TODAY the JOURNAL can exclusively reveal the proposed new look for Hilton Park, home of Leigh Centurions and Leigh RMI.

Plans have been submitted for a £750,000 new stand at the Glebe Street end of the famous ground and the club could receive the go-ahead as early as March.

The vast majority of the cost of the exciting scheme will come from various grants.

The project includes a 1600-seat covered stand which incorporates 11 executive boxes/classrooms overlooking the pitch.

The community classroom facility is a vital element of the scheme with Wigan and Leigh College coming on board to increase the size of grants available for the work.

The community classrooms will be open Monday to Friday and be used for courses that are currently struggling for suitable accommodation at the College campus at Marshall Street.

The stand is 65 metres wide and runs from touchline to touchline at the scoreboard end of the stadium and incorporates a new foyer, reception room, toilet facilities, disabled lifts and a kitchen.

On match days the classrooms will be converted to executive boxes which can house between 20-30 corporate sponsors per box - a big potential revenue earner for both the Centurions and RMI.

Wigan planning department are currently consulting local residents with the scheme due for discussion by councillors in March.

If planning approval is received, Leigh will then lock all the funding in place and put the work out to tender. Ideally Leigh would like the work to start immediately the season ends in July and then, with a three month contract, would have the facility ready for use next season.

Leigh chairman Mike Nolan says: "The point we are trying to get across first and foremost is that this is a community facility that will be open to everyone in the town, not just something that is exclusive to the rugby and the soccer.

"We want the curriculum centre to be a focal point in the town.

"The funding is coming from various grant sources both from the sporting sector and from the education field. The cost to the club is not insignificant as we are liable for architect fees, planning costs and administration fees.

"This is not pie in the sky, it's a reality. We wouldn't have committed all this time, trouble and expense to leave it lying on the drawing board.

"This is the most exciting project to have happened at Hilton Park for 50 years since the supporters stand was built and gives us the opportunity to fulfil our ambition of reaching Super League and helps RMI's dream of winning a place in the Football League."