14.09.18

£100m regeneration investment to 'breathe new life' into Blackpool town centre approved

A series of projects that will catalyse a £100m regeneration of Blackpool town centre has been approved.

Included in Blackpool Council’s major investment projects is a £26m state-of-the-art conference centre, a £23m tram extension and the development of Blackpool’s first five-star hotel.

Also included in the approved three-year timeline is the development of a Blackpool museum, the extension of the Houndshill Shopping Centre, and a £7m Quality Corridors programme which will see the refurbishment of a host of major roads.

The council say these projects will “breathe new life into the town centre” and attract visitors throughout the year.

Cllr Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council said: “The face of retailing is changing more extensively and rapidly than anyone can have expected, resulting in increased levels of high street retail vacancy in town and city centres right across the county.

“We are acutely aware of how these challenges are playing out in Blackpool, where the context of our retailing environment is already somewhat volatile because of the seasonal nature of footfall through the town centre.

“We are also conscious that a number of well-documented, reputable reports have shown that those town centres that are most dependent on retail premises have suffered most badly and those town centres with less retail, more offices and other forms of leisure activities have fared the best.

“All of these investments and proposals address that issue and will bring new footfall, spend and life into our town centre. Put together, they will deliver transformational change.”

Several hundred private sector office workers will also be relocated into the council’s headquarters at Bickerstaffe as part of the plans.

The first project on the timeline, the new Winter Gardens Conference Centre, is already taking shape with phases one and two of the structural steelwork in place.

The tramway project will see the new station built after the existing Wilko store is demolished and the extension should be completed by the end of 2020.

A new four-star Holiday Inn and restaurant will also be built in the area, opening pre-Christmas 2021.

Sands Venue Resort Hotel will see Blackpool’s first ever five-star hotel opening in Christmas 2019, employing more than 100 people.

Graham Cowley, chair of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal management board, said: “The economic regeneration of Blackpool has been one of the LEP’s priorities since being established in 2011, and we have worked closely with the council and other partners to bring forward projects which will help drive growth in the town, generate jobs, and attract investment.

“The Growth Deal fund in particular has supported the £26m new conference centre being built adjacent to the Winter Gardens complex and has kick-started many of the transport and infrastructure schemes across the resort.”

Top image: Rept0n1x

 

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