Lancashire Cricket Club

Lancashire Cricket and Lancashire County Council are working together to build a new high-quality professional and community cricket facility on the Woodcock Estate in Farington in central Lancashire.

Before we submit a planning application, we would like to know what you think.

Artist impression of the proposed Lancashire Cricket ground

The proposals

Artist impression of the proposed Lancashire Cricket ground

The County Council and Lancashire Cricket have agreed to create a new, year-round high-quality sports facility in Farington, bringing together elite and community cricket in one development.

It would give Lancashire Cricket a second ground in the heart of the county. It would provide new professional standard facilities for the club and be a valuable asset for the local community with multiple benefits to health and wellbeing.

It would also become a Women’s Centre of Excellence for the North-West of England and will help Lancashire Cricket continue to bring through both men’s and women’s cricketers of the future.

The facility would feature two cricket pitches and would host a number of men’s and women’s competitive matches each year. The second cricket pitch will support community, recreational and youth cricket, as well as offering a new training facility for the club.

Summary of the proposals

  • If planning is approved, the site will provide new high-quality cricket facilities in the form of two full-sized pitches with natural sloping terraces. Cricket training nets will also be installed
  • A single pavilion building will support both pitches, providing changing and fitness facilities for players. Hospitality and events facilities could also be provided within the pavilion. An outdoor covered net facility is also included in the development.
  • Cycle and car parking will also be provided. The site is easily accessible by public transport.
  • Farington will become the second ground for Lancashire Cricket and will encourage sport, fun, participation, health, wellbeing and activity in a safe and managed environment
  • It would bring professional cricket into the heart of the county and will support community and recreational, youth and women’s sports alongside the health and wellbeing agenda
  • The facility would become a Women’s Centre of Excellence for Women’s Cricket in the North West of England, further encouraging the growth of cricket in the region.
  • The second pitch will be dedicated to community use and training purposes, and will provide a facility which can be used all year round, linking in with numerous programmes run by the Lancashire Cricket Foundation.
  • New tree and wildflower planting, green spaces and sympathetic ecological landscaping will provide an attractive setting, encourage wildlife and provide screening for local residents. We are also looking to maximise sustainability benefits and opportunities for the low carbon agenda.
  • The proposed uses on the site are designed to minimise impacts on neighbouring residents, the local community and to preserve the nature of the Green Belt setting.

Site location and access

The site is located in South Ribble, on the Woodcock Estate, Farington. It is located off Stanifield Lane, close to the roundabout junction with the A582 Farington Road.

It is in the Green Belt, but the nature of the proposed development is predominantly sports fields and limited construction of buildings. The proposals have been sensitively designed to preserve the openness of the Green Belt.

The land is currently in agricultural use, with a small number of agricultural buildings on the site. It is predominantly low-grade agricultural land.

The main site would be accessed from a new junction off Stanifield Lane. It is fully accessible by public transport, close to existing bus routes and local railway stations. Cycle and car parking will also be provided on the site. Pedestrian and cycle crossings will be provided where necessary.

We are working with the council's highways team and transport consultants to develop a transport strategy for the site, which will deal with both day-to-day use and also cater for occasional event days. 

About the site and facilities

The intention is to provide two full-size pitches with natural sloping areas for spectators, along with a pavilion, which will provide hospitality facilities. There will be seating and temporary seating areas, with natural grass terracing provided to enable spectators to be accommodated in designated locations on the site.

A single pavilion building will support both pitches, providing changing and fitness facilities for players. Hospitality and events facilities could also be provided within the pavilion. An outdoor covered net facility is also included in the development.

Emirates Old Trafford will continue to be the venue where all major matches are played. The new ground would be Lancashire Cricket’s second ground and would encourage sport, fun, participation and activity in a safe and managed environment. Some competitive matches will continue to be played at the Out Grounds.

What the site could be used for

The intention is for the pitch and new facilities to be of the necessary standard to enable all of the County’s teams to play or train here, including the Men’s First XI and Lancashire Women. We anticipate all county cricket formats could be played here, apart from The Hundred and International fixtures.

The design of the facilities would enable some one day and T20 matches to be played here, although major matches will continue to be played at Emirates Old Trafford. We anticipate that a T20 could attract up to 5,000 spectators.

Community facilities

The intention is for the facility to bring community and elite sport together. This facility will support the development of community, youth and women’s cricket. While the second pitch will be used for training, it will also be made available to the community throughout the year, which could include recreational cricket clubs or schools. Lancashire’s Disability Team will also make use of the facilities available at Farington.

The new facilities will help to support additional health and wellbeing opportunities through active participation in sport and can assist the Lancashire Cricket Foundation to deliver a number of nationwide cricket programmes which they run, such as All Stars Cricket and the Dynamos Cricket programme, which links in with the Hundred, the new ECB-run competition. All have the aim of increasing participation in the game of cricket.

About Lancashire Cricket

Lancashire Cricket, one of the leading 18 First-Class counties within the domestic structure of England and Wales, was formed in 1864 and is based at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester. 

One of the Club’s main responsibilities is to grow the game of cricket in the North West. As a county, that is one of their key remits, as well as looking to be successful on the field and developing their own home-grown players through our Academy. Cricket is a sport that can bring communities together.  We want to harness this spirit, and lead on the development of the game, which can deliver fantastic health and community benefits, for all ages.

The Club has a vision to create the best place to enjoy cricket in the world. This vision can be achieved through three core elements of Lancashire Cricket, which have the following aims:

  • To be the best cricket club in the world
  • To grow the game by offering the best experiences in the world
  • To create the best all-encompassing cricket venue in the world 

The Lancashire Cricket Foundation, established as the official charity of the Club, works across the North West to develop and deliver a range of projects, programmes and events designed to engage, excite, inspire and improve individuals and communities through cricket.

The Lancashire Cricket Foundation provides governance for the recreational game and high-quality experiences that make a positive difference to the lives of the individuals and communities we engage in order to grow the appeal of the game at all levels.

More information about Lancashire Cricket.

The planning process

A planning application is being prepared for submission to the county council in early 2022. This will consider all aspects of the development, including design, transport connectivity, environmental impact, noise, lighting etc. It will be subject to thorough assessment by officers who will make a recommendation to planning committee members, who in turn will make the final decision.

The application site is on land which we own, and the development is being undertaken by the county council. This means that the county council is the planning authority under Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992. The planning application will still go through the same thorough process of assessment by officers, who will undertake all formal consultations before assessing the planning case. They will make a recommendation to planning committee members, who in turn will make the final decision.

Next steps

Thank you to everyone who gave us feedback as part of the recent consultation. The information will help to inform the planning application, which we intend to submit a planning application in early 2022. 

On that basis, construction work could start in 2022 and the facility could be ready in time for the 2025 season.

We will continue to provide progress updates on this page. However, if you would like to speak to somebody about these proposals, please contact emily@royalpilgrim.com or call 0800 089 0362.