It’s not often you see a couple of Blackpool FC players making the most of an empty car park by having a kick-about...
But Bradley Orr and Steven Davies did just that, against staff from construction firm Willmott Dixon and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The impromptu match was held to mark the “topping out” ceremony at the new car park at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
The ceremony is used in construction to mark a significant milestone, and on Thursday it was for the final piece of concrete being placed on to the massive structure.
Trust chairman Ian Johnson said: “We are very proud to be taking possession of this shortly.
“This car park means a lot of things to us, not least because it means we will be able to speak to our neighbours again because when people are in a hurry and are about to miss their appointments they part anywhere, including in front of people’s houses. This will take that away.
“It will help us recruit new people – doctors, nurses, cleaners and everyone else who wants to be able to get to work and park on site.
“Even more importantly, it will be a fantastic bonus for patients and visitors who will no longer find themselves driving around the site looking for spaces.”
The first five floors of the car park will be handed over to the trust before Christmas, ready for it to be open to the public and staff in January.
The remaining levels will open in February. The building also includes a new main entrance to the hospital, which will feature a newsagents, coffee concession and pharmacy.
Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s new car park will boast 1,120 spaces.
It has taken 23.5 tonnes of concrete including 18.5km concrete planks which, if laid end to end, would reach from the site off Whinney Heys Road to Preston.
The car park has taken 20,000 man hours to build.
It will be completed with an Automatic Number Plate Recognition System (ANPR) to determine staff vehicles, which will be parked on the upper levels.