The New Langdale Green Team to work on EZ project

Members of The New Langdale Green Team visited the new Common Edge Sports Changing Facilities recently on a fact-finding mission for an exciting new project.

Based on Whitegate Drive at the Blackpool Centre for Independent Living (BCIL), the New Langdale Green Team, made up of passionate volunteers with a range of disabilities, will be working on a project to design and build a range of environmental features such as bird boxes, bat boxes and bee hotels that will be installed on the new changing rooms and spectator pavilion at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

Nicholas Tipton and Steven Hopkins, volunteers at BCIL, met with the main contractor, Conlon Construction, on site, to discuss the plans, view the building and to see where their finished pieces will go. They said:

“The building is brilliant and we can’t wait to get started on making the bird and bat boxes.”

“It’s an absolutely fantastic project that will mean a lot to us because we are able to help towards something that is going to be credit to the community. It feels good to be involved.”

Nicholas Tipton and Steven Hopkins

Neil Froggett, New Langdale Service Co-ordinator said: “Conlon Construction have set the bar high with the quality of work that they are doing, and we’d like to continue the high standards by contributing towards the project, and then some!”

Simon Brown, contracts manager from Conlon Construction, said: “We pride ourselves on delivering a legacy within the communities we operate, and that includes supporting the wildlife in and around our developments. Bee hotels and other features bring a real positive impact on the environment, and with bee populations, amongst other wildlife, in rapid national decline, projects like this are vital towards aiding their recovery, whilst also giving residents an even greater appreciation for the wildlife on their doorstep.”

BCIL supports the local disabled communities of Blackpool with a fully accessible centre, information and signposting service. The centre’s workshop provides a place to learn new skills and interact, and its woodworking team assists a whole host of projects across Blackpool.

Rob Green, Head of Enterprise Zones, said: “This is the start of a new and exciting partnership with the New Langdale Green Team and we’re delighted to have them on board.

“The Council’s Growth & Prosperity Team are delivering a wide range of development projects across the town which have to adhere to new planning permission rules that have special scientific interest or environmental requirements. For example, new build developments or landscaping that must provide for natural habitats of the local wildlife. The new changing facilities at Common Edge are the first in a line of landscaping projects that the EZ will be working on over the next few years, as we build out the Eastern Gateway and the new access road, offering lots of ways in which the team can get involved to help us fulfil our planning requirements, whilst learning new skills.”

Previously, these environmental features would have been purchased from outside the town through suppliers, but now the items can be produced in the local community, keeping the wealth local, and promoting a self-sustaining workshop that will provide future opportunities for people from all backgrounds to contribute to Blackpool’s prosperity.

The team recently created items including wooden planters and bird houses, to be installed in community spaces.  The team also work with Blackpool Coastal Housing (BCH) to produce planters of all sizes, wall boxes and floral features that will be distributed to many houses in the scheme. Local residents will then have the opportunity to sign up and help to plan, develop, water and care for the new features which will help to promote social wellbeing, improved self-esteem and self-worth in communities across town.

Neil Froggett explained: “The woodworking shed is an instrumental part of life for many of the centre’s volunteers, supporting their mental wellbeing but also providing a chance to make a positive difference to people’s lives. We are really excited about the new partnerships with the EZ team and BCH and we can’t wait to get started. We hope that there will be many more opportunities to contribute to the town’s wider regeneration and help make a difference to people’s lives and the environment in which we live.”

BCIL is open to anyone with a disability, plus their friends and family. For more information on services offered, or to find out how to partner up on a skills project with the New Langdale Green Team, visit www.blackpool.gov.uk/BCIL