Work set to begin at Blackpool’s new sports village and East Stand

The scheme to clear building rubble from a site on the corner of Central Drive and Rigby Road

Work is due to begin next month in readiness for development of a new sports village and the construction of the new East Stand at Blackpool Football Club.

The scheme to clear building rubble from a site on the corner of Central Drive and Rigby Road, previously earmarked for housing, is set to cost around £500,000 and will take 12 weeks to complete. Contractors are due to start work early in June ahead of final plans for the investment on the council owned site being unveiled.

Coun Mark Smith, cabinet member for business, enterprise and job creation, said: “This site has been eyesore for far too long and I am delighted that work will be starting imminently to remove all the surplus material and spoil. We have really exciting plans for the area that we hope to be able to share in the coming months once we have reached a formal agreement with the football club.”

A planning application was submitted last May by the Blackpool FC Community Trust for the Revoe Community Sports Village but no decision was made on it. It included a full size floodlit 11-a-side grass pitch, three five-a-side 3G pitches, a seven-a-side Cruyff Court for informal football, and a hard surface MUGA (multi use games area).

Also included in the scheme was a pavilion housing changing rooms, a 101 space car park and road improvements. The scheme was awarded £6.5m as part of Blackpool’s £39.5m Town Deal.

Previous council documents have revealed it is hoped a new 4,600 seater East Stand will be in place by September 2025. Houses had been due to be built on the land as part of the Foxhall Village, but construction stopped in 2019 when builder Hollinwood Homes collapsed.

Great Places Housing is due to complete other parts of the residential scheme, but the land closest to Blackpool FC’s stadium was reallocated to the sports village with the council taking control of the site from the administrators in September 2021.

It has been working with Blackpool Football Club, Blackpool FC Community Sports Trust and the Football Foundation for more than a year to determine the long-term potential of the site.

A council report says: “The ambitions of Blackpool Football Club and the council are aligned in regards to developing the area with a number of community accessible sports pitches together with supporting the club’s ambitions for redevelopment of the existing East Stand. The council is currently in a period finalising the agreements with Blackpool Football Club in relation to the Towns Fund proposals and are awaiting a final scheme design and a formal planning application to be submitted in due course.”

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