AFC Darwen are currently installing a brand new artificial pitch that will greatly reduce problems caused in previous years by the existing grass surface, including drainage issues, wear and tear, high maintenance costs, and cancellations of many fixtures due to weather conditions.

The decision to replace grass with an artificial surface at the Anchor Ground should enable the ground to be used more often and increase revenue to help the club’s continuation into the future.

Planners at Blackburn town hall have given permission for the development to go ahead.

The club is also in talks with neighbours Crown Paints about the release of an under-used car park at the factory, for their purposes. The car park has become under-used in recent years due to a reduction in output from Crown Paints.

This will provide the Anchor Ground with an additional 81 car park bays and two bus bays, which club officials say will provide more than ample capacity for increased use in the future.

The development will enable the site to become a key focal point for the local community and support AFC Darwen’s desire to provide a state-of-the-art playing and training facilities for the local grass roots teams, the local community as well as those teams already associated with AFC Darwen.

John Bennett, of agents Surface Standards Ltd, said: “The proposal would give rise to a considerable benefit to the wider community through the provision of an enhanced playing facility and the opportunity for usage throughout the year.”