WINSFORD has been chosen as the preferred home for new football facilities officials claim will attract international attention.

Cheshire FA unveiled on Tuesday their plans to redevelop the former golf course at Knights Grange, a proposal they promise will create jobs and attract thousands of visitors to the town every year.

“We want to create a world-class sports facility at the heart of the community,” said Stuart Manifould, who is directing the project.

“This gives us an opportunity to invest in Winsford and contribute to regenerating the area.”

He said that more than 30 possible locations had been reviewed before choosing this one.

The county’s governing body announced last year it wanted to build a centre of excellence for women’s football in Northwich.

An outline for the multi-million pound scheme remains unchanged.

In addition to a 3,000 capacity stadium Vision 20/20, as it has been branded by Cheshire FA, includes plans for a luxury hotel and spa, three 3G pitches – one of them covered – high-spec outdoor pitches and a medical facility.

It is anticipated the project, which Manifould insisted is bigger than the FA’s national centre at St George’s Park in Burton, will be an attractive option as an overnight base for professional teams playing matches in the area given Manchester and Liverpool are a short drive away.

Winsford Guardian:

How St George's Park looks in Burton. Credit: @StGeorgesPark

“The very presence of this facility will help raise the profile of the women’s game,” said Louise Gear, head of women’s participation for the FA.

Cheshire FA continues to work in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council, the landowner, and ION Developments on the scheme.

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A planning application will follow once site and land investigations have been completed.

“It’s a bold and ambitious project that will be a great asset for the community,” said Clr Louise Gittins, council cabinet member for communities and wellbeing.

“Never before has a council and county FA worked alongside each other to create a facility like this one.”

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In an initial statement Cheshire FA reiterated a promise to spend money generated by the site, once it is operational, on grassroots football initiatives in other parts of the county.

Manifould added: “This is a scheme that will deliver wide-ranging benefits.”