WANDERERS are planning improvements at the club’s Lostock training ground this summer.

Ian Evatt has hinted at some “exciting plans” for the site, off Academy Way, where the senior squad, B Team and Academy operate daily.

Recently there have been alterations to the site’s access, with a new junction created after building work on adjacent land.

But inside the complex, there is work planned to improve the pitch quality and drainage, which has been a recurring issue during the winter months.

Efforts continue to resolve an ongoing insurance claim to rebuild the ‘dome’ – an indoor training facility which was blown down during Storm Malik in January 2022.

And extensions to the gym facility – which like the dome was also originally set-up with money from the Lifeline and Goldline Lottery schemes – are also in the pipeline.

CEO Neil Hart explained: “Ian and I have talked regularly about the training ground, and I know he has mentioned it recently in the press that there will be some changes afoot,” he said. “There is a capital expenditure budget set aside for pitches and we do need to improve the quality, and that will happen.

“We are still working on the reinstatement of the dome down there and the insurance from the storm years and years ago. That is an ongoing saga.

“But there is definitely an appetite from the board to improve Lostock and we have done that every year for the last couple of years. It is our bread and butter and their home from Monday to Friday so we want to give them the best environment possible.

“We have the budget to refurbish and create some better playing surfaces down at Lostock, along with some extra gym space to provide a better environment for the players.”

Hart has also confirmed that Wanderers have no immediate plans to push their academy status back to Category Two – but that such a move could be made if the club is successful in its bid to return to the Championship.

After being graded Category One in 2012, the club scaled down in the summer of 2015 as a cost-saving exercise. Current owners Football Ventures then opted to move to Category Three in early 2020 and subsequently created the B Team as a bridge between the Under-18s and seniors, in lieu of an Under-23s development squad.

Looking to the future, Hart believes it will be revisited again.

He told us: “It isn’t on our short-term list, i.e. we are not talking about it at the moment, but over time I am sure the club will readdress it. If we were to get up to Championship level, for example, and establish ourself there, I think it would be discussed again.

“I’d imagine at that stage we would talk about taking it to Cat Two and then have a strategy for beyond. I think facilities will definite that discussion but it is not one for the immediate future.”