Sports Hub Plans Will Boost Female Football

A newly formed ladies football club are backing the Sports Hub proposals at Higham’s Playing Fields.

Accrington Stanley Girls and Ladies merged with local side St Josephs this summer. The new club is registered to Lancashire Football Association and will become charter standard within its first year. There are currently around 30 ladies registered to the club who will become affiliated to Accrington Stanley Community Trust and benefit from the charity’s expertise and resources.

Becki De-Maine, Secretary of Accrington Stanley Girls and Ladies said ‘’the Sports Hub will allow the Ladies team to sustain, experience and continue their footballing journey on state of the art playing surfaces for years to come. This will also help pave the way for the development of not just the current members but for future girls and ladies teams who will come under the ASCT banner by having regular access to the Sports Hub.

The Sports Hub will provide a safe and secure area for the whole community to undertake their chosen recreational activities. By having a Sports Hub with facilities that could be used all year round, this will enable the Trust to deliver and host events aimed specifically at increasing participation in Womens Football at all levels.’’

Martin Fearon, Community Trust Manager said ‘‘this is a fantastic opportunity for the team to be representing Accrington Stanley Community Trust and we want to help grow female grassroots football over the coming years. By teaming up with an established ladies team it gives the new club a solid base to start from and rewards the current players with additional coaching, new training and match kits, equipment and better access to facilities.‘’

Accrington Stanley Girls and Ladies will use the Higham’s Sports Hub as a base for all of their training sessions and matches.

Accrington Stanley Community Trust are currently working with an architect to design the Sports Hub and will shortly submit a planning application to Hyndburn Borough Council. Once the designs have been confirmed they will be made available for the public to see via our website

UPDATE: Higham’s Sports Hub Proposal

We have been made aware of a lot of speculative information circulating on social media with regards to the Higham’s Sports Hub, therefore we would like to update the public and answer some of the queries that are being raised with the following statements;

  • This proposal is by Accrington Stanley Community Trust, an independent charitable organisation that has been in existence since 2010.
  • The project has been ongoing for 18 months to date, and we announced our plans in February 2017 on our website, this was also covered by the local newspapers.
  • The Sports Hub will continue to support a number of sports including Football, Rugby and Cricket.
  • The Sports Hub will continue to be used by many grassroots clubs/leagues, and also for charitable projects and community organisations every evening and weekend.
  • We will be providing a number of free activities on the site for the community, schools and other organisations.
  • Initial site plans will include 1 full size floodlit AGP, 1 artificial cricket wicket, 2 grass football pitches and 1 grass rugby/football pitch. Final plans will be made public in due course.
  • We remain committed to match the council prices for the use of grass pitches.
  • The children’s play area that the Laneside Residents Association secured funding for recently will remain, it will become an integral part of the site for children and families to use.
  • The final site plans will include a car park on site to ease traffic congestion on Thorneyholme Road.
  • The current changing room building will be replaced with a modern new fit for purpose building that includes changing rooms, education provision, cafeteria and office space for the Community Trust.
  • As part of the feasibility study we met with a number of current and potential users of the site to see if the proposal was viable. The study came back at the end of June 2017 and the findings were extremely positive. We have since appointed a local architect to lead on the planning stages. There will be public consultation as part of the planning process over the coming weeks and months.
  • Hyndburn Borough Council are currently liaising with Lancashire County Council to try and secure the land next door to Higham’s as a public open space.

We would like to share this draft diagram below. We must stress that this is only an outline draft and it is subject to change as part of the full plans that will be submitted to the council.

We value the opinion of the local community and we are gathering all feedback for evaluation.

We would politely ask everybody with an interest to keep an eye on our website and social media platforms for further updates.

Accrington Stanley Community Trust

ELFA Support Higham’s Sports Hub Plans

East Lancashire Football Alliance (ELFA) have added to the growing amount of organisations who are showing their support for a new Sports Hub at Higham’s.

ELFA have 440 teams and around 5000 children who all play football on a Sunday across East Lancashire. Their teams will have the chance to use the brand new facilities which will include a 3G floodlit pitch, multiple grass pitches for football, cricket and rugby, new changing rooms and education facilities.

