BOLTON Wanderers’ new £3 million academy site has been officially opened.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton, Cllr Anthony Connell and his wife, Maureen, attended an opening event along with other dignitaries and Wanderers officials.

The club has invested in a 40-acre facility in Lostock, which includes four full-size grass pitches, an artificial playing surface, modern changing rooms, offices and a physio room.

Academy supremo, former defender Jimmy Phillips, said the Bolton Wanderers Eddie Davies Football Academy — named after the club’s owner — would rival the facilities of other top clubs.

He said: “In the past, we have lagged behind the likes of Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City in terms of academy facilities — but that’s no longer the case.

“This development will impress potential players and parents when they see it, which can only be good.”

Wanderers’ long-term goal is to move en masse from the current training ground at Euxton.

There are also plans for five more outdoor pitches and an indoor pitch, a rehabilitation centre, a gym and offices.

The club won planning approval from Bolton Council in 2006 to build the academy at the former BAE Lostock site, off Lostock Lane. But since then, there have been a number of delays to the scheme, including the relocation of Lostock Sports Club.