The Common Edge Community Sports Village includes 14 new grass football pitches, along with a full sized 3G football pitch, sports pavilion with changing rooms and community space, plus a grass rugby pitch and training area.
The new facilities were officially opened by Manchester United defender Jess Simpson before the finals of the Blackpool Primary School Games, with 80 girls from eight schools competing on the 3G pitch for the first time.
The seven eleven-a-side football pitches are complemented by five seven-a-side and two nine-a-side pitches. A full sized 3G all-weather pitch is available with access directly from the new changing rooms. Grass for a new floodlit rugby pitch and training area is growing ready to use later in the year.
The new sports pavilion also includes six changing rooms, two officials’ rooms, two kitchens and a large community room. A 194-space car park with sustainable drainage and new access road to the sports village has also been completed as part of the works.
The sports village has been developed as phase one of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, and improving the community sports facilities allows 10.5 hectares of land at the former Collins Park site to be unlocked for commercial development.
Cllr Mark Smith, Cabinet Member for Levelling Up (Place) at Blackpool Council, said: “This is the first completed phase of our investment into the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone by providing a high-quality community facility that people of all ages will enjoy for years to come.
“Equally, it allows us to move forward with our plans to attract new businesses on to the Enterprise Zone, and in turn create hundreds more quality jobs that local people can benefit from as we work to make Blackpool better.”
Cassidy + Ashton worked on the plans and design for the sports pavilion and football pitches, with Wildes Consulting leading on highways design for the new junction. The pavilion was constructed by Conlon Construction while STRI group installed the new pitches and AE Yates constructed the new highway.
Lawrence McBurney, director at Cassidy + Ashton, said: “We are really proud to have provided planning and architectural support to help the Council deliver this fantastic sporting facility. It provides modern first-class indoor and outdoor facilities for Blackpool and the wider area to use, and will help to train the next generation of talent and encourage people of all ages and abilities to partake in sport.”
Support to build a new access road to the sports village, as well as the new access road to Amy Johnson Way, has been provided through a £7.5m grant from HM Government Town Fund, while £250,000 of funding for the construction of the sports pavilion was granted by Football Foundation.
Pictured below: Lawrence McBurney, Alban Cassidy, Jon Bailey and Claire Parker from Cassidy Ashton joined guests at the opening of the new Common Edge Community Sports Village in Blackpool opened by Jess Simpson and Cllr Jo Farrell along with players from the Blackpool Primary School Games.