ATTRACTING a larger proportion of youth prospects could be possible if Swindon Town secure planning permission for a proposed £6 million training headquarters in Highworth, according to chief executive Steve Anderson.

Town, whose chairman Lee Power purchased the site in 2015, hope to include a purpose-built training centre, gymnasium and offices in the 26,000 sq ft complex.

The facility would enable Swindon Town to accommodate all academy teams, the U18s and first team under one roof.

It’s something which Anderson believes will be a huge boost to the club if they are to sell it to younger players looking for their first break in the game.

He said: “From our U16s and down, if they were to be at that training facility they can look across on a Sunday morning when they’re playing games and could spot the first team having a cool down from Saturday’s game.

“It brings everyone together and makes it a family.

“At the moment we’re training our academy prospects at Lydiard Park Academy. They’ve got no interaction with the first team or even the U18s that train at Beversbrook.

“This training facility will sell the football club and what the football club is. It will attract the younger players into the academy that might otherwise go to other academies in and around the area.

“We know Southampton and Reading have these satellite academies that attract players we’re trying to sign.

“Likewise for the first team, having that infrastructure in place so they can see where the football club is going will help.”

Town’s advisors for the planned development, DPDS – based in Old Town - told the Advertiser that approval for the new training facility could be granted as early as before the turn of the year.

While Anderson said that is possible, he added the process will not be rushed as the club aims to secure planning approval at the first attempt.

“You can’t rush these things, you’ve got to get it right so you can hopefully get approval first time,” he added.

“Everyone knows what is going to be there, and we can demonstrate that with the plans that are going across.

“It’s good to be in that position now.”

Reaction among fans regarding the training facility plan has been positive.

And those positive thoughts were echoed by first team manager Phil Brown, who visited the Twelve Oaks site with Anderson before departing for a holiday.

The Town chief executive said: “Before Phil (Brown) went away I took him to Twelve Oaks, we had a drive down where we had a walk around the facility.

“I had all the plans from DPDS that will be made available on Saturday, June 16, at the public consultation.

“I went through them with Phil and he was impressed.

“It reminded him of his time at Bolton when they worked on their training facility.

“It’s great he’s coming in at the very start of it. He’s excited by it.”