Could Blackpool FC training ground revamp finally happen?

Planners have given the go ahead for new training facilities to be built by Blackpool Football Club.

Friday, 11th March 2016, 5:27 pm
Updated Friday, 11th March 2016, 5:31 pm
Artists impressions of Blackpool FC's new training ground building

Proposals were submitted to Fylde Council last October and have now been approved by officers using their delegated powers.

The facility, on Squires Gate Lane, is part of the green belt but the new building will be constructed more or less on the same footprint as the existing centre.

Preston-based architects Cassidy and Ashton, which have designed the scheme, described the existing facility as ‘no longer fit for purpose’.

A planning statement accompanying the application, adds; “It consists of the existing changing rooms and office facilities which are laid out in a dated, rather ramshackle form at the northern end of the training ground adjacent to the rear of the residential properties on Martins Avenue.”

The new training centre will include separate changing rooms for first team and youth players, physiotherapy and rehabilitation rooms to treat injured players, a classroom for academy players and a dining room for the team.

The cost of the scheme has not been revealed.

Existing pitches will be retained in their current layout.

The design brief adds: “The facilities will be a substantial improvement on the existing buildings and ensure that Blackpool Football Club can be competitive both on and off the field of play.”

On its website, the club says further updates on the development will be provided in due course.

A statement adds: “The new building, to be erected following the demolition of the existing facility, will include changing rooms, a classroom, offices, a hospitality area/players’ canteen, rehabilitation gym, physiotherapists’ room and associated facilities.

“It will also allow the club’s Category Three Academy to be housed at Squires Gate.”

There has been criticism in the past over the length of time it has taken to upgrade the training ground.

Town planner Alban Cassidy said: “We are delighted that planning permission has now been granted for the replacement facilities at Squires Gate.

“We have known for some time that approval was to be given but the application was tied up in red tape in order for the football club to be able to contribute to local highway safety measures.

“Thankfully everything is now agreed and signed off.”