CHESHIRE FA's plans to create a new world class football facility at Knights Grange has been described as 'the most exciting project anyone has ever proposed for Winsford'.

Town councillors believe a multi-million pound bid to develop the former golf course into an international football hub and world class educational centre will put the town on the map, create jobs and attract investment.

The Vision 20/20 football facilities, announced earlier today, include a 3,000 capacity stadium and 3G pitches as well as a 150-bed luxury hotel and spa.

The development includes a training base and facilities for international and professional teams.

The hub will become a specialist centre for women and girl's football, providing a pathway for female players from the age of five to professional level.

The centre will also offer a world class educational setting including a pupil referral unit in collaboration with Cheshire West and Chester Council and Everton in the Community and a sixth form centre.

Town council mayor Cllr Gina Lewis said: "It is phenomenal. 

"As a retired teacher, I am very impressed with the education facilities to help and support sixth forms and colleges.

"The fact that it's women's football is very important. This is one for the girls!"

Cllr Tony Hooton said: "This is one of the biggest and most exciting projects anybody has ever proposed in Winsford. It sounds quite ambitious."

Cllr Stephen Burns said: "It is the biggest thing to hit Winsford since they discovered salt.

"It will bring investment and jobs, it is absolutely tremendous.

"The biggest part of it for me is the involvement with the community, the grassroots football.

"It is great to have been chosen and will be a massive boost to the town.

Cllr Mike Kennedy added: "It is going to bring in massive investment. It is really exciting times for the town.

"With the new Town Park, the town centre bought for redevelopment and the improvements planned for the industrial estate, it is really showing that Winsford has at last got a great future in front of it."

Cllr Bev Theron added: "It is absolutely brilliant. The amount of visitors and jobs it will create is absolutely phenomenal. We are going places."

Cllr Brian Clarke said: "I think it is absolutely fantastic for employment for everyone in Winsford. To bring a hotel is brilliant.

"To keep all the other stuff we've already got at Knights Grange, the fishing, football, athletics and cricket, is fabulous. I know we will lose nine holes of golf but we won't need housing like some people were saying."

Winsford MP Antoinette Sandbach played a key role in securing the development.

She told the Guardian: “I am delighted to have helped bring a world class football facility to Winsford. The centre will play a vital role in the future development of women’s football in the United Kingdom, improving opportunities for all those involved in the game at every level.

"The new facility will also create a legacy for the community that can have a positive impact for generations to come.”

READ > Cheshire FA choose site in Winsford for football hub

Stuart Manifould, who is directing the project, said earlier today: "We want to create a world class sports facility at the heart of the community.

"This gives us an opportunity to invest in Winsford and contribute to regenerating the area."

The development is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the town every year.

Cheshire FA continues to work in partnership with CWAC, the landowner and ION Developments on the scheme.

A planning application will follow once site and land investigations have been completed.