Memorial Garden plan for Turf Moor

The memorial garden would sit adjacent to the Jimmy McIlroy stand
The memorial garden would sit adjacent to the Jimmy McIlroy stand

Plans are gathering pace to provide a Memorial Garden at Burnley Football Club in memory of loved ones.

Burnley fan Peter Briggs has been the driving force behind a community scheme that will see an area of private land adjacent to the Jimmy McIlroy stand transformed into an area of tranquillity and for the scattering of ashes.

A Memorial Garden is something many clubs have implemented as a result and we feel sure it would be a welcome addition at the stadium

David Baldwin, Chief Executive

The outline plans also include provision for a monument, and a wall where memorial plaques can be added in memory of those who have passed away.

A steering group has been formed to turn the grand plans into a reality.

Following initial consultation with local residents, the Council has already given, in principle, approval to the triangular piece of land being converted to a memorial garden, subject to the club securing planning permission for the development.

Ahead of a major fund-raising campaign, Mr Briggs and the steering group are now planning an open consultation to allow the wider public to view the plans and have their input into the final design.

The steering group then hope to raise the £45,000 necessary to implement the scheme, with donations from senior officials at the football club and by hosting a series of fund-raising events.

There are also opportunities to get involved, both in terms of practical support, such as tradesmen and landscape gardeners, and the steering group is open to additional members.

The open consultation evening is planned for Thursday, October 22, between 7-8pm in the James Hargreaves Stand at Turf Moor.

Mr Briggs said: “The use of such a large, currently under-used site is a momentous undertaking and one that could, ultimately, provide Burnley Football Club with one of the largest football-related memorial gardens in the UK.

“These plans would not be possible without the help of Burnley Football Club and Burnley Borough Council, among others, and the plan is to hold further consultations at the open evening later this month.

“However, I feel that this would bring the entire Burnley Football Club family together in the name of one cause and would strengthen the club’s standing within the local area and wider community.”

David Baldwin, Chief Executive at Burnley Football Club, added: “We are fully in support of the principle of this scheme and will help facilitate something that we feel sure will be of real benefit to many supporters.

“A Memorial Garden is something many clubs have implemented as a result and we feel sure it would be a welcome addition at the stadium.”

Councillor Bea Foster, Executive Member for Leisure at Burnley Borough Council, said: “Initial consultation with nearby residents showed that there was support for this exciting project.

“We are looking forward to seeing the more detailed proposals and welcome working in partnership with the club on this project.”

Any donations and volunteers to help out can contact Veronica Simpson, either by email v.simpson@burnleyfc.com or tel 01282 700001 1pm-6pm daily.