A FOOTBALL club launched a special behind-the-scenes tour of the club’s newly-developed training centre.

Burnley residents, primarily from the South Drive and Grove Lane areas of Padiham which border the Burnley football club's training ground at Gawthorpe Hall, were given an exclusive tour of the new facilities to acknowledge and thank them for their understanding and co-operation during work on the site.

Around 60 people enjoyed refreshments and a guided tour of the £12m Barnfield development, which has been a key part of the Clarets’ strategy to try and establish themselves as a Premier League club.

The training centre, which Burnley’s first-team players and staff moved into almost 12 months ago, includes new pitches, an indoor playing surface and top-of-the-range coaching, changing, medical treatment, rehabilitation, gymnasium, relaxation and education facilities.

It also incorporates the club’s Academy operation, which was last year granted Category Two status by the Premier League.

Burnley FC's stadium and operations manager Doug Metcalfe said: “We felt it was an appropriate thing to do to recognise and further establish a valued relationship with our neighbours.

“The visit gave them the chance to see the work that has been done in re-developing the training centre, and us the opportunity to explain the value of the project and the benefits it brings to the football club.

“It also allowed us to spell out the close relationship we have continued to forge with the National Trust, who are also major stakeholders on the site, and how we will continue to work closely with the people on our doorstep.”

The clarets have also committed to forming a residents’ group with nearby householders to maintain the existing relationship and work together on any future issues that may arise around the training complex, where construction started in January 2016.

Cllr John Harbour, who represents the area, said: "In all honesty not everyone was in favour of the development when it started but the majority of people can now see what good it has done for the club.

"A successful Burnley FC is great for the residents and the town as a whole."