Construction begins on site at new £5m Enterprise Zone sports village

Site manager David Gana, Charlie Conlon, chairman Michael Conlon, Cllr Mark Smith
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Construction has begun to deliver phase two of the development of a new £5m sports village at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

Conlon Construction is now active on the 35-acre site off Common Edge Road in Marton, Blackpool.

Once complete, it will comprise a single-storey 675 sq m changing and spectator facility, a 3G sports pitch, replacement grass rugby pitch and training area, reconfiguration and extension of the existing car park to accommodate 194 cars, as well as alterations to the existing access road.

The sports facilities will be used by the Spirit of Youth Junior Football Club, which has 250 registered players, and other clubs in the local area.

The build will take 10 months to complete with an anticipated opening in summer 2022 and will create approximately 10 full-time equivalent local construction jobs throughout the lifetime of the project. Blackpool Council has also applied for £200,000 grant funding from the Football Foundation to assist the project.

Designed by Preston-based architectural, planning and building surveying practice, Cassidy + Ashton, the scheme is the first stage of a £28.8m investment allocated for the redevelopment of the wider 355-acre Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

Over the next 25 years, Blackpool Council aims to spend £70m on the Enterprise Zone to attract 140 businesses and help create 5,000 jobs.

Blackpool Council has recently appointed a dedicated social value team to ensure local projects satisfy the council’s criteria of achieving a minimum 20% social value target in all developments.

Conlon Construction has committed to achieving an entirely local supply chain, appointing 80% of suppliers within a 30-mile radius of the project, and to use the development as an opportunity to upskill disadvantaged groups from the area by offering them work experience placements on site.

Darren Lee, commercial director at Conlon Construction, said: “The local community and a vast number of stakeholders have long been anticipating work starting on site, as it indicates the beginning of a new generation of sport and leisure opportunities for the people of Blackpool.

“The facilities across the new Enterprise Zone will be exceptional in their quality, but what’s even more important to us is knowing they’ve been delivered using contractors who have social value at their heart so we can be assured the project has a lasting legacy of benefits to the people of the local region.”

Cllr Mark Smith, cabinet member for enterprise, business and job creation, said: “We are delighted to see Conlon Construction start work on the new changing rooms and spectator pavilions that will deliver a transformational change for the local grass roots sports clubs using these facilities regularly.

“The first class accommodation will make such a difference to weekly matches and training sessions, and will also enable Blackpool to attract and host high profile championships and tournaments in the future, starting with the Blackpool Cup already planned for spring 2022.”

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