Craig Wilkinson, Secretary of the ELFA said ‘’we are excited by the plans for the new sports hub after meeting with the Community Trust. An additional 3G pitch is just what our league and the area needs to help cater for grassroots football. We look forward to working with the Community Trust so we all benefit from the investment and great new improved facilities.’’

Martin Fearon, Community Trust Manager said ‘’we have a lot of support for this project and it is great to see how many people will benefit from the sports hub. With the support of ELFA it ensures that the facility will be very well used on a Sunday by a variety of their member teams from age 9-18. We are currently speaking with grassroots clubs and the FA to design a programme of use for the facility.‘’

Accrington Stanley Community Trust are currently working with an architect to design the Sports Hub and will shortly submit a planning application to Hyndburn Borough Council. Once the designs have been confirmed they will be made available for the public to see via our website

Amateur Football Team Delighted by Sports Hub Plans

Accrington Amateurs Football Club are delighted with the proposed Sports Hub Plans at Higham’s Playing Fields in Accrington.

Accrington Amateurs have been in existence since 1925 and are currently without a regular venue to play their home matches. Following a number of discussions with Accrington Stanley Community Trust, the future is looking bright for this Football Club as they plan to use this facility once it is up and running.

Phil Liggins, Secretary of Accrington Amateurs said “Given the changing nature of the organisation and funding of amateur football, we see this project as a perfect way for us to form a partnership with a respected local charity “Stanley Trust” and secure the future of our club. Facilities are the biggest challenge to the future of any amateur football club and having state of the art facilities will allow our club to continue on a secure footing and provide a base for the players again.

The new site will provide the facilities we require, in the centre of our catchment area and allow us to grow the club back to our previous levels. At present, we have two adult 11 a side teams and have over 45 members, we hope to extend this to children’s and veteran teams with the help of Stanley Trust once we have access to the new site.”

Craig Heys, Chairman of Accrington Amateurs added “The biggest factor in the decline in amateur football in the area over the past 10 years has been the standard of the facilities available to teams. If this site and hopefully others to follow can show that facilities far better than previously in place are now available, then this should encourage the re-growth of the sport amongst the local community. A generation of potential sportsmen and women have been let down by the facilities available, but hopefully this can be re-addressed thanks to Stanley Trust and the support of the Council. We play in the Lancashire Amateur League which means during the season we have people visiting the town from all over Lancashire including Southport and as far south as Lymm, once this facility is open it will be showcase facility that will demonstrate the commitment of Stanley Trust to the people of Accrington and the surrounding area.  

Martin Fearon, Community Trust Manager said ‘’this is just one of many examples of the success that the Sports Hub will bring to the area. It is being designed to help local people and provide a fantastic area for football, cricket, rugby and many other aspects such as health, education and employment.

We are extremely happy to be able to offer help to Accrington Amateurs who will have the opportunity of using the Sports Hub as a base for their clubs home matches on a weekend as well as training sessions in the evening’’.

Accrington Stanley Community Trust are currently working with an architect to design the Sports Hub and will shortly submit a planning application to Hyndburn Borough Council. Once the designs have been confirmed they will be made available for the public to see via our website

Junior Football League Back Higham’s Sports Hub Plans

Accrington & District Junior Football League (ADJFL) have shown their support along with the Hyndburn Soccer Task Force (HSTF) following a number of meetings with Accrington Stanley Community Trust to discuss the proposals for a new Sports Hub at Higham’s.

Gareth Cross, Secretary of the ADJFL said ‘’ The Accrington & District Junior Football League has been established and running since 1958 with local junior teams playing Football on the playing fields of Hyndburn for over six decades on a Saturday morning. As the years have gone by the league has seen the slow demise and the dwindling numbers of playing fields within Hyndburn.

We were very disappointed that the work carried out on Higham’s playing fields around five years ago has not lived up to expectation, over the past 3 seasons the council have had to call numerous scheduled games off on the field when we have suffered bad wet weather, this was down to the amount of standing water that remains due to for whatever reason, the water not getting down to the newly installed drains.

When we heard that Accrington Stanley Community Trust where considering Higham’s to be their sports hub for the community of Hyndburn, and had plans to further improve and look to address the issues with the bad drainage, we were eager to meet with them and offer our support and backing.

