Simon Sadler: Blackpool FC Community Trust's £400,000 new facility will strengthen links with the town
Simon Sadler says Blackpool FC Community Trust's new £400,000 facility at Bloomfield Road is a 'great symbol' of the strengthening links between the town and the club.
It comes after Blackpool's owner officially opened the state-of-the-art education and community centre ahead of Saturday's game against Fleetwood Town.
Before cutting the ribbon with a pair of comically oversized scissors, Sadler provided some words to those supporters in attendance.
"The Community Trust is quite clearly the link between the football club and the community," he said.
"One of the reasons I bought the club in the first place was to strengthen the links between the club and the town.
"This building is a great symbol of that."
The centre, which has already been functional for six weeks, is based on the site of the old club shop and ticket office in the North West corner of Bloomfield Road.
It has since been transformed into an education and community centre, which includes four tailor-made classrooms, a family and game zone, community gym and a physical activity space.
The facility has been developed with £286,000 funding from the Premier League and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, through the Football Foundation and a further £125,000 from the Community Trust itself.
The Trust has been given a 25-year lease on the area.
The facility will be used to host Blackpool FC Sports College, home to the Trusts BTEC Education, Degree and Traineeship courses, as well as community-based activity, including sporting memories, veterans’ social groups and Premier League Kicks.