Morecambe FC have reaffirmed their commitment to develop their academy system.
Now the ownership issues surrounding the club have been cleared, the Shrimps have been given the green light to carry on with work to expand their current youth development structure.
Led by academy chief Stewart Drummond the hope is for the club to be able to improve to Category 4 from Category 3, an application having been made to the EFL and Premier League.
A number of new jobs have been advertised as part of the plans with Shrimps chiefs hoping the change can be ratified ahead of the new season.
Director Mike Hinchcliffe, who oversees the club’s academy programme, said: “This is an integral part of the plan for the development of the club.
“If we can achieve Category 3, hopefully this year starting on July 1, then it will be an exciting time for the young footballers of the area.
“I am pleased to say that we will be continuing our long standing relationship with Lancaster and Morecambe College who we will be working closely with as a facility partner.”
Shrimps boss Jim Bentley said: “It has been a long time since we saw local players making their way into the first team here.
“Supporters really buy into local lads and building the academy to cat 3 is a step in the right direction.
“I want to build a long-term future for the club on and off the pitch and this is an exciting step for everyone attached to the club and in the area.”
Last season academy prospects Kyle Hawley, Ben Hedley, Steve Yawson and Luke Jordan were handed first-team debuts.
Flying winger Jordan, along with youth team defender Tyler Brownsword, have already been handed professional contracts ahead of next season.