Kirkham Prison submits plans for new gym and five sports pitches

Plans to build an ‘essential’ replacement gym at Kirkham Prison along with five new sports pitches have been submitted to Fylde Council’s planning officers.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 1:31 pm

The proposals are part of a larger 26 documents application which includes the demolition of the existing gym, which uses an old pre-Second World War hangar on the Freckleton Road site.

As part of the planning and design statement, an official for the Ministry of Justice states: “The driver for the proposed development comes from the unsuitability of the existing gym, which is beyond any reasonable attempt to repair and therefore not suitable for refurbishment.

“This building is to be demolished as part of this application, however a gym is an essential component of the prison.”

Kirkham Prison has submitted plans for a replacement gym and new sports pitches

They added: “The proposal also involves the creation of additional outdoor sports provision in the form of five MUGA’s (multi-use games areas).”

If the proposals are given the green light by council planning officers, the gym would be nearly 2,000m2 in size and the five sports pitches would each be 800 m2.

As part of the gym planning documents it states that the building would be a double height sports hall where prisoners would have access to four badminton courts, a cardiovascular weights training room and a social area.

There would also be changing rooms, staff offices and stores which would replace facilities in the existing hangar building.

Plans have also been submitted to build three metre tall mesh fencing around each of the games areas.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “The facility provides both a fitness and social hub for the prisoners and staff.”

The prison has also recently submitted plans to build a 1200sqm soil bank using excess earth from the construction of a new workshop.

HMP Kirkham is a category D (open) training prison on the site of a former RAF technical training centre.

Most of the infrastructure, services and buildings of the prison are of pre-Second World War vintage, although the prisoner accommodation is located in more modern buildings.

The hangars are described as ‘suffering from their age’ and two were demolished in 2008.