A football club has moved a ‘big step closer’ in returning to their home village.
Rishton United FC have been forced to train and play games away from the area due to the ‘poor’ state of Norden Playing Fields.
The club has now secured £75,000 from Hyndburn Council towards a £280,000 scheme to redevelop the pitches and facilities.
Chic Kelly, chairman of Rishton Unitd FC said they have already secured £50,000 from Sport England and hope to secure the rest of the funding this year.
He said: “It’s really good news what the council have done for us.
“It’s been a difficult two years not playing in Rishton and it is a real bugbear. We have trained on astroturf pitches just behind the playing fields but we haven’t really used them for two a three seasons because of drainage problems.”
The club has more than 140 members with teams from under 7s to under 18s and adults.
Chic said: “We want it to be a community project. Hopefully over the next six months we can get all the funding in place as we are about half-way there towards our target.
“We are talking with the Lancashire Football Association, who help out grass roots football, with a view to submitting a funding bid and we are also trying the same with the county council.
“At the end of the day we are looking to do a partnership with Norden High School. The lease will be in the clubs name but Norden can use the ground for school matches and other activities.”
Ward councillor and cabinet member for leisure Ken Moss said the plans have been a ‘long time in development’.
He said: “Rishton United have drawn up a business plan and we, as a council, have done what we can in order to get them the funding.
“We have offered them £75,000 so they can get match-funding and get the full amount they need.
“The are having to train and play a lot of their games outside of Rishton and what they want is to have some proper fenced off pitches and changing facilities. In an ideal world we would give them all the funding.”