Sports clubs and a community group are celebrating after raising £300,000 for the first phase of an ambitious project to build a new hub.
Shevington Sharks rugby league club and Shevington FC teamed up with Shevington Gardening Club for the massive effort towards the scheme to transform land on Vicarage Lane.
Around 50 new allotment plots have already been created and work will soon begin on the three full-size pitches the sports clubs will use for training and playing matches.
Everyone involved in the project says it is a massive relief to reach such a significant milestone and the development will have a huge impact on Shevington.
Lee Boyle, Shevington FC’s treasurer, said: “We’re delighted to have raised the funds and are really keen to get on with this now. Hopefully the contractors can get on site and the weather is better.
“It has been a big effort and a lot of work to get to this point. It will be fantastic to bring our teams, who are playing all over Wigan borough, back to Shevington.
“Hopefully it will be massive for the entire community and good news all round.”
Shevington Sharks treasurer Steve Bates said: “This is part of a long-term project for the benefit of the Shevington community. The three pitches will generate further amenities for local people.
“Both clubs will have a home within Shevington. To get this far is a fantastic effort. We will have a central base whereas at the moment the football team plays one match a week in Shevington and the rugby team doesn’t play here at all.”
The fund-raising has taken several years and has included input from Sport England, the Rugby Football League (RFL) and Wigan Council. A number of businesses and residents have also chipped in to support the funding drive.
The clubs will now work with Shevington Parish Council to move the project forward in the coming months.
The gardening club has also been working closely with the sports teams, which have a combined membership of around 450 people, to create new facilities for green-fingered residents.
Around 30 of the 50 plots are already tenanted and a grand opening for the facility was recently held.
Planning permission was granted in 2016.