Ashton Park Sports Hub, Eric Wright Construction, c Cassidy + Ashton

Eric Wright Construction is leading the delivery of the £9.7m sports hub for the city council. Credit: Cassidy + Ashton

Preston readies £10m sports hub plans

Situated in Ashton Park, the complex would boast six grass pitches, a café, a 3G sports pitch, changing rooms, offices, and meeting space.

The Ashton Park Sports Hub was a key element of the city council’s successful £20m Levelling Up Fund bid earlier this year. The business case for the facility was approved at a Preston City Council meeting last week.

Eric Wright Construction is leading the delivery of the £9.7m sports hub for the city council, with Cassidy + Ashton as architect and planner. Pending planning approval, work could start on building the facility in the summer of next year, with a tentative completion date of late summer 2025.

Cllr Freddie Bailey, the cabinet member for environment and community safety, outlined the reasons for the sports hub.

“This investment won’t just improve the park, it will transform the area,” he explained. “Subject to planning permission being secured, we are creating a brand new, publicly-owned community hub that will deliver a range of services and improve the quality of life for local residents, grassroots sports clubs and the wider Preston community.”

The facility itself would be 15,000 sq ft. In addition to hosting offices, café, and a changing room, the building will hold classrooms and a games room.

The project also includes the demolition of the existing changing facility at Ashton Park to make way for the larger replacement.

In addition to building the sports hub itself, work will be undertaken to improve access to the park. This includes widening the access road off Pedders Lane and adding footpaths. The planning application also outlines the installation of electric vehicle chargers and the planting of trees and shrubs.

“We are really proud to have been appointed to bring forward this super sports facility in our hometown of Preston,” said James Eager, director at Eric Wright.

“It will be a superb asset for the city helping to improve the health of the community and we are looking forward to making a start on site once planning is secured.”

Cassidy + Ashton director Lawrence McBurney described the proposed facility as providing “first-class facilities for the local community”.

He added: “Working alongside a team of consultants, we have designed a building and external space that will bring new energy to the park that has been underused for many years due to the poor ground conditions.”

As of publication, the application reference number for the scheme was not available.

Your Comments

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Considering the placement of this is in the middle of Ashton Park the hub building design could be much more sympathetic to its surroundings. Given there is going to be disruption to the wildlife and environment what sustainable ‘green’ credentials will the hub include?

By Anonymous

80% of the community voted against the vandalism of our park but the labour council take no notice of the people that elected them. USE BROWN LAND NOT GREEN

By Anonymous

Why do people have to exercise nowadays? We never exercised in my day!

By Anonymous

Access and egress from surrounding roads namely Whitfield Lane / Pedders lane is on a regular basis a nightmare the development of the Park to this degree will only make the situation worse. In addition there is no doupt that people will not all use the designated car park and use adjacent roads which are in the main cul-de-sacs impacting on residents.

By Anonymous

Looks better than I thought it would and seems to be less intrusive and the colours will blend in with the woodland. I hope that there is an improvement on biodiversity on the scheme and hope that there’ll be access paths across the site?

By Phil Ingham

What’s the planning application ref?

Why is democracy being ignored. 1200 people objected to this, why are they being ignored?

The countryside is getting every further away, the previous quiet area to west of Preston has been destroyed so this quiet zone has to be destroyed also?

Does anyone want to investigate why?

By Anonymous

This is a very disappointing design. Given the position and the use, it is an opportunity to celebrate the natural surroundings, the creation of the Sports Hub, and the importance of this to the people of Preston. Instead we are offered an uninspiring drab grey box that gives no joy back to its location or users. The architects should feel ashamed to have designed such a poor building. Preston deserves better that this!

By Anonymous

They have the wrong signage on the building. It should read Preston North End Academy.

By Anonymous

Why do they feel that open land has to be built on they used to be called the lungs of a city . What are they going to do about the bats and owls on the is in a built up area with already busy roads why can it not just be left just natural. They have already got away with destroying wild life from the mess at Larches House .

By Anonymous

Ashton Park is valued and appreciated in it’s present natural state by many Preston people.
In many respects Ashton Park is a pleasant natural open space. Indeed, with the rapid pace of urban development in the Cottam and Bartle areas Ashton Park is a scarce natural resource. Access to such open spaces for those living in suburbia is becoming more limited.
I believe it would be unwise to change/develop a valued natural resource. A, development on the scale of the proposed Sports Hub would destroy an amenity which is currently enjoyed by do many Preston people. 3

By Philip Carter

This is a facility earmarked for PNE not the community.Regardless the community have clearly stated they would prefer the reinstatement of traditional grass pitches.The design is awful square and standard to achieve cost cutting.Its has no sympathy with any of the surrounding residential areas or the Grade 2 listed Ashton House.Shameful.

By Michele Chapman

Before you published your article you should have done more research and told the whole story. Huge objections from residents, council whipping it through, Eric Wright construction getting all contracts from Preston council, Preston North End’s involvement.. the list goes on.

By Anonymous

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