What a score! Blackpool's new sports facilities win £250,000 backing from national football chiefs

Blackpool's newest sports facilities have got a £250,000 boost from the UK's top football supremoes.

By Tim Gavell
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 4:55 am

The £5m sports facilities development off Common Edge Road on the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone was given the financial boost by the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.

The grant will help towards the cost of the new sports changing rooms and spectator pavilion at Common Edge Playing Fields.

Work is due to start on road improvements at Common Edge Road in July to create a new access into the enterprise zone and open up more land for development and jobs.

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A computer generated image of how the new changing rooms and pavilion will look

The Football Foundation is the United Kingdom's largest sports charity, channelling funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government into transforming the landscape of grassroots sport in England.

Councillor Kathryn Benson, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, Aspirations and Community Assets said welcomed their support.

She said: “We are delighted to receive the financial backing from the Football Foundation to create new, state-of-the-art changing facility and spectator pavilion for our local grassroots sporting clubs.

"Our quality sports pitches are already being used and the feedback has been tremendous. The icing on the cake will be the changing and viewing facilities to complement the new pitches, providing a warm and modern environment in which to enjoy the games at the weekends.”

Another view of the Common Edge Road facilities

Robert Sullivan, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This grant award to Blackpool Council towards the construction of a new changing pavilion is great news for the local community.

“It will support people’s ability to play our national game locally and therefore help unlock football’s many benefits to physical and mental wellbeing. That’s why we’re committed to transforming the face of grassroots football facilities in this country.

"It’s therefore very welcome news to hear that this funding will support Blackpool Council in developing the facilities at Common Edge Road for

their local community.

“The Football Foundation is working closely with our partners – the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England – to support facility development projects like this across the country over the next decade to transform our grassroots game and unlock the power of pitches.”

Planning consent was granted by Blackpool Council for the new changing facilities, car park, 3G floodlit rugby pitch and training area at Common Edge in June 2021. Approval in principle was similarly granted by Fylde Council in August 2021.

The construction of the changing facilities is well under way by Conlon Construction and work on site is progressing well and on schedule to be finished in June, allowing the facilities to be ready for use by August 2022.

The highway works to improve the Division Lane West and Common Edge Road junction as part of this planning application will commence in July and more details will be released by the council in the coming weeks.

Detailed design work for the 3G floodlight pitch and for the associated floodlight rugby pitch is ongoing, with an estimated eight month build which will enable to facilities to come into use in October 2022.

Existing changing facilities at Jepson Way will continue in use for the new sports pitches until the new changing facility is complete and commissioned, and will then be demolished.

Some of the original Common Edge pitches may continue in use until Spring 2022 to provide additional capacity, until the land is needed for works in connection with the new Eastern Gateway access.

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