Blackpool submit bid for £63m upgrade support

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Blackpool Council have submitted a bid to the government for over £63million in leveling funds.

The second round of financing concerns three projects:

  • Multiversity – £65m scheme for a new world-class university experience in the city centre.
  • Post Office – £26m scheme to renovate the old post office in Abingdon Street into a new four star hotel.
  • Town Center Access – £17.1m scheme to transform Blackpool town center’s transport network providing better traffic flow with improved pedestrian areas.

Multiversity, a joint bid with Wyre Council, will involve £40m upgrade funding.

Money has already been approved for part of this scheme by the Town Deal Fund (£9m) which will enable the purchase of the land for this site.

The site is located in town, near the train station and the tram interchange. The council said the Multiversity development will enhance the town center with an iconic building and increase its vibrancy with a substantial increase in footfall to help boost local businesses.

It will be delivered through a partnership involving Blackpool Council and Blackpool and Fylde College in association with Lancaster University. It will accommodate around 2,300 learners, many of whom will be able to acquire higher level qualifications.

The refurbishment of the former Grade II listed post office and its conversion into an Indigo hotel and suites, includes an offer of £8million in leveling funding.

The operation will revitalize the former abandoned classified post office building in the heart of the city center – vacant for 15 years – and will offer a new hotel with 144 rooms, including 48 family suites, to appeal to both the business and family leisure.

The development will create new employment opportunities and is located just 50 meters from the new tram extension on Talbot Road, which also adjoins the Blackpool North station transport interchange.

The new Indigo Hotel will help Blackpool break its current reliance on short-term tourism and attract visitors with greater spending power by providing a unique addition to Blackpool hotels.

The City Center Access Scheme requires £15.4m of leveling funding. It aims to transform Blackpool town centre’s transport network, allowing for better traffic flow with improved pedestrian areas. Improvements will be made to access on foot, by bike and by bus.

The transport interchange will be improved as well as access to the city center by bus by giving priority to buses and preparing the city for a whole new fleet of electric buses.

The proposed measures are designed to complement the other Blackpool Upgrade Fund regeneration proposals.

Cllr Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This offer comes after tireless work has been undertaken for some time now and it is part of regeneration plans that have been underway for over 10 years.

“We have established and continue to establish relationships with our communities, our partners, potential investors in the city and those who hold the central government purse strings.

“We have an ambitious £1billion+ regeneration program for Blackpool, solely focused on making Blackpool better for all who live, work and visit our great city.”

She added: “We aim to provide more jobs for local people, encourage economic growth and improve skills and educate our workforce and our youth.”

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