As the newly elected Chairman of the Hyndburn Soccer Task Force along with my vice-chairman Mick Clegg we had the pleasure to meet and talk with Martin for over two hours discussing the proposed plans and raising concerns from the Hyndburn junior football clubs about Highams Playing Fields, so when we met with representatives of these Clubs we could feedback to them our findings and give them the answers to their concerns. It was great to hear they were keen to support this venture with us once we explained the proposed plans with them.

With the ever-decreasing funds from the government to our local councils we can expect over the next several years, to see further deterioration of our beloved playing fields, which in turn will result in the lack of safe football pitches for our children to play on and this will also mean less grassroots sports being played within the borough. It is therefore great news to see the likes of Accrington Stanley’s Community Trust looking to the future of one our nations great sports and taking a vital step to help preserve one of our local playing fields and thus helping keep grassroots sports in the borough alive.

As both a league and soccer task force we are in full agreement and support of this project and are certain it will be a success, and we are Happy to have Accrington Stanley Community trust at the helm‘’

Martin Fearon, Community Trust Manager said ‘’we have held meetings with the ADJFL and HSTF in the last few months to discuss how we can benefit the teams from their leagues and also grassroots football in the community. This has helped us shape the plans for the new sports hub.

Grassroots football will be key for this facility to thrive and we are delighted to have the full support of the local Accrington league and the soccer task force. There are 188 teams that play in the league which equates to 2049 registered children who will have the chance to play football on this facility for their weekend matches and training sessions. ‘’

Accrington Stanley Community Trust are currently working with an architect to design the Sports Hub and will shortly submit a planning application to Hyndburn Borough Council. Once the designs have been confirmed they will be made available for the public to see via our website

Join our Youth Board to Help Develop Community Projects

Accrington Stanley Community Trust are looking for young people to join their Community Youth Board which was first established in 2016.

The Community Youth Board currently has 4 members and we are looking to increase this with more local young people. The Youth Board is for people aged 14-19-years-old, who will meet on a regular basis with Community Trust staff to help shape the work of the charity and develop community provision across East Lancashire. The Youth Board will aim to represent a cross section of our diverse community and allow young people from all walks of life to have a voice that counts.

Community Trust NCS Manager, Kathryn Hoyle, said: “We started an NCS Youth Board in 2016 which is made up of 4 young people from the local area. It has been a great success and is still in operation today. We now want to expand this group to represent all of our projects. We want young people at the heart of our provision with a focus on developing and shaping new and existing community work. We want to engage with more young people and give them a voice.

Martin Fearon, Community Trust Manager added “The vast majority of our participants are children and young people. Last year we engaged with over 10,000 people across our community provision and we would like to increase and expand our current Youth Board to help us achieve our charitable aims and objectives. We have some very exciting plans for the near future and we would like to encourage as many young people as possible to get involved.’’

We are looking for local schools, teachers, community organisations, charities and youth clubs to nominate young people and support them in applying to become a member of the Community Youth Board.

If you are interested in applying for the Youth Board please email your CV and a short statement on why you would like to get involved to

Closing date for submitting applications is Monday 7th August 2017. We will inform all applicants by Friday 11th August 2017 with the outcome of their application.

For more information please contact us on 01254 304071.

Laneside Residents Association Support Higham’s Sports Hub Plans

Laneside Residents Association are supporting the new and exciting plans to develop a sports hub at Higham’s Playing Fields in Accrington.

Following on from a number of discussions with Accrington Stanley Community Trust they have become a key partner in helping develop the site over the next 12 months.

Malcolm Sommerville, Chairperson of Laneside Residents Association said ‘’we as a residents association have been in existence since 1988 and have done a lot of projects in this area. As time has gone on we have found it very hard to gain any more funding. Our biggest achievement was the lottery funding we secured to build a children’s play area on the site as well as gaining the QE 2 Award.

This field is very popular with the area and with Accrington Stanley Community Trust on board we can accomplish and finish what we started years ago. We are in full agreement for this project and are certain it will be a success with Accrington Stanley Community Trust at the helm. ‘’

Martin Fearon, Community Trust Manager said ‘’It was a key priority of ours to meet with the Laneside Residents Association at the beginning of this project to discuss the plans we had for Higham’s. We are working closely on certain aspects of the designs which will ensure the Children’s Play Area remains and is used to its full potential with the extra footfall that the sports hub will create. The play area will be a key part of the sports hub as we encourage more families and children to use it. We are delighted to have the full support of the Laneside Residents Association and we are both looking forward to increasing participation on the site. ‘’

Accrington Stanley Community Trust are currently working with an architect to design the Sports Hub and will shortly submit a planning application to Hyndburn Borough Council. Once the designs have been confirmed they will be made available for the public to see via our website

Accrington Stanley Ladies – Recruiting New Players and Coaches

Accrington Stanley Girls and Ladies FC are on the lookout for new players and coaches to join our brand new female football club starting next season.

