Meet The Product People

Mill Farm Seating

AFC Fylde supporters will be treated to comfort of Premier League standards at Mill Farm next season.

The club are delighted to announce that they have signed a huge deal with Dutch company The Product People International to supply The Box Seat brand at the new stadium.

The company have previously furnished the magnificent, multimillion pound Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal FC, one of the most architecturally advanced arenas in world football.

Now, Sheldon King, director, admits his company jumped at the chance to work on this exciting project at Mill Farm: “David Chell (CEO at Mill Farm) contacted our office and explained the ambition of the club was to create a Premier League set-up scaled down to suit the dimensions of the new stadium.

“Thus we set about analysing the seating arrangements in a team-like manner with all the stakeholders at one table offering a wealth of knowledge from business acumen and pro football management to seating construction and installation.

“Together we formed a plan that would offer all the seating facilities of a top flight stadium.”

Sheldon explained the company started up in early 2000 when it was conceived that a clever stadium seating product would enhance the fan experience and assist with keeping a football club financially healthy.

“By enabling the spectators to get to and from their seats faster and more freely gives the opportunity to promote services such as food, drink and programme sales and all of these services financially assist the venue.

“Hence the Box Seat concept was born. An early form of the seat was installed at the Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, but the true essence of the product had not yet been realised until 2010 when the second generation of the Box Seat was released to service the massive crowds of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“Last year the business went through an era of change and adaption with the need to launch continental facilities whilst not losing our roots.

“It is with great pleasure that we were provided with the chance to work with AFC Fylde, whom clearly have similar essence of service and responsibility to the community.”

Meet Euro Garages

PowerPoint Presentation

National forecourt operator Euro Garages is the latest business to sign up to the new £25m Mill Farm Sports Village currently taking shape in Wesham.

The site will include a full retail convenience development including branded fuel, a convenience store and a Kentucky Fried Chicken drive through. The petrol station will be the first in Kirkham and Wesham for several years after seven different petrol stations were gradually removed from the area over the past few years.

Euro Garages Commercial Director Ilyas Munshi said the Mill Farm site was the perfect location and a fantastic opportunity for the forecourt operator.

He added: “The Mill Farm development is a truly aspirational leisure and retail project coming to the Fylde Coast. It will generate a high level of footfall and will certainly benefit local residents and people who work in the area.”

The site will be one of 350 forecourt sites that Euro Garages control around the UK. The company currently operates and manages sites under BP, ESSO and Shell fuel brands as well as partnerships with leading retail names. Recruitment for the site is already underway.

Mill Farm owner David Haythornthwaite said: “Our plans have always been focused on providing facilities and services that really benefit the local community. It is hard to believe that there are no petrol stations in the area so when Euro Garages approached us it was an ideal partnership.”

Meet Caterware


Foodservice equipment specialists, Caterware Limited, have been appointed to design, supply and install the kitchens throughout the entire Mill Farm complex.

The contract value is in excess of £300,000 and includes equipping the front and back of house areas of Bradley’s Sports Bar, The Café, Milano Mediterranean Restaurant, Churchill’s Banqueting Suites and various other catering kiosks and bars.

Caterware, based locally in Blackpool, also undertook the huge kitchen refit at the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City FC and more recently the £200 million City Football Academy Complex, suppling and installing over 1250 individual items of equipment within a ground-breaking multi-million pound plan to deliver an enhanced food capability.

Mark Drazen, Managing Director of Caterware, said: “Even from the initial discussion stages surrounding this project with Mill Farm it was clear that their ambitions were unlimited.”

“There is a genuine intention to create the high quality level of facilities that appear at iconic venues, such as 5 star hotels and restaurants but on a smaller more localised basis.

“The strength and commercial experience of the management team will certainly help lead Mill Farm to huge success.

“As an avid football fan myself, it’s wonderful to see the rapid but measured growth of AFC Fylde, on and off the pitch, and we look forward to being involved with them for a long time to come.”

Bevan Middleton, food and beverage manager at Mill Farm, commented: “Caterware were selected due to their vast experience within large scale stadia and venues, having recently completed many multi million pound projects, throughout the UK.

“Combined with their history of working alongside many well-known high street restaurant concepts and brands, it soon became evident Caterware was the perfect partner supplier.”

