Plans submitted by Cassidy + Ashton for £9.7m sports hub in Preston

Plans for a £9.7m sports hub, café, football pitches and pedestrian access routes for Preston’s Ashton Park have been submitted by Cassidy + Ashton on behalf of Preston City Council, to the Council’s planning department.

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The proposed facilities will include six grass pitches, a 3G sports pitch and is part of the city’s Active Preston project, designed to encourage more people in the city to participate in healthy activities and improve the wellbeing of Preston residents.

It will enable thousands of young people year-round access to both natural and all-weather sport facilities and improve the local provision for playing grassroots sports.

Cassidy + Ashton is the appointed architect and town planner on the project, working alongside Eric Wright Construction, which is the lead contractor. Work is expected to commence onsite in summer 2024 targeting completion by late summer 2025.

Lawrence McBurney, a director and architect based at Cassidy + Ashton’s Preston office, said: “Sport plays a vital role in the health of adults and children and this new facility will provide first class facilities for the local community.

“Working alongside a team of consultants, we have designed a building and external space that will bring new energy to the park that has been underused for many years due to the poor ground conditions.”

The development will be funded by a £9.5million contribution from the £20m of Levelling Up funding which was awarded to the Council earlier in the year, having pledged to create improved sports facilities as part of the local bid.

A further £600,000 will be contributed over the next five years from a Section 106 agreement with the developers of 450 new homes on the former Ingol Club site (which is near to the site of Ashton Park).

The proposals for the sports facilities in Ashton Park include the design and construction of a two storey 1,395 sq m sports hub building, which will comprise a reception area for community use, changing facilities and café on the ground floor with admin offices, meeting rooms and classrooms on the first floor together with a studio and games room.

The existing changing facilities which are no longer fit for purpose, will be demolished to help create a wider access road off Pedders Lane and will enable enhanced access and car parking including the provision of electric vehicle charging.

James Eager, director of Eric Wright Construction added: “This super sports facility in our hometown of Preston will be a superb asset for the city helping to improve the health of the community and we are looking forward to making a start on site once planning is secured.”

“The new facilities will enable youngsters to play various sports all year round, accommodate class-based learning and activities whilst improving fitness, health and well-being as well as the ability to compete and be eligible for competitions.”

Alongside the 3G pitch, the new facilities will include six grass pitches. As part of Cassidy +Ashton’s design for the new park, various footpaths will be introduced across to improve pedestrian access, and accessibility for wheelchair users. The design also includes significant soft landscaping including the planting of shrubs and trees to promote and enhance the local ecology.

Councillor Freddie Bailey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety said, “This investment won’t just improve the park, it will transform the area. Subject to planning permission being secured, we are creating a brand new, publicly-owned community hub that will deliver a range of services and improve the quality of life for local residents, grassroots sports clubs and the wider Preston community.”

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