Ambitious plans for a £200,000 joint football and Scout venture in Fylde have been revealed.
Lytham Town and Lytham Juniors Football Club, alongside Fylde Scouts, will lodge proposals with Fylde Council for a purpose-built facility based close to their current Ballam Road site in the town.
It is hoped the new facility will replace the 8th Lytham St Annes Scout hut site next to Booths supermarket in Haven Road, which the food chain wishes to buy and build on top to expand its car park.
John Williams, who works for both Lytham Town and Lytham Juniors as development officer, said the plans will be lodged with Fylde Council in the next few weeks.
He added: “It is an exciting time for us. Initially, we were quoted at £1m for the work but we now estimate it will be around the £200,000 mark.
“The site at Ballam Road would be split between the Scouts and Lytham Town, with new changing rooms, parking and a hall. It will be a superb community facility.
“We also hope to extend the cycle path that currently runs around Park View and make general improvements to the area, including new access and entrances. At the moment we are both very limited with what we can do – the Scout hut is old and fairly small, while we have a small bar area and poor changing facilities. All that would change if we got approval for the plans.”
Booths wants to expand its car park – next to the hut – and the company has offered to part-pay for the new premises on Ballam Road, at a cost thought to be in the region of £150,000.
Peter Whitehead, of the Lytham-based Windmill Group, has also offered a significant five-figure sum to help boost the plans.
Mike Smith, district commissioner for Fylde Scouts, added: “If it does come off, and I must stress if it does happen, then it will certainly be good for the future.
“The Scouts headquarters down there goes back to the 1960s and needs a lot of work doing to it to upgrade it.
“If it does come off it will an excellent new site – and I am sure the football club will feel exactly the same way.”
Julie Norman, park ranger at Park View, said the scheme would add greatly to the area.
She added: “In terms of the cycle path, it will be ideal to have a circular route – as it stands it stops at both ends and is incomplete.
“We have a lot of people who use the path – mums, toddlers, cyclists – if they had a complete route it would be ideal. It would also present the opportunity for disabled access, something we do not currently have.”
If plans are approved, it is hoped the new site could be ready for the start of the 2014/15 football season in August or September next year.
A spokeswoman for Booths said: “Booths are in talks with Lytham Scouts and we would like to facilitate them in their move to improved facilities and our conversations are ongoing.”
The 8th Lytham St Annes group is one of 10 scout groups in the Fylde District.
Its official headquarters was launched last year in Heyhouses Lane, St Annes, after a fire destroyed it in July 2010.
The 8th group’s hut itself was badly damaged in an arson attack when youngsters set fire to the building several years ago.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the project can contact Lytham Town.