THE Blackburn Rovers Supporters Trust is attempting to safeguard the future of the club’s training and academy facility at Brockhall by applying to have it declared as an Asset of Community Value.

The Asset of Community Value tests whether a property in current use ‘furthers the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.’

If the application is approved by Ribble Valley Borough Council, a six-month ban on any future attempt to sell the property would be imposed, during which time community groups would have the right to bid to buy them. 
The trust believes that a successful application would provide an extra layer of protection for the assets of the football club.

John Murray, chairman of the Rovers Supporters Trust, said "This application is part of the trust’s key role in preservation of the heritage of our club for all Blackburn Rovers supporters.

"While fans are optimistic at the moment we must remain watchful.

"We hope all Rovers supporters see this as a positive move and that Ribble Valley residents, in particular, get behind the application.”

Rovers have confirmed they are committed to retaining the club’s academy status as Category One in the The Elite Player Performance Plan despite relegation to League One.

Michael Doherty, the Rovers Supporters Trust legal and policy officer, said: "We submitted the application on the same day that Rovers confirmed that the Academy would retain Category One status.

"The club is justifiably proud of this fantastic achievement and we welcome the sustained commitment to the Brockhall facilities.

"We feel that the club officials and the supporters trust share a vision of the importance of Brockhall to Blackburn Rovers and the wider community, and hope to see them being supportive of the application."

He added: "Some clubs have sold their training facilities under financial pressures, most recently Bolton Wanderers in 2016.

"Rovers fans see the Brockhall facilities as part of the heritage that Jack Walker built for the club and its supporters.

"Given the terrible decline in the club’s league position in recent years, the ability of the academy to produce great young players and the excellence of the training facilities to help attract players will only become more important.

"We are determined that Brockhall remains a core part of Blackburn Rovers for the future."

Rovers Supporters Trust was one of the first supporters trusts in the UK to obtain an Asset of Community Value listing over a football stadium, when Ewood Park was listed by Blackburn with Darwen Council in 2013.

It is similarly at the forefront of attempts to provide protections to training grounds, following the successful example of the Rams Trust in getting Derby County’s academy listed in 2014.