Sports hall boost for stars of future

Artist impression of a �500,000 sports hall at Blackpool Sixth Form, Blackpool Old Road.
Artist impression of a �500,000 sports hall at Blackpool Sixth Form, Blackpool Old Road.
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A SPORTS hall is to undergo a £500,000 revamp to help ease the Fylde coast’s hangover after London 2012.

Budding Mo Farahs and fans of Jessica Ennis will be able to access state of the art equipment once the regeneration of Blackpool Sixth Form’s sports hall is complete.

The fitness hall will provide space for a range of indoor sports including football and netball, while the gym will be kitted out with essential fitness equipment.

As well as upgrading the exterior of the building with buff-coloured render and metallic grey cladding to fit in with the rest of the campus, the refurbishment will see the sports hall floor replaced and a new mezzanine level installed to provide a viewing gallery, teaching space and fitness suite.

The improvements will also include a canopied main entrance and signage.

Andy Martin, head of estates at the Blackpool Old Road college, said the campus had undergone a multi-million pound transformation in the past five years, but the sports hall had remained untouched.

He said: “It’s condition was graded as D, which is the lowest you can get under the building condition formula, so we applied for funding from the Young People’s Learning Agency and we’re thrilled to be awarded half a million from its building condition improvement fund.”

More than £20m has been spent on the college since re-development work began in July 2007.

Developers Cassidy and Ashton began the re-development of the sports hall on August 6 and work is set to be completed by the October half-term holiday.

“We wanted to remain loyal to local companies where possible, so we’re absolutely delighted to have Cassidy and Ashton on board.

“They are recognised for delivering clients’ aspirations and we see this as the start of a long-term relationship with them.”

Alistair Baines, director at the developers Cassidy and Ashton, added: “The idea behind the refurbishment is to bring the sports hall up to the same quality and aesthetic standard as the rest of the college.

“It will be re-clad and re-rendered and will also have its own dedicated entrance for the first time.”