New Blackpool playing pitch strategy to meet demand including for more girls sport

More mini football pitches could be needed in Blackpool in future – especially to keep up with the demand from girls soccer.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 2:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th May 2021, 2:46 pm

That’s one of the findings after Blackpool Council updated its playing pitch strategy for the town.

Sports facilities for football, rugby and cricket were considered – but it was found there was no longer demand for club hockey in the borough, with players using facilities in neighbouring areas instead.

A council report says: “The existing position for grass football pitches is that demand is currently being met.

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A new strategy for sports pitches has been produced

“However in the future there is a need for mini 5v5 formats based on anticipated growth in demand, particularly in girls’ football.

“Some pitches are overplayed and adult pitches are played to capacity, although there is no predicted growth in the adult group.

“However changes in sport participation and trends and proposed housing growth need to be recognised and factored into future facility planning where appropriate.”

Actions set out in the plan, aimed at meeting demand until 2027, include the provision of new playing pitches at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, and ensuring the upkeep of existing sports fields.

Additional playing pitches could be marked out where there is capacity, such as at Stanley Park, Whiteholme Recreation Ground (Gala Field), Claremont Park and Common Edge Road.

The strategy also proposes to improve the quality of playing areas by improved maintenance.

Meanwhile cricket could be boosted by looking at the use of more non-turf wickets “to accommodate any increase in footfall from juniors and women’s cricket in response to sporting initiatives.”

Support will be given to Blackpool RUFC through securing long-term use of the Fleetwood Road site to enable further investment, while improved rugby league facilities are proposed for pitches at Common Edge Road in South Shore.

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