Gates open at Anchorsholme Park

Anchorsholme Park in Blackpool has reopened after the completion of United Utilities’ £80 million waste water project.

Hording and fencing has been taken down around the park and is once again accessible to residents and visitors.

Working closely with Blackpool Council’s parks team, ward councillors and the Friends of the Park, United Utilities’ investment has seen the overall green space at Anchorsholme Park significantly enhanced along with the provision of a new café, outdoor seating areas, sports areas, music and a performing arts space which will host events and activities in the future. A new playground has also been built and will be fully inclusive for all children and will engage youngsters with special needs and disabilities.

However, during these challenging times social distancing measures and precautions have been put in place.

The café operated by Blackpool Catering Services, will initially be providing take-away food, drink and ice-creams in line with Covid-19 restrictions, with the intention of fully opening as a sit-in café once restrictions are lifted. It will be providing a service during the following opening times:

Mon-Fri 10.00-15.00 Mid October -Mid March
Mon-Fri 09.30-17.30 Mid March – Mid October (exc school holidays)
Weekends & School holidays  09.30-18.30       March - October

New signage will also be in placed around the park and in the playground to remind people to observe social distancing guidelines and will include the following messages:
• If the site is busy, we ask that you queue safely or come back later
• Keep the visit to 30 minutes particularly in busy times
• Wash hands before a visit and when you get home
• Have one adult to each child where possible
• Don’t consume food and drink in the play area
• Take litter home
• Stay at home if any adults or children have symptoms

Cllr Maria Kirkland, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Community Cohesion & Leisure, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to re-landscape Anchorsholme Park and introduce upgraded and new facilities.  We thank everyone who has worked so hard on the scheme so that we can hand back something that the whole community can be proud of. We also thank local residents for their patience while work has been going on but are delighted that the park can now be enjoyed by all. We look forward to welcoming people back but we do urge everyone to observe social distancing guidelines.”

In a joint comment from local Anchorsholme ward councillors, Cllr Paul Galley and Cllr Tony Williams, said: "After so much hard work by so many we are delighted that everyone can now enjoy the park and all its amazing facilities including an incredible play area, great cafe and in time as lock down allows the use of the sports areas and amphitheatre. We are both delighted that Anchorsholme once more has a park that can be used and enjoyed by all the community and a feature we can all be proud of.”

The redevelopment of the park was a key community project during United Utilities’ work to change and upgrade the sewer network in the town so less wastewater escapes into the Irish Sea when it rains heavily.  Work has ranged from building a huge underground tank and pumping station at Anchorsholme Park to laying a new, longer outfall pipe which will carry wastewater further out to sea, away from where people swim.

Steve Wong from United Utilities said:  “We are immensely proud of the work we have done, both below and above ground.
“Not only will our investment in upgrading the sewer network help play a part in ensuring the bathing waters are cleaner on the beach, but just metres away we are also leaving behind a completely revamped park for the local community to enjoy.

“Delivering any engineering project of this magnitude is not easy and we would like to thank everyone for their patience and I hope what we are leaving behind brings everyone a great deal of happiness for many years to come.”

An official community open day for the park had to be cancelled last month because of the pandemic. However, both Blackpool Council and United Utilities are committed to delivering a fantastic community event, which will likely take place around Easter of next year when it is safer.