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.