CEO: "We are very excited to announce..."

Whilst a lot of our work has continued and some refocused, my time has also been spent on planning for the future. 

One of the Community Trust’s biggest challenges is always facilities and having to utilise other organisations and companies spaces. This has been heightened even more in the past year, where we have attempted to reopen programmes, but facilities have remained closed, due to difficulties of the pandemic.

We were successful in turning the old Ticket Office and Club Shop in the North West corner into an Education and Community Centre (ECC) in 2019, which was heavily supported with funding from the Football Foundation.

As part of the next stage of our developments we are very excited to announce that we have taken a lease agreement with Blackpool FC to take over the space in the North Stand, which was previously host to the Safe Hands Nursery.

Our plan is to now start works on the facility to transform this into a facility that will host our BFC Sports College and wider programmes for the future.

We have instructed a local firm and partner of Blackpool FC, FTS Merit to lead on remodelling this space into purpose built classrooms and community rooms to host a range of our provisions.

My board of Trustees have been very supportive in allowing me to utilise some of our reserve funds for this development and our hope is to use the lockdown period to get this facility as close to ready as possible, for when the country and our town can reopen.

It also allows us to support the club, with paying for the additional rental space and utilise it in a way that supports our community.

This will be phase two of our developments for the area, which we expect to include two further phases utilising land close to the stadium, which we hope will see us eventually open an Alternative Education School and a Sports Hub for the area too. I’ll share greater detail on the next two phases at an appropriate time.

We are also looking to open a Northern Hub and have made a tender application for a facility in the Bispham area.

These five spaces would then give the Community Trust a fantastic suite of facilities, to serve our communities, whilst also utilising a host of other buildings and outdoor areas in the town. Our intention remains to support the whole of our town and to do this, we must make our offer accessible to all.

Over the past couple of weeks we have also set up the ECC as a Covid Mass Testing site for staff. Twice a week all staff who are still working in schools, supporting youth work with vulnerable groups and one-to-one provision are being tested on Tuesdays and Friday.

Of the thirty staff that have been attending, all tests have come back negative so far, and shows again the lengths we go to, to keep our staff and participants as safe as possible. This also means that once our schools reopen, we can also reopen our Sports College, Traineeship programmes and offices and keep all staff safe in this environment.