Blackpool Council has approved plans for the £300m Blackpool Central leisure and entertainment development, which is expected to begin first-phase construction early next year. The UK’s number one traditional seaside resort is ready for regeneration.
Blackpool Council’s planning committee has approved the initial phases of the £300m Blackpool Central leisure and entertainment complex, with construction of the Heritage Quarter and 1,306-space multi-storey car park expected to start in 2022.
The application, submitted by Nikal Ltd and Media Invest Entertainment, was approved by officers on 12 October, and will deliver a “world class, year-round leisure destination” on the site of the former Blackpool Central railway station.
“This is a key moment for levelling up Blackpool’s visitor economy post Covid,” said Nkal CEO Richard Fee. “Blackpool Central will help transform and futureproof the town’s tourism offer, and last night’s approval is an important step forward in our journey.”
“We have worked hard to ensure that the scheme will complement Blackpool’s current attractions and wider leisure offer. This approach will help us to secure game-changing benefits for Blackpool – drawing in 600,000 additional visitors a year and boosting annual spend in the local economy by £75m.”
Planning approval comes after a public consultation of 700 residents, which saw 90 percent in favour of redeveloping the Grade II-listed former King Edward VII Picture House into a new “Artisan Food Hall,’ alongside the renovation of the King Edward VII pub and King Edward VII apartment building.
“We are now looking forward to getting spades in the ground to build the multi storey car park and Heritage Quarter,” said Norbert Reichart, CEO of Media Invest Entertainment. “Blackpool is the undisputed entertainment capital of the UK and our scheme will help cement the town as a must visit year-round destination for generations to come.”
When complete, the complex will deliver 1,000 jobs spread across a 127,000 sq ft theme park, Adventureland gaming park, VR centre, multimedia exhibition space, food hall, events square and 150-bedroom hotel.
“Yesterday’s decision is a major milestone for this transformational regeneration project which has been widely anticipated by our residents,” said council leader Lynn Williams. “The development means so much more to our residents than just a new leisure and entertainment destination.”
“It brings lots of new, varied and skilled year-round job opportunities, extra footfall and revenue to local businesses, and breathes new life into a run down and neglected part of the town.”