The £5m sports facilities development at Common Edge Road has been given a financial boost by a £250,000 grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.

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

The Football Foundation is the United Kingdom’s largest sports charity, channeling 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, “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.”

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 pitch, 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 underway by Conlon Construction and work on site is progressing well and on schedule with an anticipated completion date of June 2022, allowing the facilities to be ready for use by August 2022.

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