Fans enjoy stadium tours

tour mfsv

AFC Fylde supporters have been enjoying exclusive tours around our new stadium at Mill Farm.

Although we are over three months away from the opening of Bradley’s Sports Bar and five months to our first game, things are really starting to take shape behind the scenes.

The VIP tours, conducted by Club Chairman David Haythornthwaite, saw supporters walk down the players tunnel, see the changing rooms, visit the roof terrace overlooking the rolling Lancashire countryside and much more.

David said: “It was nice to have the opportunity to show existing and potential fans. I think everyone really enjoyed themselves and were pretty amazed by what we are doing.

“We plan to bring them back in about three months’ time so they can see the finished job prior to opening.”

Among the those taking part on the opening tour was Fylde mayor Peter Hardy, a fan for 30 years who is a former Chairman of the supporters’ club.

He said: “It was wonderful to see how the stadium is coming along and, with such marvellous facilities open through the weekend and all year round, it will be such an asset to the whole of Fylde.

“All credit to Mr Haythornthwaite for his vision and it will be a very proud moment when the team kicks off next season in the new stadium.”

Meet PEI-Delta


Whilst Dave Challinor’s side continue to dazzle on the field, local electrical engineers PEI-Delta are looking to provide the spark off it.

Based on Poulton Business Park, the electrical engineering and contracting company, now in their 20th year, work nationally on electrical design, installation and maintenance for such clients as Hilton Hotels, Whitbread, Premier Inn, Zara, Mango and locally Ribby Hall and Partington’s Group.

Their first major project was the installation of the Pepsi Max Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and their most recent largescale project was a 178-bedroom Hilton Hotel in Southampton at the Ageas Bowl with spa, ballroom and full press and media suite.

Managing director Bob Gallagher said: “Personally it’s very exciting for me to work on such a prestigious project.”

“We are based and live locally and the majority of our staff are from the local area so we support the ethos of Mill Farm and AFC Fylde. It is a truly locally based entity with their roots firmly embedded within the community.”

 “Over the last 20 years we have worked all over the UK and Ireland, so it’s a great chance to work locally on such a large project.”

“As well as working alongside Wardens, the main contractors, and the professional design team on the base-build and infrastructure for the stadium and pitch, we are also working with Mill Farm Ventures and their design team on the fit-out of the function suite, supporters bar and Mediterranean restaurant.

“Our role involves pitch lighting, road lighting, fire alarms, lighting control, PA and voice evacuation system, data and audio-visual systems. It has certainly been a challenging project, but a highly satisfying one so far.

“Having been involved in the background in an advisor capacity during the early development stages for over two years, it is exciting to now see everyone’s hard work coming to fruition and the project starting to take shape before our eyes.

“The challenge now is to bring all the different electrical elements together to ensure that the project comes in on time, on budget and to the high quality that such a prestigious development deserves.

“We are especially looking forward to the first AFC Fylde match played on the new pitch so we can see our work is truly complete.”

It’s Coronation Way!

woodys coronation rd

AFC Fylde supporters will be taking a walk down memory lane next season after the club finally got the blessing for a new name on the road leading to the stadium at Mill Farm.

Despite unexpected opposition from Wesham Parish Council, the club this week received approval from the Royal Mail and are delighted to announce that the road will be named Coronation Way.

The club enjoyed almost thirty years at their old ground on Coronation Road in Kirkham between 1978-2006 and Chairman David Haythornthwaite was anxious to recognise their former ground in some way at their new home.

David, who became involved with the club 10 years ago, said: “The name was chosen for significant and historic reasons and we are very happy to get it over the line at last. Coronation Road was the original home of Kirkham Town Football Club before they merged with Wesham in 1988 and we were keen, as were the supporters, to maintain links with our past.

“Coronation Road was a hugely successful home for the club during the 30 years we spent there and we enjoyed many title triumphs and cup victories.”

President Dai Davis, who was pivotal in laying the foundations ahead of the club’s rise to its current success, said: “We were relegated in my first season with the club in 1993 and in those early days at Coronation Road we were mainly playing in front of one man and his dog.

“The board and I had a meeting that summer and we decided we could go one of two ways. Did we want to settle for being a Sunday League pub team or did we want to push for success.

