Cassidy + Ashton extends role on Blackpool Council’s multi-million pound Enterprise Zone Framework

Cassidy + Ashton has been appointed by Blackpool Council to continue to provide architectural and planning consultancy services for the council’s multi-million pound Airport Enterprise Zone development.

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As a multidisciplinary practice with divisions in architecture, building surveying and town planning, Cassidy + Ashton’s team has been supporting Blackpool Council’s plans for the Airport Enterprise Zone since January 2020. The new appointment awarded by the council is for a possible further five years.

Blackpool’s Airport Enterprise Zone development is Blackpool Council’s multi-million-pound vision to redevelop land surrounding Blackpool Airport for various purposes including business parks, sports facilities, as well as sites and facilities for advanced manufacturing, data centre provision and warehousing.

One of Cassidy + Ashton’s initial projects for the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone was the design of Multi-Ply Components’ new £7m headquarters. It was the first commercial building constructed at the Zone’s Eastern Gateway and considered as ‘setting the precedence’ for creative and innovative sustainable building designs and the use of high-quality materials for future buildings constructed at the site.

The practice was also involved with the design and development of the completed Common Edge Community Sports Village, part of Phase One of the Zone’s masterplan, and the planning and design of new access roads to the Eastern Gateway.

Cassidy + Ashton’s appointment follows a benchmarking exercise by the council that, combined with the benefit of the practice’s existing knowledge and its experience of and familiarity with the Enterprise Zone programme, provided justification for the contract extension.

Lawrence McBurney, director and architect at Cassidy + Ashton, said: “Having worked closely with the Blackpool Council for over four years on this development, we have an in-depth knowledge of council’s ambitions for the Enterprise Zone, the challenges it presents and the working methodology of the Enterprise Zone delivery team. We’re proud to see the vision come to reality and we are looking forward to playing an important role in the continued journey of the Enterprise Zone.”

The practice has also aided the council with its development of the masterplan for the Enterprise Zone’s Blackpool Airport and Silicon Sands sites, recently launched as a masterplan to create a high-performance data centre campus.

These plans for the Zone bolster Blackpool Council’s vision to become a leading destination for advanced manufacturing, aerospace engineering and high-performance computing. Future plans for the Airport Enterprise Zone retain flexibility to respond as new opportunities arise, particularly from the data energy and aviation sectors.

Lawrence added; “As part of the Enterprise Zone development, the infrastructure at Blackpool Airport is being replaced or upgraded and a new business park added. With Silicon Sands being master-planned for development, there is a requirement for planning and architectural services to develop the necessary designs prior to the commencement of any redevelopment, refurbishment or construction work.

“Not only do we have past experience working on projects in the Enterprise Zone, we have a large team which enables us to take on large-scale and complex projects and to allocate staff across multiple projects if required.”

Pictured above and below: Cassidy + Ashton’s visuals of the proposed masterplan for Silicon Sands Data Hub, part of the most recent plans going forward for Blackpool Council’s multi-million pound Airport Enterprise Zone development.

  • Royal Institute of British Architects - RIBA
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - RICS
  • Royal Town Planning Institute - RTPI
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