In a hugely exciting collaboration which represents a significant development for Oldham Athletic and the future of sport within the town, the club can confirm that a new high specification pitch will be installed at Boundary Park.
Since the takeover by the Rothwell family last summer, considerable time has been invested in establishing strong working relationships with a number of bodies to ensure the club can become the sporting cornerstone of the local community.
As a result of this, an agreement has now been reached for the construction of a new playing surface, which will include a £1m investment from Oldham Council and allow larger rugby league games to remain within the borough.
The agreement, which will see a partnership between Latics and Oldham Rugby League Football Club to enhance community sports provision for the borough, also gives rise to opportunities for wider investment that will improve education, health and employment.
The development will see the most extensive work in 23 years take place on the Boundary Park pitch, providing a surface that will ensure maximum stability and performance.
The Board of Oldham Athletic AFC said: “As a club, we want to be a focal point in ensuring our town thrives in a sporting capacity and that the many benefits of sport are felt throughout the local community, whether it be through participation or the enjoyment of following a successful team.
“Like ourselves, Oldham Rugby League Football Club have a proud history and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to work closely with them in pursuit of a bright future for Oldham.
“As we look forward, the make-up of our pitch will ensure we have a first-class playing surface for football whilst also being able to accommodate additional fixtures.
“It is our aim to see Boundary Park Stadium become the centrepiece for sporting activity in the town and beyond, achieving our goal of becoming a football club that can say it truly works for the benefit of its community.”
There is an agreement in principle for the rugby club to play first team matches on the Boundary Park pitch from February 2024.
This proposal also provides a range of economic and social advantages to retaining rugby matches within the borough, with further benefits outside of sport in providing education, health and jobs opportunities.
Cllr Amanda Chadderton, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “Oldham can boast truly outstanding sporting achievements, with some amazing successes locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. We're well known for netballing and rugby successes, as well as winter sports, cycling, cricket and much more.
"Following the recent purchase of Latics by the Rothwell family, we're also hoping for more success on the football pitch. But these achievements don't happen on their own. They start on playing fields up and down the country. That's why it's vital to support to grassroots sport.
"By investing in young people, and creating better clubs and community facilities in place, we can sow the seeds of a more successful and sustainable sporting future - and to help our people, teams and clubs reach their highest possible potential.”