Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s hopes to provide “a catalyst for regeneration” in Blackpool as ambitious plans for a new town centre store were given the go-ahead.
Town hall planners last night voted unanimously to allow development on the site between George Street, Buchanan Street, Cookson Street, Talbot Road and New Larkhill Street to take place.
And with work expected to begin from next autumn, shoppers will be browsing the aisles of the new store by 2013.
Gary Halman from How Planning who represented Sainsbury’s said: “We hope this will prove a catalyst for regeneration in the town.
“It’s a major development with £50m being spent on this phase.
“Sainsbury’s are committed to it and it has a guaranteed delivery.
“We believe this is a fantastic news story for Blackpool in allowing us to have this level of involvement in the town.”
Sainsbury’s estimate 400 full and part-time jobs will be created to staff the store which will be built over four ﬂoors with retail on the ground ﬂoor.
It will include a mezzanine ﬂoor including a cafe and staff facilities, and topped by two levels of car parking with the upper level being on the roof.
Sainsbury’s were quick to reassure the public about the benefits the investment will bring.
Mr Halman added: “This will be a very high quality design. There will be 400 jobs created and, as people will have seen, Sainsbury’s put a lot of effort into staff training and development.
“The store will benefit the whole community. People will be able to shop more locally instead of travelling out of town.”
The new store will open 24 hours, apart from Sunday evenings, and restrictions are being put on delivery times to minimise disruption.
The supermarket, along with the construction of new council ofﬁces, the refurbishment of Talbot Road multi-storey car park, and the resurfacing of the Banks Street car park, make up phase one of the £220m new Central Business District.
Further phases around North Station are expected to be completed over a 13-year period.
Coun David Owen, who chairs the Development Control Committee said: “This is an important development for Blackpool’s future.
“There has been disappointment as this scheme has been diluted and altered on a number of occasions because of the economic climate. It will provide a tremendous boost to Blackpool town centre and its economy generally.”