A FORMAL submission has been made by Swindon Town Football Club regarding the club's proposed new training centre and headquarters complex in Highworth.

Town, whose chairman Lee Power bought the site in late 2015, hope to include a purpose-built training centre, gymnasium and offices within the new 26,000 square foot complex, with the existing golf club building becoming the players’ restaurant and catering facilities.

Eight grass training pitches and a full-sized all-weather 4g floodlit pitch – which will be available for community use - will also be installed under the club’s plans.

Estimated in the region of £6m, the proposal is accompanied by a separate planning application to build homes on part of the golf club that currently has planning permission for 18 holiday lodges.

The southwestern part of the former golf club, previously used as a driving range, has already received permission for use as two training pitches.

Current Swindon Town manager Phil Brown believes, if approved, the facility will help attract and inspire a new generation of young footballers in the region.

He said: “Having a purpose-built high-quality training facility for Swindon Town Football Club will be a key element in the drive to gain promotion from League Two and onwards to higher levels of football.

“This is a fantastic opportunity also for the local community in Swindon and Highworth and should help attract aspiring young footballers to the club.

“I am looking forward to working closely with the local community to develop this fantastic new facility.”

The club say funding for the facility is expected to come from both grants and direct funding of the football club.

Les Durrant, managing director of DPDS Consulting Group – who are advising Swindon Town Football Club as town planning consultants and architects – said: “The principle of the development of this area of land was established by the decision to allow holiday lodges on it and we are proposing that the lodges are replaced with permanent new homes.

“This will be a key element in funding the construction of the new training facility.”

Former Town goalkeeper Fraser Digby, who has been working on behalf of DPDS, added: "Swindon Town have never had their own purpose-built dedicated training centre and this proposal marks a huge step forward for the Club.

“Modern, state of the art training facilities are essential in order to attract both young and experienced players to the club and form a major part of the club’s youth-development programme. 

“We want talented local youngsters to choose Swindon Town FC rather than be tempted elsewhere to clubs who have better facilities to offer.

"We know that some local lads are tempted to travel considerable distances to other clubs like Reading because of their training facilities and we would like to reverse that trend."