Tom Piatak has suggested Carlisle United’s preferred site for a new training ground already has some of the necessary infrastructure in place.

And the Blues owner says the scale of investment needed to make the vision a reality “doesn’t scare us”.

Piatak, in an interview with the News & Star, said the club have settled on a first-choice for the ambitious new facility.

The club aim to take inspiration from Fleetwood Town’s state-of-the-art Poolfoot Farm training complex in creating something for the club and community.

Piatak, at a fans’ forum this week, said he estimated Fleetwood’s facility in the £8m region. Asked by the News & Star if that was a broad picture of the likely cost of Carlisle’s training ground, he said: “In terms of the overall investment, I’m not entirely sure.

“Basically they [Fleetwood] started from a greenfield space, and had more of the infrastructure that needed to be put in – road, sewers, electrical – just to prepare a site for this nature, and those things can be expensive.

LISTEN: Big interview with Tom Piatak - part two

“We’re hoping the site we’re looking at might have a lot of that already there, then we’ll be building upon that.

“It’s going to be a sizeable investment, and we’ll be looking for any type of assistance we can get. But we’re committed to it – the numbers do not scare us.

“We know what we want, the vision, the quality of what we want, and how it will be used in the future.”

Piatak said there is a “preferred site” which is “close” to unanimous within the club, and that they will look to address any queries raised about it rather than switch to alternative places.

He stressed that the plan was for the facility “to be as close to city centre as possible. I feel that strengthens the city and the community as a whole.”

The next steps, the American businessman said, involved formal correspondence with Cumberland Council to set out plans in more detail.

And he spoke of his belief that things could start moving quickly.

“We’ve had great meetings with the council,” he said. “I think they’ve seen the value of how it can help the community as well as the club.

“And they’ve seen we’re willing to invest, with our own equity – that might be slightly unique for them, rather than people just coming to them for help.

“I think that’s caused them to say, ‘Let’s get this on a fast track’.”

Piatak said the work would likely come in phases but he hoped that the first-team could start using new pitches at the site by July-August, with the entire facility, including artificial pitches, a dome, offices, gym and areas for academy and Ladies teams – completed “in less than three years, hopefully faster”.

* This is an extract from an exclusive News & Star interview with Tom Piatak – to listen to part two in full, click HERE.

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