A LOCAL authority has outlined a five-year strategy to boost outdoor sports in its borough.

The Burnley Council blueprint will shape how a wide range of playing pitch and sports sites - from football and cricket to tennis, bowls and hockey and multi-use areas - will serve residents in the future.

It identifies where demand is being met and where there is room to improve and tackle any shortfalls in provision, as well as recommendations around improving pitch quality and capacity.

Local sports clubs, the Football Association, Sport England and other users were consulted as part of drawing up the Burnley Playing Pitch and Outdoor Sports Strategy (PPOSS).

It will be discussed by the council’s scrutiny committee on Thursday before going to its executive for a final decision on August 16.

The strategy covers football, 3G pitches, cricket, rugby league, rugby union, hockey, tennis, netball, bowls, golf, multi-use games areas, and other sports such as American football and rounders.

The PPOSS document says: "For the most part, the shortfalls identified can be met by better utilising current provision, such as through improving quality, re-configuration, installing additional sports lighting, improving ancillary facilities, and enabling access to existing unused provision such as at unavailable school sites.

"It has been identified that cricket has the highest levels of shortfalls out of the main pitch sports.

"In relation to football, there is also a shortfall of 3G pitches that can only be met through increased provision.

"With resources to improve the quality of grass pitches being limited, an increase in 3G provision could also help reduce grass pitch shortfalls.

"Since the assessment was completed in late 2022/early 2023, there have been improvements to the tennis courts at Scott Park and Park Road through the Lawn Tennis Association’s capital funding programme.

"Lowerhouse Cricket Club has secured external funding for improving ancillary facilities, including new cricket nets and football pitch/drainage improvement work is due to be carried out at Lockyer Avenue and Queens Park in 2024 which will help with youth football pitch shortfalls through improving quality and increasing capacity.

Cllr John Harbour, Burnley Council's green spaces boss, said: “Thousands of local people use our outdoor sports sites every week and they are vital community assets.

"We need to ensure they are delivering what residents and visitors want and need, not just now but into the future.

“Having this strategy in place will also help us bring in much-needed external funding and other support to ensure our sports facilities continue to be of a high standard and well used by people of all ages.”