lancashire Cricket Club have announced plans to build a second ground in South Ribble where first-class matches will be played.
The new venue, in Farington near Preston, will have a capacity of up to 5,000 and be used by the first team when Emirates Old Trafford is unavailable.
It will also become a Centre of Excellence for women's cricket and a training base for both men's and women's teams, from age-group cricket all the way up to the senior sides.
The ground, which will be jointly funded by the club and Lancashire County Council, will also be home to Lancashire's second team, women's team and be open for community.
LCCC insist they will continue to use their other out-grounds, which are based in Liverpool, Southport, Blackpool and Sedbergh.
There will be two squares at Farington, one of which can support first-class cricket, and the site will be maintained by Lancashire's very own ground-staff. The venue will have nets, a new pavilion, a gym, changing rooms, hospitality space, as well as cycle and car parking.
Owned by the county council, the proposed site in Farington is alongside the A582 Farington Road on the west side of Stanifield Lane, and a short distance from the M65 and M6.
Lancashire chair Andy Anson said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Lancashire County Council on this project as we aim to grow the game of cricket in all its forms, from elite right through to recreational club cricket, together across the county.
“With the number of international and domestic matches, as well as other events being held at Emirates Old Trafford, the need for a second ground has become pressing. It’s something that we’ve been working on for a while and the new development will provide fantastic elite facilities for both our men’s and women’s side and can also be used for recreational cricket and the wider community.”
The project will be overseen by former Lancashire director of cricket Paul Allott, who stood down from his position at the club at the end of last season but still has a consultancy role with the Red Rose.
Neither party has put a figure on how much the new ground will cost to build and maintain, but it has been described as a 'multi-million pound' scheme. It is now subject to public consultation and planning determination, but if all goes to plan the club are hoping it will be open towards the end of 2024.
Public engagement is now underway to help to shape these initial proposals. The plans will be subject to public consultation through the usual planning application process, with additional opportunities for individuals to comment.
Sir Howard Bernstein, President of Lancashire Cricket, added: “We are pleased to be collaborating with Lancashire County Council on this wonderful project that, subject to due process, could bring about vital opportunities through the game of cricket.
“This will be an important step in aiding us to grow the game in Lancashire, helping us to extend our reach in the county and engage with a wider demographic."
Download the LancsLive app for free on iPhone here and Android here.
Have you got news for us? Contact our newsdesk on [email protected].
Get all the latest news, sport and what's on stories sent to your inbox daily with the LancsLive newsletter here.