7 May 2020
Blackpool FC owner, Simon Sadler, officially opened a state-of-the-art Education and Community Centre for Blackpool FC Community Trust recently (Saturday 7 December).
The new centre was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation.
After netting a £286,390 grant from the Football Foundation, work begun on the site in July 2019. The development replaces the unused space at Bloomfield Road stadium following the relocation of the Blackpool FC club shop, allowing the club’s Community Trust to have a purpose-built facility to house their growing range of programmes for the Blackpool community.
The new facility comprises of five classrooms, gym and an activity space for the delivery of a wide range of community programmes including Sporting Memories and Premier League Kicks, as well as housing the BFC Sports College.
Working in partnership with Blackpool FC, the Education and Community Centre will become the hub for a range of community activities, including a fan zone on match days, allowing fans and their families to take part in fun activities such as Panna football prior to attending home games.
Celebrating 10 years as a charity Blackpool FC Community Trust have grown to engage with over 25,000 people every year, working with people from the age of one to 91-years-old. It is anticipated that this new facility will provide a platform for Blackpool FC Community Trust to continue to grow and engage with even more people in the community through football, education, health and wellbeing, sport and physical activity.
Ashley Hackett, Chief Executive Officer of Blackpool FC Community Trust, said: “The Education and Community Centre (ECC) has been a long time in development and it’s great to be able to finally open our own purpose-built facility. I would like to thank the Football Club for their support, which has been key, and Simon Sadler for taking the time to officially open the ECC for us.
“I would also like to thank the Premier League, The FA and Government for funding the project through the Football Foundation. This provides us with a fantastic hub to support our community even more, through our Blackpool FC Sports College education offer, as well as other community-based groups. It is our hope that this is only phase 1 of our facility development and we look forward to phase 2.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Grassroots sport plays an important role in communities across the UK, creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. That is why I am delighted that Blackpool FC Community Trust has now opened their state-of-the-art Education and Community Centre in Blackpool, thanks to investment from the Football Foundation.
“Continuing to improve access to high-quality facilities like this one is a key aim for the Premier League, The FA and the Government. Delivered by the Football Foundation, their funding supports projects for clubs and organisations all over the country and is helping to boost the number of people benefiting from sport through better facilities.
“Grassroots football provides so many benefits for members of the community, not least of which is the opportunity to enjoy themselves. Love for our national game, something that can be found across the country, is an integral part of what drives the Foundation and its Funding Partners to keep increasing the standards and quality of our facilities.”
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