Would you like to wear the famous red and white kit of Accrington Stanley FC?

Ahead of the 2017/18 Season, our teams will be training over the summer months. We are looking for new players aged 16+ to join our open age first team and newly formed development team.

You don’t need to go through trials; we are open to all ladies who would like to play football irrespective of your playing ability. Whether you’re a beginner and want to try football for the first time, or you eventually hope to play at a higher level, we have opportunities for you. Our FA qualified coaches can help to develop all aspects of your game, with the primary aim being to increase participation and enjoyment.

Accrington Stanley Girls and Ladies FC is a newly formed club that has merged with local side St Josephs for the 2017/2018 season. We provide FA Qualified Coaches for each of our teams. If you would like to coach alongside them we may have an opportunity for you.

If you are interested or for more information please contact us on 01254 304071 or email

Job Vacancy – Youth Engagement Officer

Accrington Stanley Community Trust are recruiting a full time Youth Engagement Officer. The closing date is 5pm on Thursday 10th August 2017. Full job description and details of how to apply below.

  1. Title: Youth Engagement Officer
  2. Salary: £15,000 (Plus pension scheme, expenses and bonuses)
  3. Contract Type: Full time – Permanent
  4. Holidays: 28 days’ annual leave including all English Bank Holidays.
  5. Reporting to: NCS Manager
  6. Location: Accrington Stanley Community Trust Offices
  7. Hours: 37.5 Hours per week
  8. Closing Date: Thursday 10th August 2017
  9. Job Summary (The main purpose of the job)

Accrington Stanley Community Trust is looking to recruit an enthusiastic, motivated and dedicated individual to the full time role of Youth Engagement Officer.

The role requires the individual to work closely with the Head of Sport on the Kicks project and a range of community based initiatives, ensuring our projects are accessible to all.

As part of this role you will also be expected to assist with the recruitment and successful delivery of the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme working closely with the NCS Manager.  NCS is a programme for 16 and 17 year olds that will promote:

  • A more cohesive society by mixing participants of different backgrounds
  • A more responsible society by supporting the transition into adulthood for young people
  • A more engaged society by enabling young people to work together to create social action projects in their local communities

The key role of the post is to market NCS to local young people, recruit and retain participants on the programme. The post will also work closely with our NCS Officer to plan, organise and deliver the induction week, residential trips, planning week and prepare the groundwork for a successful final week social action project.  The successful candidate will be responsible for the administrative and all monitoring aspects of the programme in conjunction with the NCS Officer. The role will also require regular delivery of sports coaching sessions in the Community as well as other projects the Trust delivers.

There is a minimum requirement for the holder to have a full valid UK driving licence with business insurance. Applicants will need to have a flexible approach to work and be able to work some evenings and weekends.  You will also be required to work on a number of NCS residentials each year.

An ideal candidate will have;

  • A driving licence and access to a vehicle.
  • A degree in a relevant subject such as Youth Work, Sport or Community Development.
  • Excellent communication and organisation skills.
  • Experience of working on youth intervention projects.
  • A good understanding of the East Lancashire community.
  • A broad knowledge of barriers that service users may face and strategies to address where appropriate.
  • A 1st4Sport Level 1 Award in Coaching Football or other sports.

To apply for this role please send a cover letter and CV to

Closing Date: Thursday 10th August 2017

Interview Date: Monday 14th August 2017

*Please note only candidates selected for interview will be notified.

Accrington Stanley Community Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and employees to share this commitment. This role involves work with young people and is subject to Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks. Clearance through The FA CRB system is required. As such this post is exempt for the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) and the applicant must disclose all previous convictions including spent convictions. Two references will also be required. Applicants will, in addition be expected to undertake training appropriate to the role.

National Women’s Walking Football Tournament

National Women’s Walking Football Tournament

This was the very first women’s national walking football tournament and we couldn’t be more proud of the players that represented Accrington Stanley Community Trust. They played with passion and determination throughout the tournament and made history.

