Winsford chosen for £70m Cheshire FA football village

The former Knights Grange Golf Club in Winsford has been confirmed as the site of the Cheshire FA’s football village, featuring an elite performance centre, a 3,000-capacity football stadium, and a hotel & spa.

Working with developer Ion and Cheshire Wes t& Chester Council, the Cheshire FA first revealed its plans to build a centre of excellence last May and has now confirmed Knights Grange as its preferred site, after looking at around 30 others.

Billed as the first of its type in Europe, the facility is set to include elite performance training facilities; a centre of excellence for girls’ and women’s football; indoor and outdoor 3G pitches; a sports medical facility; and an outdoor adventure centre open to the public.

There will also be a 3,000-capacity football stadium, including 1,000 seats, along with education, office, and catering facilities, while a “luxury” hotel, spa, and conferencing facility will be built across the 60-acre site.

A planning application is expected in the coming months, with site investigations due to get under way. Architect Space & Place is also attached to the project.

The former Knights Grange Golf Club closed in October 2018 after its operator Mack Golf ceased trading. The land is owned by Cheshire West & Chester Council. It sits off Grange Lane to the north of Winsford town centre.

Rob Mason, development director at Ion, said: “After many months of work analysing alternative site options, we are delighted that our project partners have confirmed Knights Grange as the preferred location.  This will enable us to take scheme development to the next stage and a big step closer to delivering this exciting project.”

Stuart Manifould, project director at Cheshire FA, said: “We want to create a world-class sports facility that is at the heart of the local community. During our feasibility process we reviewed over 30 site locations. Knights Grange gives us an opportunity to invest into Winsford as a town and contribute to regenerating the area.

“This facility will have national and international significance in football as well as providing outstanding facilities for community use. We are really looking forward to working with the Council and local residents to maximise this opportunity and deliver a scheme that carries wide ranging benefits.”

Cllr Louise Gittins, cabinet member for communities & wellbeing, said: “This bold and ambitious project will be a great asset for the local community. A project of this size and design has never been done before. Never before has a local Council and a County FA worked together to create a facility like this. It will offer similar facilities to those at St George’s Park in Staffordshire where the England national football team trains.”

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