Blackpool Airport sports facilities signed off

The latest components of a 35-acre sports village planned for Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone have been approved, the second phase of a £28m project to upgrade and expand the district.

Blackpool Council and Fylde Council have awarded planning permission for the development of a 3G sports pitch, replacement grass rugby pitch, and training area on land off Common Edge Road in Marton.

The new sports facilities, designed by Preston-based studio Cassidy + Ashton, also include a new changing and spectator pavilion and reconfigured parking for 194 cars.

The application, submitted last September by the council-led Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone partnership, represents the second phase of planned improvements to the sporting facilities in the local area after initial plans for 12 grass pitches to the south of Division Lane were approved last year. The new elements are to be built on the already installed grass sports pitches.

The entire scheme spans around 35 acres and is the first stage of a £28.8m investment allocated for the redevelopment of the 355-acre Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone. The site includes the airport and surrounding business parks. Over the next 25 years, Blackpool Council aims to spend £70m on the enterprise zone to attract 140 businesses and create 5,000 jobs.

Main contractor Conlon Construction is already scheduled to start work on 19 July, with on-site support from Cassidy + Ashton.

A further application is due to be submitted in the coming weeks by the enterprise zone for the proposed redevelopment of land of north of the sports facilities into new employment, residential, highways and other uses. It is all part of the overall vision for the enterprise zone set out in the partnership’s masterplan.

Cllr Mark Smith, cabinet member for business, enterprise and job creation, at Blackpool Council, said: “After a lot of hard work behind the scenes, the plans have been passed and we can start building the new changing rooms and spectator pavilion at Common Edge Playing Fields.

“The new pavilion will be of huge benefit to both the players and supporters, as many can confirm how cold it can get on the touch line.”

Fylde Council leader Karen Buckley added: “Planning permission has now been granted by both councils in time for this new sports complex to prepare to host the European Youth Football Championships next year.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase all that the Fylde Coast has to offer with an annual event that could attract up to 1,000 youth teams from across the UK and Europe.”