New £6m Sports Village completes phase one of Enterprise Zone

A new £6m sports village has opened in Blackpool, completing the first phase of development at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

The Common Edge Community Sports Village includes 14 new grass football pitches, along with a full sized 3G football pitch, sports pavilion with changing rooms and community space, plus a grass rugby pitch and training area.

The new facilities were officially opened by Manchester United defender Jess Simpson before the finals of the Blackpool Primary School Games, with 80 girls from 8 schools competing on the 3G pitch for the first time.

The seven 11 v 11 football pitches are complemented by five seven-a-side and two nine-a-side pitches. A full sized 3G all-weather pitch is available with access directly from the new changing rooms. Grass for a new floodlit rugby pitch and training area is growing ready to use later in the year.

The new sports pavilion also includes six changing rooms, two officials’ rooms, two kitchens and a large community room. A 194-space car park with sustainable drainage and new access road to the sports village has also been completed as part of the works.

The sports village has been developed as phase one of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, and improving the community sports facilities allows 10.5 hectares of land to be unlocked for commercial development.

Cllr Mark Smith, Cabinet Member for Levelling Up (Place) at Blackpool Council, said: “This is the first completed phase of our investment into the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone by providing a high-quality community facility that people of all ages will enjoy for years to come.

“Equally, it allows us to move forward with our plans to attract new businesses on to the Enterprise Zone, and in turn create hundreds more quality jobs that local people can benefit from as we work to make Blackpool better.”

Work to build a new access road connecting Common Edge Road to Amy Johnson Way through the unlocked land is hoped to start later this year, creating access to for 235,000 sq ft of development plots which will become available for growing or relocating businesses.

The commercial units will help the Enterprise Zone to achieve its targets of creating 3,000 new, quality jobs for local people and spark £300m of private sector investment in the town.

Support to build a new access road to the sports village, as well as the new access road to Amy Johnson Way, has been provided through a £7.5m grant from HM Government Town Fund, while £250,000 of funding for the construction of the sports pavilion was granted by Football Foundation.

Lead design consultants for the Enterprise Zone Cassidy + Ashton worked on the plans for the sports pavilion and football pitches, with Wildes Consulting leading on highways design for the new junction. The pavilion was constructed by Conlon Construction while STRI group installed the new pitches and AE Yates constructed the new highway.

For more information on the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, visit www.blackpoolez.com.