A PROMISE by the landowner to spend £2m on upgrading facilities at Moss Farm can be a catalyst to transform the site according to one councillor.

Cheshire West and Chester Council announced on Monday it will invest a seven-figure sum over the next three years into the outdoor sport complex in Northwich.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Cllr Sam Naylor, ward member for Winnington and Castle.

“I know clubs based there have been frustrated at a lack of action because I’ve felt the same way knowing Moss Farm’s recent background history.

“What this investment represents is an opportunity to make it a jewel in the crown that it should be for leisure activity in this part of mid Cheshire.”

A capital programme for 2019-2022, which set aside £238.5m for projects across the borough, was approved by members when they voted in favour of the Labour cabinet’s budget last month.

An outlay of £98.9m, including £1.4m for Moss Farm, is planned for the next financial year.

The council has said improvements will be made to the changing rooms and the car park when work starts.

However it could not be more specific, at least at this stage, when asked by the Guardian to share what that would entail.

“For some time now users have highlighted the need for money to be spent on the site,” said Cllr Louise Gittins, cabinet member for communities and wellbeing.

“We’re doing that, and our aim is to make Moss Farm a state-of-the-art multi-purpose facility.”

The council has confirmed too that it plans to apply for handouts from national sporting governing bodies to complement its investment.

Those sums are in addition to the £2m it has pledged.

“That much will be spent even if we don’t get a penny from grant bids,” said a spokesman.

The local authority has promised to talk to users, residents and other interested parties to help decide the project’s direction.

Moss Farm is home to Northwich Rugby Club and Northwich Cricket Club, while Cheshire Gymnastics have converted the former pool building there.

Cheshire FA’s headquarters are next door, although the county governing body confirmed last week it will move to Knights Grange when a proposed new elite football facility opens in 2021.

“I’ve been using Moss Farm for 40 years,” said Cllr Naylor, a former chairman and player at the rugby club.

“There have been plans drawn up previously and surveys about how best to develop the site.

“The infrastructure needs overhauling and this is a significant first step towards that becoming a reality.”