Blackpool submits final bid for £39m transformational Town Deal spending plan

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A magnificent seven plans which will shape Blackpool’s future are now awaiting the go-head from the Government.

 

The combination of multi-million pound bids that could help transform the resort have been approved by the Council’s Executive Committee and have been submitted for approval.

They are all earmarked to benefit from a share of a £39.5m Town Deal (the UK’s largest award) from the Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund.

The seven are:

A computer generated image of how the massive Blackpool central tourist attraction would look

A computer generated image of how the massive Blackpool central tourist attraction would look

1: Blackpool Central Courts Relocation – allocated £6.95m. Supporting the relocation of Blackpool’s County and Magistrates Courts by opening up space to support the £300m private sector investment at Blackpool Central. This will provide a brand new, world-class, visitor attraction, open year-round providing a major boost to the visitor economy including major job creation.

2: Blackpool Multiversity – allocated £9m. Land assembly to enable the relocation of the Blackpool and The Fylde College’s Palatine Road campus to enable the creation of a world class university learning environment in the town centre for 3,600 learners. It will help to address local skills needs, working with local employers and in partnership with Lancaster University. The new

3: Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone – allocated £7.5m. Creating a new road to open up development sites to attract jobs and investment at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone. Through the creation of new highways, the scheme will support business and jobs growth, opening up 10.5 hectares of previously inaccessible development land.

An aerial view of the airport enterprise zone area

An aerial view of the airport enterprise zone area

4: Revoe Community Sports Village – allocated £6.5m. This project will aid the regeneration of the Revoe area, creating new sports pitches

and facilities for communitywide use. It will create investment within the Blackpool FC Bloomfield Road ground and surrounding area. The overall project aim is to provide a sports village with leisure, education, and residential uses and attract further private investment to the area.

5: The Edge – allocated £4.5m. Redevelopment of the existing town centre Stanley Buildings to create modern office space for new start-ups and growing businesses, and providing business advice for growth-ambitious small businesses. The Edge is the name given to the new extended managed workspace that will bring into use large parts of the upper floors of the building to create a vibrant business hub with a choice of offices, meeting rooms, co-working and breakout spaces.

6: Blackpool Illuminations – allocated £4.5m. The project will provide investment to upgrade the world famous Blackpool Illuminations to attract new visitors by developing new features and lighting technology. A number of new centrepiece attractions will be designed alongside new lighting infrastructure improvements and essential technical equipment needed to deliver the illuminations in a greener, more sustainable way.

7:Youth Hub – allocated £0.5m. The development of a physical space to support young people in the town to access jobs and training and to make the jump from school or unemployment into work, smoother and easier. The Youth Hub will provide a ‘one place base’ providing quality advice for young jobseekers aged 16-24. The service will be located in a vacant town centre unit within Bickerstaffe House, a Council owned building.

The resort was one of the first of 101 towns in the UK to secure funding, aimed at strengthening the local economy and revitalising the town as it builds for the future post Covid-19.

This funding will help to increase economic growth with a focus on regeneration, improved transport, better broadband connectivity, skills and culture.

The £39.5m will look to catalyse an additional £450m in public and private investment as part of the council’s £1bn plus, Growth and Prosperity Programme.

Leader of Blackpool Council, Coun Lynn Williams, has described the progress made on the town’s ambitious redevelopment programme as “game-changing”.

She said: “Our Town Deal proposals move another crucial step forward to turning our ambitions into reality and the team has made excellent progress on this major part of the Council’s Growth and Prosperity Programme designed to secure long term benefits for Blackpool’s residents and the economy.

“An incredible amount of work has already been done to get the projects to this stage since being awarded the £39.5m and agreeing final allocations and Heads of Terms with Government in November 2020, including finalising the scheme proposals to develop Treasury compliant business cases for each scheme, appraising them with the benefit of the expertise of partners and independent appraisers, and then putting them through the approval process.

“All the hard work means that we now have seven deliverable, game-changing schemes that will make a huge difference to the town and for our residents, and will help to enable Blackpool to have a strong and thriving coastal community by 2030.”

The seven business cases have been submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and a response is anticipated early in 2022. Towns have until the end of the 2025/26 financial year to spend the money.

Paul Smith, chairman of the Town Deal Board said: “Investment in our town is needed more than ever as we move to the next stage of the economic recovery from Covid-19 and the Town Deal funding will play an important part in kick-starting our economic recovery.

“The Town Deal Board welcomes the opportunity to develop a long-term strategic partnership with Government that will further develop the economy, tackling some of Blackpool’s historical challenges, leading to a healthier and happier lifestyle for all residents and reduced pressure on the public purse.”