Spectacular bird's-eye view of work on a new Wigan football hub whose opening has been delayed by the war in Ukraine

Aerial pictures show there is still plenty of work to go before the completion of a new Wigan football hub.

The state-of-the-art facilities at Laithwaite Park in Norley and another at the William Foster playing fields at Ince had been scheduled to be open for action by now.

But as Wigan Today revealed last month, while there has been progress since our previous update, neither facility is yet ready for action: a situation previously blamed by Wigan Council on the war in Ukraine affecting the construction industry.

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A drone camera picture of the work in progress at Laithwaite Park

The spectacular pictures were taken by a drone camera owned by reader Brian King.

The project is backed by an investment of nearly £5m from Wigan Council and £8m from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.

Identified in Wigan’s Local Football Facility Plan as priority projects, the hubs will serve thousands of young people, adults and elderly residents from across the region.

At Ince the works will include two floodlit 3G Football Turf Pitches, a four-team changing pavilion with two officials' changing rooms, cafe and social space, plus two training rooms, carparking and children's play area.

Brian King's drone camera shows there is still work to do on the Laithwaite Park football hub which was to have opened this year

The site will serve a number of clubs in the area, including Hindley Juniors FC, who will use the site to accommodate their existing 39 teams.

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At Laithwaite Park, the works include the installation of three floodlit 3G FTPs alongside a new pavilion with six team and two officials' changing rooms, café and community space and car parking. local teams Cherrybrook FC and Wigan Athletic Ladies and Girls FC will make this site their home as Partner Clubs.

Both hubs will be central venues for mini-soccer and junior football through Wigan and District Youth League and the community programmes of Wigan Athletic Community Trust including Premier League KICKS, girls and boys development centres, and post-16 education.

The sites will be operated by the charity Leisure United which will ensure all surplus income is re-invested back into grassroots football in the borough to help make the game more sustainable.

But those itching for a game as the World Cup continues will have to wait months longer.

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Charlotte Cordingley, council director for housing, property and corporate assets, said: “These football hubs are well under way and are expected to be open early next year.

“The war in Ukraine has unfortunately had an impact on the construction industry, which has caused the slight delay in their opening.

“We are really excited to see these state-of-the-art hubs open, providing these fantastic facilities for our communities.”