Blackpool's training ground plans remain on track

Blackpool remain hopeful of making an announcement regarding their plans for a new training ground in the forthcoming weeks.

Saturday, 13th November 2021, 8:00 am

Supporters were informed back in September that news of the club’s proposals could be revealed within a few weeks.

An announcement has yet to be made, but The Gazette understands everything remains on track and it is only the legal process that has delayed them making a definitive statement.

Speaking to The Gazette last month, chief executive Ben Mansford revealed fans can expect to hear news sooner rather than later.

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Blackpool chief executive Ben Mansford (centre)

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“We’re working very hard with lawyers and the like,” he said.

“I’m really hopeful that we can make a definitive and positive statement in the next few weeks.”

A state-of-the-art training complex was one of the first priorities Simon Sadler outlined upon taking over the club in 2019.

During a fans’ forum shortly after Sadler took ownership of the club, he was asked if there’s any future for Blackpool at their current site of Squires Gate.

“No, there can’t be,” he replied. “There’s just two pitches there, it’s not fit for purpose and it’s too windy.

“We have just got to get the training facilities done. Get that done and everything flows from there. It’s the one big capital expenditure.”

Since then, Sadler has overseen a number of improvements at Squires Gate to make it fit for purpose in the short-term for Neil Critchley and his players.

Last year, a new modular building was installed which includes facilities for changing, eating, meetings and medical needs.

Extensive work has also been undertaken on the training pitches.

It’s likely that once complete, Blackpool’s new training ground will accommodate the club’s entire football operations from the academy to the first team.

It’s yet to be seen whether the facility will be open for the local community to use, similar to Fleetwood Town’s Poolfoot Farm training ground.

Looking to the longer-term, the club also has ambitious plans for a new East Stand at Bloomfield Road.

Council documents revealed the club’s proposals will tie in with the local authority’s plans for the wider Revoe area.

“‘Revitalising Revoe’, a masterplan for the area developed with the community, was published in June 2020,” the council said in a statement.

The plans could include the creation of community football pitches, business and commercial facilities, and regeneration of the wider area.

When asked about the club’s plans for the East Stand last month, Mansford told The Gazette: “That will be part of, potentially, a wider group of discussions about the surrounding area and I would hope that, at some point next year, we can give the fans a bit more information.”

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