Blackpool’s hoteliers are saying build the attractions first in the £300 million regeneration project. Guests need a reason to visit otherwise they don’t need to be guests. It’s a compelling argument and fundamental to the quick success a revenue generating prospects of the Blackpool Central Scheme.
Hotel association StayBlackpool has called for the city’s new Blackpool Central scheme to prioritise construction of its attractions, warning the hospitality- focused first phase of the new £300m complex could cause a deficit in guest accommodation.
Though president Claire Smith welcomed the employment and tourism benefits of the development, she observed the Heritage Quarter is currently set to be completed some years before the venue’s three indoor entertainment centres.
“We always need new projects to keep the visitors coming to Blackpool,” said Smith. “But the first things to be built will be in the King Edward area, and that is the hotel accommodation.”
“If the attractions are not part of the early stages then our members worry there will be a lot of new holiday accommodation without providing people with more reasons to come and visit. So for us, it is about what is being built when. We need the attraction element to be part of the early phases.”
The 10-year building strategy will begin with a 1,306 space seven storey car park, and conversion of the King Edward VII apartment building into residential and guest accommodation.
Commenting on the concerns, Nikal CEO Richard Fee said “to deliver a regeneration project of this scale we have to bring it forward in phases.”
“We have carefully shaped our Heritage Quarter plans to complement, not compete with, Blackpool’s current holiday accommodation.”