Construction starts on £18m sports project

From left, David Haythornwaite, Fylde Coun Peter Hardy, Mayoress Sheila Hardy, Richard Kenworthy and Dai Davis
From left, David Haythornwaite, Fylde Coun Peter Hardy, Mayoress Sheila Hardy, Richard Kenworthy and Dai Davis

Building work on a major £18m sports and retail development has officially started after ground was broken at a special site ceremony.

Using a silver spade, Fylde mayor Coun Peter Hardy dug into land at the Mill Farm development in Wesham to launch construction work.

AFC Fylde Stadium Plans

AFC Fylde Stadium Plans

Outline plans for a floodlit football stadium for AFC Fylde, as well as food store, petrol station, warehouse and pub in Fleetwood Road, Wesham, were passed by Fylde Council in June last year.

Builders from Warden Construction have been on site for several weeks preparing the land for development – with this week’s ceremony marking the start of foundation work for AFC Fylde’s 6,000 capacity stadium.

AFC Fylde owner and chairman David Haythornthwaite said the development would be a big boost for the club and the community.

He added: “It has been a long time coming. It has taken four or five years.

It is fantastic for the area and people of Kirkham

“As I have said from day one it is not just a great day for AFC Fylde but people of the Fylde coast.

“The facilities we will provide on this site are going to be fantastic.”

Club president Dai Davis added: “It is fantastic for the area and people of Kirkham because during the day these facilities will be used by the community and local schools.

“It is going to be a great facility.”

The plans, which include a hotel, pub, restaurant, petrol station and a planned Aldi supermarket, had raised concern with community leaders about the impact on shops in Kirkham and Wesham.

But the project won backing from councillors – with the Coasters hoping to move into the stadium in time for the 2016/17 football season.

Coun Hardy added: “Football is near and dear to my heart. It is tremendous for the whole area. The project is set to bring 200 permanent jobs.

“It has a lasting impact for generations to come. By the end of next season it should be all up and running.”