Football club leading way for investment

Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Borough Council
Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Borough Council

Wyre’s council leader claims Fleetwood Town FC are leading the way when it comes to breeding success in the borough.

The Highbury club secured a sixth promotion in 10 years at Wembley last week and will play League One football next season.

And Coun Peter Gibson insists it is an inspiring story for the rest of Wyre.

He said: “It’s an absolute success story and success breeds success.

“When you’ve got one thing happening like this other people want to come and invest.

“The football club are leading the way but the council is also involved.

“We’ve invested in the Marine Gardens, the coastal communities fund, the Copse Road depot was £1.5m.

“We’ve got the sea defences at Rossall and Rossall Point going on as well.

“There’s so much going on.”

Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley is believed to have invested £10m since taking over the club including the construction of the £4.5m Parkside Stand which includes offices for his energy firm BES.

A further £5m is planned to be invested in a new training ground for the club at Poolfoot Farm in Thornton.

The application for the centre goes before planners tomorrow and Coun Gibson believes it would be another boost for the area.

He said: “There’s a planning meeting on Wednesday.

“I can’t pre-judge that.

“But what I can say is such a facility would help locally to bring on young talent.

“What we want to see is 
local youngsters going through the academy and eventually playing for the Fleetwood first team. That’s the dream.

“It brings the club’s training base back to Wyre, it keeps the club local.”

Town’s success story will inevitably bring bigger crowds to Highbury, with a number of high profile clubs on next season’s fixture list.

Coun Gibson knows it puts extra pressure on local infrastructure, not least the main road into the town.

He said:”Our biggest problems is the A585.

“The higher Fleetwood go the more pressure there is to improve that road.

“There are pinch points being addressed but we need a better infrastructure to benefit both the football club and the regeneration of the area.”