“We all decided on the latter and we continued to improve from that day forward.

“Unfortunately, despite numerous meetings with the town council at the time, we were forced to move out of Kirkham in 2006. They were either unable or unwilling to help us find a new ground which when you look back is really sad.

“Therefore, to progress up the football pyramid, we were forced to move to Kellamergh Park in Warton, and although we have enjoyed some wonderful times there, it feels like we are finally coming home.”

Another man who is thrilled with the new name is club stalwart Mick Woods. Mick’s association began in 1959 when he founded the club as Kirkham Town and he has since gone on to be a player, manager and chairman of the team.

Almost 60 years on and Mick is still a big part of the matchday set up at AFC Fylde.

“I never imagined when we were playing on the pitch at Coronation Road that we would be moving to a stadium like Mill Farm,” said Mick. “It’s fantastic. We have had some great players down the years and it’s fitting that we are honouring our past with the new road name.”

The Coasters will move into Mill Farm in the summer for the scheduled opening of the stadium ahead of next season.

At the very heart of the community

community police

The AFC Fylde Community Foundation was formed in June 2013, when the Director of Community Development Tom Hutton was brought on board to build the community department within the club. This involved creating links with key partnership organisations such as BAE Systems and many more.

The Foundation strives to provide the best level of service to all residents on the Fylde Coast, whilst also creating links between the Foundation and the Football Club.

As ever there has been plenty to shout about recently, including a new initiative with the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire and The Fylde Community Safety Partnership, to help break the cycle of repeat offending in the region.

The Fylde Reintegration and Rehabilitation programme aims to ensure that offenders are provided with the best possible chance to integrate into society by opening the door to new opportunities and dedicated support.

Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, said: “One of the key priorities of my Police and Crime Plan is to tackle crime and re-offending. That is why I have allocated money from my budget to support local initiatives that aim to tackle these issues at the heart of communities across Lancashire.”

“The Foundation’s dedication to making lives better within the local community means that they are perfectly placed to support the delivery of my Police and Crime plan objectives and I am happy to be able to support the great work they do.”

The Foundation is also working with primary schools across the Fylde Coast to educate more than 700 children about the effects of bullying, with its Sticks and Stones project.

One school which has already benefited from the campaign is Heyhouses Primary School, in Lytham St Anne’s. The anti-bullying project recently visited year 6 pupils to educate them about all aspects of bullying, including coping strategies and restorative approaches.

Cheryl Holland, Y6 teacher at Heyhouses Primary School, said: “We were thrilled to take part in the Sticks and Stones project. It is a great way to prepare our pupils for any challenges they may face when they make such a huge transition to secondary school. Giving pupils the opportunity to express their feelings through art helps them to think about issues laterally and reach conclusions together.”

Kirkham’s streets paved with Mill Farm gold!

Chell Beckett

The owners of Mill Farm Sports Village have provided £110k to Fylde Council, which is currently being used to support improvements to Kirkham town centre.

Public realm improvement in the centre of Kirkham has been an ongoing project and previous phases of works have had a significant, beneficial impact on improving the environment within the town centre. The money provided by Mill Farm Sports Village will contribute to Phase 2 of this scheme, which includes general street work, paving and new signage.

Owner of the Mill Farm development, David Haythornthwaite, said: “This funding is part of Mill Farm’s commitment to the local area and part of our planning obligation so we’re pleased to know it will go towards further economic and social improvements to our community.

“Mill Farm Sports Village is already set to rejuvenate the Fylde coast, providing an excellent facility for the local community to enjoy, and to know this £110k will also support further enhancements to the area is great news.”

Councillor Keith Beckett said: “This funding provides us with a much needed resource to help upgrade Kirkham. This type of funding is vital to us with all the cuts at the moment and a lot of the money now has to come from planning applications and such like.

“If we can put this towards a good cause where people can physically see the good work that is going on, then it’s all the more beneficial to the town and everybody else involved.

“We are always keen to improve our town for the local community and funding like this helps us achieve that, so we are very grateful.”

Meet Warden Construction

adrian atkinson

When selecting a construction partner, Mill Farm Ventures (MFV) the developer of Mill Farm Sports Village met with several different companies before finally choosing Warden Construction, a local family firm from Kirkham, based just two miles from the new development.

