First designs for Blackpool FC's new training ground expected to be revealed soon

Blackpool fans can expect to see the first designs for the club’s new training ground in the not-too-distant future.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 6:00 am

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That’s according to chief executive Ben Mansford, who admits owner Simon Sadler is keen to get started on the facility as quickly as possible.

The Seasiders are keen to move away from their current Squires Gate base to an all-encompassing training ground that will house both the first team and the academy.

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Ben Mansford, left, and owner Simon Sadler have committed to finding a new training ground for the club

A site near Stanley Park has been mooted, but Mansford said fans can expect to hear further news soon.

When asked what the timeframe is for the new facility, Mansford said: “I think it’s as soon as possible, but making sure we go through the right processes.

“Simon Sadler is brilliant for me because he’s always saying ‘processes, processes, processes’.

“I think it’s right we get that and take our time. We want to make as much progress as we can but we’ve also got to jump through all the hurdles that are set.

A picture of Squires Gate during the management of Lee Clark

“I’m not a planning expert, I’m not an environmental expert and I’m definitely not an architect, but we’ve made real progress over the last three plus months.

“I don’t think we’re far away from being able to show the supporters a first design and a first though.

“After that a lot will go on with the planning process in terms of how quickly people will be able to let us put a spade on the ground.”

For the time being, the Seasiders continue to train at Squires Gate.

This involves them getting changed at Bloomfield Road before travelling over to Martin Avenue, before returning to the stadium to get showered.

Short-term plans had been drawn up and submitted to the council for temporary changing rooms at Squires Gate in September, but they’re still yet to come to fruition.

“We’re just trying to get the right setup for the right value of money,” Mansford told The Gazette.

“There are options to rent things to go on there, there are options to purchase from providers all across Europe, there’s how long it may or may not take to get into the new site and what planning and logistical problems we might have.

“We’re just trying to evaluate when we will do it, but there’s a firm commitment from Simon to put some sort of portable building on there and it’s just working out which is the best route to go down.

“Almost certainly I see that moving forward well before the end of this season.”

The training ground has long been the talk of players and managers alike at Bloomfield Road, with Ian Holloway once describing the facility as a ‘hellhole’.

Former Blackpool and England international Trevor Sinclair also 
described it as a ‘disgrace’ with the facilities long being a point of ridicule for the club.