Approval sought for next phase of Talbot Gateway regeneration scheme

The next phase of the regeneration of Blackpool town centre could be underway within weeks.

A proposal will go before Blackpool Council’s Executive on March 23 for funding that will facilitate the demolition of the existing Wilko store as well as the completion of the new tramway interchange at Blackpool North Station, a new underpass, four-star Holiday Inn and restaurant, and new retail and leisure facilities.

Wilko is due to close its store at the end of March and, subject to the Executive agreeing a revised budget of £34.6m, demolition is due to start on site within weeks. The revised budget reflects inflationary increases in the construction programme and additional works including more rooms in the hotel.

Blackpool Council has entered into a franchise agreement with International Hotel Group (IHG) for the 144-bedroom Holiday Inn, which is due to open in 2022, creating up to 50 full-time jobs. 

The scheme marks Phase Two of the Talbot Gateway project in Blackpool’s Central Business District. The first phase saw the opening of Sainsbury’s supermarket and the development of offices which now accommodate more than 1,000 public and private sector employees.

Blackpool Council and Muse Developments have been working in partnership to develop the Central Business District since entering into a Development Agreement in March 2009. 

Mike Horner, Development Director at Muse Developments, said: “It’s a proud moment for everyone involved at Talbot Gateway, as we take the next step on the journey to transform the town centre, by bringing in a new hotel and high-quality brand to strengthen the hotel offering in the town. We will also be creating a number of much-needed jobs in the process.

“Blackpool is going through a renaissance at the moment, with partners driving in the same direction to bring a real sense of vibrancy and place to the whole town, and we’re delighted to be playing an important role in delivering this vision and making Blackpool a better place to live, work and relax.”

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council said, “As the flagship commercial development for Blackpool, Phase Two of Talbot Gateway continues to transform an important entrance to the town, and highlights the excellent commercial opportunities that this town has to offer. We are delighted to welcome The Holiday Inn brand to Blackpool, and are confident that more internationally successful, recognised brands will follow in their wake.

“This next phase of the development will offer brand new retail locations, an improved leisure offer to boost the night-time economy, offer more high-quality accommodation choice for leisure and business visitors alike and promote a more integrated and connected use of our transport system.  We hope that all residents, businesses and visitors can enjoy and benefit from the radical improvements being made not just at Talbot Gateway, but right across the town.”