Blackpool welcomes ministers to resort to see levelling up in action

Blackpool welcomed the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State yesterday as they visited key regeneration projects and experienced first-hand what levelling up means for the town and its residents.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Secretary of State Michael Gove called in at Talbot Gateway Phase 2, the latest phase of a multi-million pound development project, which will feature a 4* Holiday Inn and Marco Pierre White’s New York Italian restaurant, and a new underpass that will provide a bright, modern entrance into Blackpool North train station from a new tram terminus, linking to the existing tram network for greater connectivity around the Fylde coast.

The transformation of Talbot Gateway is being delivered through a long term, strategic public and private partnership between Blackpool Council and Muse Developments, supported by main contractor Robertson and tramway contractor Sisk.

Since 2018, more than £350m has been invested across the town, including £100m of government funding. Investment includes £80m at Phase 1 Talbot Gateway and a further £100m planned investment at Phase Three Talbot Gateway for a new regional hub for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), with work starting on the 215,000 sq ft offices this spring.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The defining mission of this government has been to level up this country so that no matter where you live, you have access to the same opportunities. “The transformation at Talbot Gateway will make a huge difference for the people of Blackpool, improving transport connectivity and bringing vital jobs to the area.”

With an ambition to grow Blackpool’s economy by £1bn by 2030, Blackpool is keen to secure a long-term strategic partnership with central government to deliver improved housing, health, education, skills and employment, and digital outcomes, and to ensure effective and efficient levelling up for Blackpool and its residents.

Mike Horner, Muse Developments said: “Dedicated, long-term public and private-sector collaboration is what drives forward transformational change, and we have a perfect example in Blackpool, where we are driving growth, investment and opportunities to level up all areas of the local community. We were pleased that Ministers got to see first-hand the success of this approach, what levelling up can look like and the resilience it can bring now and in the future.”

Leader of Blackpool Council Cllr Lynn Williams said: “Key regeneration projects like Talbot Gateway reflect our ambition to build on the investment that is already underway to regenerate our town and improve life chances and opportunities for our residents. Much has been achieved, but there is so much more to do in the coming years.

“We have demonstrated that we can deliver transformational change through our own and government investment and if we have the further required funding and support from central government we will be able to achieve so much more and we trust that ministers will recognise the potential to deliver its levelling up agenda here in Blackpool.”