Project update: Sports pitches at Stanley Park in Blackpool

Workmen have been spotted at Stanley Park pulling up the old pitches
Workmen have been spotted at Stanley Park pulling up the old pitches

Old sports pitches ripped up at park for state-of-the-art 3G turf

What is happening?

The old surface on the sports pitches at Stanley Park have been torn up ahead of a welcomed upgrade.

Workmen were seen removing the old all-weather pitch – which has left many a football player with friction burns, and was disliked for being so slippery under-foot during the wet, cold winters.

The current pitch, though often used for footie matches, is technically a hockey pitch.

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What’s replacing it?

A new surface with ‘3G’ artificial grass, like currently used at the five-a-side centre PlayFootball behind Aspire Academy in Blackpool Old Road.

The 11v11 football pitch, which can also be used for smaller games, is expected to be used for up to 85 hours a week.

A new 4.5m ‘leaf green’ fence is also set to be installed.

Is it welcome?

Those set to use it will almost certainly want the improvement, but the since-passed planning application received a number of objections, including from resident Mr J Topping, who said he was concerned about noise coming from the pitch, and the impact on parking any increase in visitors may have.

Peggy Hulme, also of West Park Drive, argued that trees felled in the historic and celebrated park had left the existing pitches in full view of neighbouring houses.

She added: “Vandalism is rife throughout the park and at times – speaking from recent experience – spills onto adjoining roads and properties.”

Who’s paying for it?

The Football Foundation agreed to give Blackpool Council a grant of £458,133 towards the cost of installing the flood-lit pitch, which represents 67 per cent of the total cost.

£150,000 is also being put in by the council, with its contribution made up of £100,000 from section 106 agreements – cash given by housing developers as part of planning conditions.