Blackpool Enterprise Zone is a 144 hectare area of land near Blackpool Airport, including the business park around Amy Johnson Way. The area was given Enterprise Zone status by the government in 2016, to bring new businesses to Blackpool and attract new jobs. Blackpool Enterprise Zone is managed and funded by Blackpool Council, on behalf of both Blackpool and Fylde Councils.
The aim is to create 5,000 new jobs across the entire site by 2041. By November 2023, 2,500 new jobs had been created.
Commercial property for businesses to buy or let is available across the Enterprise Zone.
Common Edge Community Sports Village opened in 2023.
The site on Division Lane West replaces the old playing fields at Common Edge and includes a new sports pavilion and changing rooms, grass football pitches, floodlit 3G pitch, a rugby pitch and training area.
The sports village and pitches are now managed by Active Blackpool and are available for hire.
A new road between Amy Johnson Way and Common Edge Road can create space for more businesses to grow and create new jobs on the Enterprise Zone. This new road will create 10.5 hectares of commercial land for businesses to move to.
Construction of the new road is expected to start early 2024. Once complete it would connect to Amy Johnson Way by the Multi-Ply building, before joining Common Edge Road north of South Shore Cricket Club and opposite Lytham St Annes Garden Centre. The new road will also connect to Oakwood Close and improve the junction at School Road by widening it and reducing it to a three way junction.
There will be some disruption to motorists during the works, although two-way traffic will be maintained. Specific details on the highways works and impact on motorists will be updated throughout the project on the road closures page.
Silicon Sands is the name given to a new proposed business park at the Blackpool Enterprise Zone. This development would sit north of Blackpool Airport off Squires Gate Lane.
The proposal for Silicon Sands is a high technology business park, centred around low carbon data centres, powered by renewable energy. Having low carbon data centres at the Enterprise Zone will make the area attractive for new, data-heavy companies such as advanced manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, virtual reality, gaming or tele-health sectors.
Ethically powered data centres
Silicon Sands would help to make the entire data centre industry more environmentally friendly.
Most data centres around the world are cooled by big fans, which use a lot of electricity and are bad for the environment.
Silicon Sands data centres could be powered by renewable power such as solar or wind, and the data centre itself would be cooled using liquid immersion, a technique where the data centre cabinets are submerged in a liquid tank to keep them cool. As that liquid warms up, it would then be used to heat surrounding businesses in a district heat network, meaning we can use the renewable energy twice, making it very energy efficient and well as creating more jobs.
Blackpool Council fully owns Blackpool Airport since it bought it in 2017. It sits in the Blackpool Enterprise Zone.
The airport currently operates around 40,000 flight movements every year and is the 20th busiest airport in the UK. The airport is a major transport hub, servicing businesses such as helicopter journeys to rigs in the Irish Sea, as well as offering chartered flights, pilot training, flying lessons and corporate aircraft operations, while also offering a Spitfire Visitor Museum at Hangar 42.
A masterplan for regenerating the airport has been created and involves a range of new hangars, corporate terminals, fire station and offices as well as exploring new options for Air Traffic Control and sustainable fuels.
Some hangars at Blackpool Airport will be moved to create space for Silicon Sands. The hangars are old and in need of replacement. Replacement hangars would be built closer to the main runway, east and west of the current air traffic control tower.
For more information, please visit the dedicated Blackpool Enterprise Zone website or sign up to the dedicated newsletter.