10 Cassidy + Ashton projects helping to transform Blackpool
On June 30, 2023, Cassidy + Ashton joined Blackpool Council in celebrating the official opening of the new and upgraded sports and leisure facilities at Common Edge Road in Blackpool, earmarking a major milestone in the development of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.
Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone is Blackpool Council’s ambitious plan to redevelop the 144-hectare site around Blackpool Airport to create one of the county’s largest enterprise zones, generating over 5,000 jobs. Cassidy + Ashton has been involved in architectural and town planning work at the Enterprise Zone since 2018.
Working with partners including Blackpool Council, Fylde Borough Council, Blackpool Coastal Housing, Fylde Coast Academy Trust and Blackpool Grand Theatre Trust, we have in fact, over the past 15 years played a key role in many regeneration projects across Blackpool and we share here a snapshot of our top ten.
Blackpool Council’s vision to create a new sports facility at Common Edge Road, covering approximately 14 hectares to the southeast of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone came to fruition with the approval of plans put forward by Cassidy + Ashton in 2020 for the creation of 12 grass pitches. The second phase of planned improvements to the sporting facilities was approved in early 2021.
Now completed and ready to kick off the 2023-24 season, the facilities include 12 new grass pitches, a full size 3G rugby and football pitch with floodlighting, training and spectator facilities, plus a new changing and social pavilion. Throughout the project our team provided planning and design consultancy services.
Leading the world
One of our initial projects for the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone was to create the design for Multi-Ply Components’ £7m new headquarters.
Our custom-designed building for the world-leading manufacturer of carbon fibre components, also earmarked the start of Phase One for the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone’s development of land at the eastern gateway of Blackpool.
Completed in September 2021, it also represented a significant move forward with regeneration plans for the area, providing a catalyst for future private sector development and further investment over the next few years.
Opening doors to better living
When it comes to adopting a modern vision for social housing, our contemporary award-winning design for Troutbeck Crescent has created an eye-catching and prominent gateway into Blackpool.
Located near a major junction to the M55 motorway at Blackpool, Blackpool Council sought to transform the 2.3-hectare social housing site to provide new well-designed homes with better space standards and lower running costs.
Completed in the summer of 2022, the new 75 modern units provide rental properties to families and individuals, including several accessible living units, all within an attractive landscaped and integrated environment.
Grange Park goes green
Our town planning and architectural teams are also working with Blackpool Council on its £20m project to create 96 affordable houses, five bungalows and 30 sheltered apartments at its Grange Park estate.
Our vision for the estate is to provide a sustainable density of housing while maintaining as much green open spaces as possible including pocket parks, communal green spaces, and a children’s playground. The first properties are expected to be completed for handover later this year.
Sustainability is at the heart of this development which includes increased thermal properties, solar panels, air source heat pumps, heat recovery ventilation systems and timber frame construction.
Working with clients in Blackpool within the private sector, we are proud to be the designers behind the Glasdon Innovation & Export Centre. Our brief was to create an inspiring, efficient, working environment for the group’s research, design, export and IT departments.
Completed in January 2010, the two-storey £1.5m centre located on Preston New Road in Blackpool, provides open plan and cellular office accommodation, and was awarded a Blackpool Civic Trust Award in 2011 for Best New Build for excellence in Design.
We continue to support the Glasdon Group with extension and refurbishment to their existing facilities across different sites in the region.
Top of the class
Dedicated to supporting the education sector, Cassidy + Ashton has worked on several education projects in Blackpool, supporting Blackpool Council, Champion Education Trust and Fylde Coast Academy Trust in helping to create vibrant educational facilities and inspiring environments for students.
This includes our role in improving facilities at Lotus School (SEND) on Langdale Road, Blackpool, which caters for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs. We worked alongside the council, Trust and main contractors Eric Wright to create a state-of-the-art school building that provides dedicated sensory and therapy rooms for use by educational psychologists, speech and language teams and occupational therapists.
Blackpool Council covered the £4.5m cost of the project through the Free School Funds for Special Education Provision. It was then commissioned through a self-delivery model by Blackpool Local Education Partnership and was completed in November 2020.
Out of the woods
We were also involved in a comprehensive, six-phase £2.2m refurbishment programme at Woodlands Special Needs School in Blackpool. Completed in 2018, extensions to the front and side elevations enabled administrative areas to be expanded, while new facilities and the reconfiguration of classrooms, corridors, ceilings and toilets brought the building up to current guidelines.
The existing school buildings also needed major works to bring them up to modern standards and our proposals provided much-needed improved facilities for local children with special educational needs.
An open book
Our team was appointed to design and furnish the former school gym at St George’s School to create a contemporary learning environment and library. The challenge was to design a space that would not only house the school’s library, but also provide flexibility of use for individual or group study by the teachers and students and a place that could be used by the wider community.
Completed in April 2014, the vast open space on the ground floor is home to the learning hub, providing areas for all types of study and teaching. Clusters of soft seating, including a centre piece sofa, create a relaxed environment for students to simply sit quietly and read or engage in group discussions.
A fine show
Cassidy + Ashton has also been involved in several iconic projects bringing life back to some of Blackpool’s most historic landmarks.
Our architectural technologists made a major contribution to help bring construction to completion at Blackpool Winter Garden’s new £30m conference and exhibition centre.
We were appointed to the conference centre project towards the end of 2019, after initial construction of the centre’s foundations and steel frame were completed, to assist the contractors with various technical challenges relating to the next stage of construction.
The Winter Garden’s new modern glazed-fronted Conference and Exhibition Centre was completed in February 2022 and holds a capacity of over 2,000 people.
A grand job
Cassidy + Ashton was also appointed to help improve circulation and accessibility to the entrance and foyer area of The Grand Theatre in Blackpool.
We acted as lead architectural and heritage consultants on the £1.5m refurbishment that involved renovating parts of the Grade II* Listed building, including the creation of a multi-function space and the inclusion of open plan offices.
Lawrence McBurney, a director at Cassidy + Ashton and lead architect on many of these projects said: “It is a privilege to have been involved in successfully delivering so many important developments within Blackpool over the years. It also demonstrates the strength of our practice in the diversity of projects we have delivered and continue to do so with further Blackpool projects in our pipeline.”
Cassidy + Ashton’s chairman, Alistair Baines, added: “As a resident on the Fylde coast, it’s very satisfying to see such a wide variety of our projects successfully delivered in recent years. I personally feel very proud of what we have achieved.
“It is equally rewarding to see the impact our work has on the local communities across the Blackpool and the Fylde area and perhaps most importantly, the way in which we are helping to improve and change people’s lives in so many ways.”
The 10 Cassidy + Ashton projects helping to transform Blackpool pictured below from left to right: The completed sports facilities at Common Edge Road; Multi-Ply Components new head office at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone’s Eastern Gateway; Troutbeck Crescent social housing; The planned design for the completion of Grange Park Estate; Glasdon Innovation & Export Centre on Preston New Road, Blackpool; The Lotus School; Woodlands Special Needs School; The refurbished interior of St George’s School; The interior of Winter Gardens’ glazed-fronted Conference and Exhibition Centre; The frontage of The Grand Theatre, Blackpool.