A flood-riden playing pitch in the heart of a Leyland beauty spot is now the focus of a huge regeneration scheme for the area.
The Moss Side playing fields off Slater Lane, which are mainly used by Leyland Warriors rugby teams, have become increasingly run-down over the years, making the whole area somewhat of a forgotten oasis.
Now, the Warriors have agreed to sign a 25-year lease with South Ribble Council, which will mean that other recreational groups can benefit from the open space more in future.
Coun Caroline Moon, who has been pushing for this for some time through the Leyland My Neighbourhood Forum, said: “This is a lovely piece of open space and home to the only rugby pitches in Leyland.
“I don’t think the people of Leyland realise what we have in the Warriors; they are hugely successful.
“Over the years though, the pitch has really suffered from a lack of maintenance and regular flooding, which has caused a lot of damage.
“The Warriors asked the council for support and a 25-year lease has now been drawn up for sport at the site.
“The lease will also protect other interests at the site, such as football, fishing and bridleway facilities. We’re lucky that all the users of the playing fields have agreed that handing the lease to the rugby club is the best way forward.
“This will mean the Warriors can attract funding to protect everyone who benefits from the site.”
She added: “The lease is set to be handed over on March 1, and then it’ll be all systems go in terms of pumping massive investment into the area.
“This will allow the area to really blossom in the future.”
The next phase of the scheme will involve setting up a Friends group to help maintain the grounds and put the woodland walk facilities to use.
The site, also known as the Moss Side Recreation Ground or Moss Side Extensions, will also get a new name under the proposals.
Chairman of the Leyland My Neighbourhood Forum Coun Matthew Tomlinson, added: “This is one of the things we have been wanting to develop since the forum was launched, and we’re really on the brink of something exciting now.”