David Haythornthwaite, Chairman of MFV said: “It was really important to us to work with a local company if at all possible. We were impressed with the Warden team from the very first meeting and have found them great to work with since construction began in March this year.”

Here we catch up with Adrian Atkinson, Commercial Director for Warden Construction…

Adrian Atkinson admits he is enjoying taking a ‘hands on’ approach on a local project that holds a special place in his heart.

Commercial Director Adrian, who lives locally on the Fylde Coast, is one of the key men behind the scenes at the Mill Farm development.

“It has been a very interesting project to work on,” said Adrian, who has worked for Warden for over 15 years.

“I am from the Fylde Coast, so there is an added interest for me personally to be working on something of this size so close to home.

“The amount of feedback I have had from other colleagues in the industry, plus family and friends has been fantastic. Everyone is keen to know what’s happening and to see it coming along.

“My main role in the project is to coordinate the design team. Normally I would be involved in the procurement and the financial side, like budget control, however on this occasion I’ve been taking more of an active role with the designers.

“We found out about the development and tendered for it initially, going through a few rounds of interviews and cost adjustments before being awarded the contract.

“Everything is going to plan so far and the project is now well underway. The design is still evolving, but that is normal for this kind of project. We have two dates to hit next year – one for the main stand opening in May and for the pitch to be complete in June and we are still targeting to be ready on time.

“This is on par with the biggest projects we have undertaken, but it’s certainly the biggest we have taken on in the sports and leisure industry.

“We have new developments and alterations all the time so my job is to relay this to the designers and make sure everything goes smoothly. There is lots of toing-and-froing, ironing out problems in design and ordering materials.

“We are now building the south stand as an add-on and this was something that was only finalised recently. So even though this may lag behind the rest of the project, we are pushing on to try and get that designed and constructed as soon as possible.

“The weather always plays a part in construction and that has been no different on this occasion. Thankfully, we actually started the project early, with the intention of getting the infrastructure sorted while the weather was fine. All the roads were completed a good couple of months ago which has made accessing the site a lot easier.

“The rain doesn’t affect us too much – the biggest problem is the wind. The site is very exposed and a lot of the operations we are carrying out at the moment require lifting from cranes and they can only operate when the wind speed is down to a certain level.

“We are all very excited to see the completed job and I think it will be a fantastic pull for the area.”

Mill Farm welcomes Springfields Hockey Club


Springfield Hockey Club chairman Chris Hills admits he cannot wait to move to Mill Farm after the club became the latest member of the sports and leisure complex.

The club, currently based in Preston, offers teams for men, women, boys and girls with a strong focus on youth development. The move to Mill Farm will provide the club with international standard playing facilities and to mark the move the club will be renamed Fylde Hockey Club.

Chris said: “We are very excitedabout the move to Mill Farm. The new clubhouse and social facilities will enhance morale both on and off the pitch which will ultimately lead to a more successful club.

“We have been looking for a home for a while now as we have been somewhat of a nomadic club, moving from place to place. This gives us a new identity, a new name and it should prove an exciting new start for us. We are proud to be part of the Fylde brand name and we see it as a big step forward.

“All the best hockey clubs in the country have a clubhouse alongside the pitch. Hockey is a very social sport – it isn’t just about playing a game and then going home.

“We are also looking to expand our junior section. As a club we currently go into three schools delivering coaching sessions and hopefully with the help of the AFC Fylde Community Foundation we can build on that.”

The club’s Ladies’ first team currently plays in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference North, the second tier of English hockey, while the men play in the Barrington Sports North West Hockey League Division 4N.

Owner of the Mill Farm development, David Haythornthwaite, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Springfields Hockey Club to the Fylde family. The partnership made perfect sense as the club shares our commitment to developing young talent and promoting a sense of community spirit.”

“The all-round improvement in facilities both on and off the pitch will take the club to a new level.

“Fylde hockey will become a very important part of helping us build the Fylde brand and as with the football club we are very ambitious.

“Our aim is for both the ladies and men’s team to play at the very highest level of English hockey. There is no reason why, with the right investment that can’t be achieved and I will be doing everything I can to help the club to progress to the next level.”