Approach to the entrance of the Pioneer Building. Pic: Trax Motorsport Ltd / De Pol Associates

First look at plans for new 4-storey motorsport training and leisure hub in Preston

Plans for a new four-storey motorsport training and leisure hub on the banks of Preston's River Ribble have been revealed.

Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 11:31 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 11:41 am

The ambitious new plans have been submitted to Preston City Council by Trax Motorsport, who own and operate the existing motocross site off Wallend Road near Preston Docks.

The 140-acre site is currently the largest off-road facility in the UK with a variety of circuits purpose built for Motorsports, but plans are now underway for Trax to redevelop its operations at the riverside site.

Preston businessman Eddie Sloane, founder of Trax Motorsport Ltd, is seeking to transform the former docklands site into a new education and leisure hub for motorsports, with training offered to young people in the looked after care system and those have been excluded from school.

Plans for the site include a new 4-storey facility- dubbed the Pioneer Building - which will provide space for the residential education and training centre, as well as a cafe and shops.

The project will see the demolition of buildings currently on site that are used for teaching, workshops and offices - known locally as the Pioneer Training and Education Centre.

Plans have also been submitted for two new multi-use sports pitches next to the main building, which will be offered to the public on a 'hire as you go' basis, and the fourth floor will feature an observatory deck overlooking the wider site, the River Ribble, and surrounding fields.

The new education and training facilities will provide the next generation of off-road bikers with a place to safely practice whilst also learning how to make a living in the industry.

The facility will include classrooms, meeting areas, and a vehicle repair shop, as well as accommodation for students enrolled on its Technical Apprenticeship courses, offered through the Trax Motorsport site.

It says student flats will be situated on the third floor and young residents would live semi-independently at the centre with full care provided as required.

It is understood that the site will offer learning and training opportunities for some of Preston's disadvantaged children, including young people in care, with training courses built around the repair and maintenance of electric bikes and go-karts, with a view to gaining future employment in the industry.

For the past 10 years, Trax Motorsport has offered vocational training for young people excluded from school and the company says it wants to extend this support by constructing new facilities, to enable his company to help more young people benefit from the training on offer.

Planning documents submitted to Preston City Council say Trax Motorsport has identified the 'current issues with finding placements for children' and the company is eager to continue to help disadvantaged young people who are not in employment or education.

Del Pol architects said: "Eddie Sloane has worked successfully with government bodies and political parties to create training and job opportunities for the some of the most hard to reach young people previously not in employment or education.

"On this site the applicant has previously set up and operated a vocational academy for circa ten years for young people excluded from school and in particular, young people in the looked after social care system.

"This proposal would secure 25 places together with education and training opportunities for local children."

The plans were submitted on Tuesday, December 15 and are expected to appear before Preston City Council's planning committee in early 2021.

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