LEGENDARY goalkeeper Fraser Digby believes Swindon Town’s proposed multi-million training facility in Highworth is crucial if the club is to win the passion of the local community.

Swindon Town revealed plans for the £6 million training headquarters on the former Twelve Oaks Golf Club site – which chairman Lee Power purchased in 2015 - on Wednesday morning.

The club plans to build a purpose-built training centre, gymnasium and offices on the 26,000 sq ft complex – which would become the new training home of Town’s academy teams, the U18s and first team should planning officers grant the green light.

Should the planning application – which is expected to be submitted in the coming months – be successful, Swindon Town would be able to boast its first-ever dedicated training facility.

Digby said: “We’ve never had a training ground at Swindon Town.

“Football is progressing, people can see the amount of money and what the big clubs do with their facilities.

“If we can get our own training base, we’re losing our own youngsters to a lot of clubs not too far away because they see the facilities these other clubs have – we need to be able to match these clubs and keep the talented youngsters we’ve got around here.

“It would be a massive step forward to have a facility like that in the local area, and it can be used by the community as well.

“It will only be a massive positive for the town too.”

The 51-year-old, who was part of one of Town’s finest hours when they earned promotion to the Premier League after defeating Leicester City 4-3 in the play-off final at Wembley 25 years ago, says current academy boss Alan McLoughlin would benefit greatly from the proposals.

Digby’s involvement in the process first sprung when he was requested by Lee Power to find a training facility several years ago.

He added: “I used to work with the late Ken Chapman (former Town chairman) with a company named Sports Solutions. We did a lot of work finding training grounds, developing, re-developing and more.

“Because of that, Lee (Power) asked me if I could have a look for one and I found this site on the edge of Highworth which I knew pretty well.

“Doug Grant (late husband of former Twelve Oaks Golf Course owner Patricia) was a great supporter of football in the area and he wanted to do a lot with the place.

"Unfortunately it never materialised in football - but he had a golf facility there.

“Lee liked the location for the training ground. It’s just taken a while now to decide what to try and do as well as putting a design together.”