Plans submitted for football pitches on land next to Blackpool FC

Detailed plans have been unveiled for new football pitches on land just north of Blackpool Football Club’s Bloomfield Road stadium.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 11:10 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 11:12 am

The scheme would see sports facilities built on a site on the corner of Central Drive and Rigby Road previously earmarked for housing as part of the Foxhall Village.

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New Blackpool football pitches could be built on housing land near stadium

Blackpool FC Community Trust has submitted a planning application to the council for a full size floodlit 11-a-side grass pitch, three five-a-side 3G pitches, a seven-a-side Cruyff Court for informal football, and a hard surface MUGA (multi use games area).

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Plans showing the layout of the proposed sports hub

Also included in the scheme is a pavilion housing changing rooms, a 101 space car park and road improvements.

The development is part of the wider Revoe sports hub and masterplan for the area off Central Drive.

Work will be kickstarted thanks to a £5.5m grant as part of Blackpool’s £39.5m Town Deal awarded last October.

It is also proposed to make a funding bid to the Football Foundation, with work set to begin in the autumn if the bid is successful.

Plans showing the layout of the proposed sports hub

Documents submitted with the application say: “At the heart of this vision is the need for facilities to support the delivery of Community Trust programmes which help change people’s lives.

“The Fox Hall Village Sports Hub will be part of a larger facility campus managed by Blackpool FC Community Trust.

“The site is adjacent to the North Stand of the Bloomfield Road Stadium which houses the Trust Education and Community Centre opened in 2018. The Trust proposes to further develop space in the East stand to host Further Education programmes.

“This is an open site, and while some of the specialist football facilities might be enclosed and controlled, part of the site will remain open and accessible for informal sporting activity, play and casual recreation.”

The 11-a-side pitch would be used on week days by the community trust, and in the evenings provide a training facility for Blackpool FC Academy teams and host weekend matches.

Wider plans for the area also include the eventual development of a new East Stand at Blackpool FC, but the current application focuses on the community facilities.

Documents also refer to the club’s desire to relocate its training ground away from Squires Gate and say it is “seeking a location in the heart of Blackpool but has not been able to identify a suitable site.”

They add “the 3G pitches would provide training facilities for the professional and Academy teams as well as for Blackpool FC Community Trust programmes.”

Work on the £50m Foxhall Village stopped in 2019 when developer Hollinwood Homes went into administration with just 193 out of the proposed 410 homes built.

Since then the council has taken control of the site.

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