The tournament was held to commemorate a 100 years of the Dick Kerr Ladies, who are the most successful team in the world in the history of women’s football. On October 9th 1920 the Dick Kerr Ladies played against St Helens, at the original Accrington Stanley Football Ground at Peel Park in front of a crowd of 14000. This is one of several games they played in the East Lancashire Area.

The now modern day Stanley Ladies have followed in the footsteps of their predecessors and competed in the first womens national walking football tournament. The competition was held for ladies over 40 + and over 50+. We had two teams enter in the over 50’s category made up from ladies all over the country and even one player coming from London to take part in the tournament. They played against the likes of Preston North End Senior Whites, Rothwell Old Boars and many more.

Accrington Stanley A

Accrington Stanley B

We had Accrington Stanley A and Accrington Stanley B. Both teams played some great matches and showed a lot of confidence. Accrington Stanley B were in fine form and actually finished Runners Up of the Over 50s Tournament. They played with great skills and enthusiasm; they were a joy to watch. Congratulations ladies!

Accrington Stanley B, Runners Up of the Over 50s National Womens Walking Football Tournament.

A special mention has to go to Julie Birchall who actually won the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament. She was chosen for 18 teams for the best all round player. This is a fantastic achievement and we couldn’t be more proud. Well done Julie!

Julie Birchall, Winner of the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament

The tournament will now be an annual event given the success of this year. The preparations for next year will begin in September as we are looking forward to introduce a weekly Womens Walking Football Session with venues and times to be confirmed.

If you are interested in taking up Womens Walking Football it is open to everyone over 40, please contact 01254304071 or email .

Architects appointed to design new Sports Hub

Accrington Stanley Community Trust have appointed an architect to design their proposed multi million pound Community Sports Hub in Accrington.

The board of trustees met this week and selected Campbell Driver Partnership to lead on the architectural work over the coming months. This news follows the completion of the feasibility study which has been carried out over the past four months.

Martin Fearon, Community Trust Manager said ‘’the feasibility study for the new sports hub has been completed and we are currently discussing the findings with key partners and the council. We held meetings with a number of groups and local organisations as part of the study and this information has helped us shape the proposals.

We have appointed an architect who has already started work on the designs of the sports hub. We will be releasing the designs to the public in the next few months as we go through the planning process.’’

The proposed facility will include a full size floodlit 4G pitch, multiple grass pitches and a community building which includes changing rooms, class rooms, a cafeteria and offices for the Community Trust. There will be a car park built on site which will ease traffic congestion on Thorneyholme road.

The aims of the sports hub are to increase participation in sport, improve health and exercise levels and provide more opportunities for disabled people to access vital sport and education activities. The facility will also host many projects that develop employability skills for people out of work, create new job opportunities, inspire people to become volunteers for local sports organisations, sports clubs and charities, and provide a pathway for gifted and talented young people into elite sport.

Further updates will be provided on our website  over the coming weeks and months.

Mascot Packages 2017/18

We are pleased to announce the launch of our mascot packages for the 2017/18 season. Available at all home pre-season friendly, league and cup matches.

Ever dreamt of leading the Accrington Stanley team out onto the pitch at the Wham Stadium?…

Well now you can make this dream come true by taking up our Mascot Package – The ultimate Accrington Stanley match day experience for just £150.

Official Mascot places are available for children aged 3-12 at all home games throughout the season. Full details below:

  • VIP treatment for the mascot, meet Winstanley, the staff and the players (at manager’s discretion).
  • Chance to have your photograph taken with a player in the tunnel prior to kick off (at manager’s discretion)
  • Enjoy the opportunity to take part in a football activity prior to the game on the pitch with an Accrington Stanley Coach.
  • Lead the team out with the captain or your favourite player
  • Announcement on the PA System
  • Complete ASFC Home Kit
  • 2 Adult Tickets and 1 child Ticket.

Due to the high demand and popularity of our mascot packages, we would advise that you book your place a minimum of two weeks prior to your chosen game.

To book a mascot package please CLICK HERE

*We also accept away mascots at a cost of £100. You will receive all of the above except from the ASFC Home Kit. All Away Mascots must have their team’s full kit*

Tel: 01254 304071