1,000 new jobs, an annual spending boost of £75 million a year and 600,000 additional tourists: Blackpool is on the rise. A detailed planning application for phase one of the Blackpool Central project has been submitted to the local authority this week.
Nikal and Media Invest Entertainment lodged plans for the less glitzy but more logistics-led dimension of its £300 million program; a car park with 1,306 spaces and proposals to create a Heritage Quarter. Not so sexy, unless the car park is intended for a dogging centre, but crucial to the Blackpool Centre scheme, the first phase plans will keep Blackpool’s parking options at a level in keeping with the town’s ambitious entertainment offering. And this offering will include proposals to restore the site’s old buildings to create a Heritage Quarter with an artisan food hall with outdoor space for al fresco dining. A pub, hotel and an aparthotel are also on the schedule.
“This is a watershed moment for Blackpool Central,” said Richard Fee, chairman of Nikal. “The overwhelmingly positive response to our consultation shows the level of excitement and enthusiasm around the scheme.”
And you can see why. Beyond the parking and the Heritage Quarter is the real deal for the giant of British seaside resorts;Blackpool Central’s future phases include a public square for live events, hotels, restaurants and three indoor entertainment centres, including a Chariots of the Gods theme park.
With £300 million to be invested, it’s no surprise the locals are backing the scheme. The planning application comes on the back of a public consultation with the local community, with 90 percent expressing support for the redevelopment of the Blackpool Central train station area.