15 May 2018

Cheshire FA Centre of Football Excellence

Cheshire County FA, in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council and ION Developments, is delighted to confirm the intention to develop a £70m world-class football facility on a 60-acre site in Northwich, Cheshire. The site will become a leading centre for the provision of women and girls football with a WSL 1 club in talks to become a partner on what will become a “best in class” football environment. The site will also boast a 150-key luxury hotel with luxury spa and conference and event’s facilities.

Two FIFA quality Grassmaster Hybrid pitches will be located on the site, with one flanked by a 1000-seat stadium and the second will be allocated to private training for visiting national teams or international teams using the site in preparation for domestic or European competition. The development will also comprise of two 3G football pitches and six high quality grass football pitches.

The hotel development will provide a unique and ecologically sensitive destination resort to Cheshire’s hotel stock – with a proposed 150 bedrooms, a selection of private pavilions, a destination spa with swimming pool and state-of-the-art gym, conference and banqueting facility for 400, meeting rooms, fine-dining restaurant and bar and lounge.

As part of a commitment to education, Cheshire FA propose to have four high quality and innovative education spaces designed to create and develop the coaches and referees of the future. By using the latest technology for player and game analysis, this will make the centre well-placed to be a leading institution for football education aiming to deliver academic and occupational courses and apprenticeships with direct links to the elite performance pathway and hospitality/events courses to the wider community.

Cheshire FA Business & Operations Manager and Site Founder Stuart Manifould says, ‘this site will become a world-renowned facility for the development of women’s football and will significantly improve the life chances and opportunities of all those involved in the game at every level.

Steve Parry, managing director, Ion Development said: ‘We are greatly looking forward to bringing what will become a world-class football centre with luxury hotel to Cheshire. The finished development will not only enhance Cheshire’s brilliant reputation as a footballing destination and bring hotel rooms to a thriving region,  but will also give women and girls football the much needed state-of-the-art facilities to help reach its full potential.’

Keith Ashton, chief executive of Architects Space & Place said: ‘We’ve been designing sports facilities for 40 years, from Olympic Games venues to community clubhouses and rarely does a project such as this excite us so much. This is an opportunity to design a facility that truly makes a difference from grassroots participants to elite level athletes in one place.’

Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittens said: ‘The proposal will be an amazing new asset for the Borough and it will create a significant number of jobs for local people. We will also actively encourage the use of the facilities for other non-football activities such as fishing, walking, running, educational talks and nature projects.’

Cheshire FA General Manager Steve Stewart adds, ‘In all of our County FA planning and delivery at Cheshire FA, we often talk about how football creates so many significant connections in our lives – how it brings a deeper quality to who we are and what we become – and how it creates unforgettable life-long memories. Our commitment to this stunning mission will do all of these things. To say we are excited by the endless possibilities this project will produce is a serious understatement!’

Further information about this exciting and ground-breaking development will be released as plans progress. We’d like to thank all of our partners for their support up to this point and we look forward to engaging with the community in June 2018.


Key Facts:

  • Investment circa £70Million.
  • Potential for the site to become a WSL1 Club.
  • 2 FIFA Standard Grassmaster Hybrid pitches.
  • 1000 seat stadium.
  • Luxury Hotel and Spa.
  • 2 3G pitches.
  • 6 High Quality Grass pitches.
  • 18 month build time from planning permission.
  • Significant job opportunities for the local community.
  • Youth Zone.
  • World Class education facilities.


Our expertise.

We are an urban regeneration specialists who develop cityscapes cleverly and sympathetically. As successful with heritage and listed buildings restorations as with new builds, we have the experience, knowledge and capacity to deliver large development schemes and sustain lasting successful partnerships.