Work starts on Lancashire cricket centre near Preston

James Eager, Tom Bailey, County Councillor Aidy Riggott, Phoebe Graham, Mark Chilton

Lancashire County Council and Lancashire County Cricket Club have started work on a new facility at Farington, bringing together elite and community cricket.

To officially mark the start of work, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for economic development and growth, Cllr Aidy Riggott, was joined by Lancashire Cricket’s Mark Chilton for a turf-cutting ceremony on the site.

With a 19-month build time, it is hoped that cricket could be played at Farington in the 2025 cricket season.

County Councillor Aidy Riggott said: “This pioneering development in the heart of the county, will provide new professional standard facilities for the club, as well as being a valuable asset for the local community with multiple benefits to health and wellbeing.

“We’re pleased that we’ve brought in Lancashire-based Eric Wright Construction to build this facility, bringing an excellent track record in providing further benefits to the county through local jobs and procurement.”

The new facility will become a Women’s Centre of Excellence for the North-West of England and will help Lancashire Cricket continue to bring through the cricketers of the future.

Mark Chilton, Director of Cricket Performance at Lancashire cricket said: “This is a landmark day for Lancashire Cricket as construction begins at Farington, a unique ground that will bring together elite and community cricket – located on one site in the heart of our county.

“It’s something that we’ve been working on, alongside Lancashire County Council, for a long while now and the development will provide top class elite facilities for both our men’s and women’s side which can also serve recreational cricket and the wider community at the same time.

“Our aim is to have cricket take place by the end of the 2025 season and we are all incredibly excited at the Club to watch the progression of the site over the next couple of years. We would also like to thank Lancashire County Council for all their assistance with the project.”

The facility will feature two cricket pitches and 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.

The ECB provided £1.6m in funding towards the development of the new facility.

Clare Connor, ECB Deputy Chief Executive, said: “This new facility in Farington will create a community cricket hub which Lancashire will be proud of, serving diverse groups of participants in our sport.

“It represents one of the ECB’s largest ever investments because of its scope; it will become a professional standard hub for women’s and girls’ cricket, a regional development centre for disability cricket, and a place which will be used by state schools, local clubs and community groups.

“In doing so, Farington will directly support many of the game’s priorities, through long-term growth and connecting more communities through cricket.”

The construction of the new cricket facility is being carried out by Lancashire-based Eric Wright Construction, whose headquarters are in Bamber Bridge.

James Eager, director of Eric Wright Construction said: “This is a going to be a superb new sporting facility and we are incredibly proud to have been appointed by LCC and Lancashire Cricket to deliver this for the region.