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Address: Mill Farm Sports Village,
Capacity: 6,000 (2,000 Seated)
A nice, modern-looking ground, though it is a bit of a challenge to get to. There’s plenty of potential for Mill Farm to expand in the future depending on how their tenants progress through the football pyramid.
Opened in August 2016, it has been the home of Association Football Club Fylde ever since. Back in 2008, Fylde were playing at Kellamergh Park in the village of Warton. Plans were announced that the club wanted to move on to a new home, with a new Community Sports Complex in Wrea Green unveiled in 2010. Those plans were eventually rejected however by Fylde Council.
In September 2013, plans were unveiled for a Football League standard stadium as part of a sports complex which included pitches, sports science facilities and a supermarket. These plans were approved by the Council in June 2014, and construction began the following March. Mill Farm officially opened on 13th August 2016, hosting AFC Fylde’s National League North game against Brackley Town on the same day.
Location and Getting There
Mill Farm is based on the northern outskirts of Wesham, a civil parish which is roughly 7 miles east of Blackpool and 8 miles west of Preston. Wesham itself is adjacent to the larger town of Kirkham.
Because of its location, Mill Farm can be tricky to get to if you don’t have a car. The Sports Village complex includes a good number of car parking spaces around its exterior, with an ALDI supermarket, KFC restaurant and Euro Garages Petrol Station nearby. These are very convenient for those who want to get food and fuel either before or after the game has taken place. You should also be able to find parking spaces further south in Wesham itself, though it can be a lengthy, steep walk depending on how far into the parish you go.
The nearest train station is Kirkham & Wesham, which is served by Avanti West Coast and northern services. It is based close to the point the point where the two areas meet. It is less than a mile south of Mill Farm Sports Village and so walking from the station to here can take around 20 minutes depending on how fast you go.
There is a bus route that goes from just outside the train station to the Wesham Recreation Ground at the north end of the parish, but you will still have to walk the final bit to Mill Farm.
Outside the Stadium
Mill Farm has a very nice, modern aesthetic to its exterior. Most fans coming from Wesham will be encouraged to head down Coronation Way, which eventually brings you to the West Stand, the clear largest of the four.
The exterior has a very nice design, consisting mostly of dark grey brickwork and large glass windows. Inside is modern-looking office space with the main entrance based in the very centre. To the left of here is Milano’s, a Mediterranean restaurant, an Aroma Café and the Bradleys Sports Bar, which has an abundance of widescreen TVs showing live sport inside. To the right of the main entrance is AFC Fylde’s club shop and main ticket office, both located down towards the southwest corner of the ground.
Turnstiles into not just the West Stand but the entire stadium are based in both the northwest and southwest corners. Home fans normally use the northwest turnstiles whilst away fans use the southwest turnstiles.
Continuing round the exterior in a clockwise direction brings you to the North Terrace.
There is very little to talk about here. Given the turnstiles for this stand are based in the northwest corner, the North Terrace’s exterior is simply a plain grey wall, with a couple of rows of car parking spaces out beyond it.
The East Terrace looks much more aesthetically pleasing when compared to the North Terrace.
Made up mostly of grey brickwork, what stands out most here are the four floodlights, which hang over the stand’s roof from high above.
I have seen plans for Mill Farm that included a single turnstile in the northeast corner, but this isn’t currently there and so once again your only way into the East Terrace is through the turnstiles on the northwest side of Mill Farm.
The South Terrace has an exterior very similar in design to the adjacent East Terrace, though there are no floodlights hanging overhead.
Once again, there are no turnstiles connected to the stand and so your only way into here is through the turnstiles on the southwest corner, since this is the stand dedicated for away supporters.
Inside the Stadium
The West Stand is the only one of the four at Mill Farm that contains seats. These are mostly black with the exception of white seats that spell out the letters FYLDE across the blocks. Up behind this seating area is a row of very large executive boxes, and stacked on top of that is another row of glass windows with office space inside. Fylde’s dugouts and tunnel are based in the centre of the West Stand, with the changing rooms based inside.
The stand has a curved roof at the top and with cantilever poles on top, there are no supporting pillars coming down and so your view is perfectly clear from anywhere inside.
Whilst the stand’s roof covers every blocked from above though, there are no windshields at either end of the seating area, with just small walls in place to offer protection.
Additionally, both the northwest and southwest corners contain open space that is used for fans in the North Terrace and South Terrace respectively.
In truth, it’s quite bold to call the North Terrace a ‘stand’. It is essentially just a tarmac path that runs along one side of the pitch, with a long white bar in place at the front that fans can lean on. Given there are no levels to this stand, your view is going to blocked by anyone stood in front of you, so unless you can fit into a space along the white bar it isn’t really worth coming here.
Additionally, the North Terrace is the only stand at Mill Farm which doesn’t have a roof over its head. All you have for protection is the grey wall behind you. It shouldn’t be a surprise then to hear that this is the least popular place at Mill Farm, especially during the cold winter months. Most home fans tend to completely ignore the North Terrace and walk all the way along it so that they can get round to the much better East Terrace.
I fully expect this stand to get a roof over its head in the future, and it should end up looking like the South Terrace opposite eventually.
The East Terrace consists of a single tier. Two rows of grey metal bars run across for fans to lean on, one of these down the front and the other roughly half-way up.
With cantilever poles on place on the stand’s roof, there are no supporting pillars coming down and so your view from anywhere inside is perfectly clear.
Brick buildings on either corner, which hold refreshment stalls and toilets, also act as effective windshields for all those stood inside.
The South Terrace is very similar in design to the adjacent East Terrace. It is of course shorter given it runs across a shorter side of the pitch, but it is still a single tier of standing terrace with two rows of metal bars in place for fans to lean on.
The cantilever roof on top means that there are no supporting pillars coming down and your view as a result is perfectly clear from anywhere inside.
Large brick buildings which hold refreshment stalls and toilets are also in place at either end of the South Terrace and these act as effective windshields for all those stood inside.
Away fans are housed in two parts of Mill Farm. The majority congregate behind the goal in the South Terrace, where they are given a clear and well protected view of the action from inside. AFC Fylde also offer a couple of the West Stand blocks next to the southwest corner as a seating alternative, with large sheets and stewards used to segregate these supporters from any home fans nearby.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The Kingfisher (St. Georges Park, PR4 2DZ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located on the edge of Kirkham)
-The Lane Ends Hotel (Weeton Road, PR4 3DH) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in Wesham)
-The Royal Oak (9 Market Street, PR4 3AY) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Kirkham & Wesham Train Station)
-The Stanley Arms (8 Garstang Road South, PR4 3BL) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Kirkham and Wesham Train Station)
It may not be based in or near any major urban settlements, but the Mill Farm Stadium and its complex has a very nice, modern feel to it and would not look out of place one bit alongside other professional football stadiums in England. Its North Terrace is the obvious weak point currently, but if future development do happen then you can expect this side of the ground to become just as good as the rest of it. Your view from anywhere inside Mill Farm is perfectly clear, with the ground offering away supporters good quality seating or standing options.
Mill Farm is based in a relatively obscure part of the country that you may never have visited before, but it’s worth the trip to come to a place as practical as this.
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