The foundations have been laid for a £400,000 education centre which aims to link interest in football to boosting education and work skills.
AFC Fylde has started work on the two storey building which is due to open at the £25m Mill Farm Sports Village in September.
It will have six changing rooms with shower facilities; four multipurpose classroom spaces for AFC Fylde Community Foundation’s educational and health and wellbeing programmes; a modern IT suite and an 180sq/m function room with canteen, when it opens to the public in September.
It will be open seven days a week and be the main site for the foundation’s programme of education and skills training for people across the Fylde coast from three years old to beyond retirement age.
The centre will also be the new home of Fylde Hockey Club. Tom Hutton, director of community development at the AFC Fylde Community Foundation said they expect to see around 29,000 people through its doors in the first year alone but would continue to carry out sessions at other locations across the county.
He said being linked to the football club allowed the foundation to engage with some people that it might otherwise struggle to be able to help.
He said: “The Education Centre is the latest phase in the foundation’s ongoing commitment to offering an accessible and diverse range of opportunities to those living in the surrounding areas of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.
“Mill Farm Sports Village has rejuvenated the Fylde coast, providing excellent facilities for the local community to enjoy.
“We’ve been working closely with the team at Mill Farm Ventures to ensure that the arrival of the education centre is a continuation of this success and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Cuadrilla Resources for their support.”
He added that financial support from the foundation’s principal education services partner, Cuadrilla Resources, had been vital in helping to bring the plans and vision to fruition, with funds of £22,500 contributing to the build.
Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s CEO, commented: “We are pleased, as part of our ongoing commitment to the local community, to have provided The Foundation with financial support to deliver this fantastic educational facility.
“We’re looking forward to being able to welcome the first visitors to the centre as we’re in no doubt that the centre will make a positive impact on those who come through the doors to experience the excellent services and facilities that it will offer.”