A famous Blackpool amusement arcade could be set for a £2.2m new lease of life as the resort’s latest Wetherspoon’s pub.
JD Wetherspoon is seeking to convert the Lucky Star Amusement Arcade on the Promenade, which was used as the backdrop for the BBC 2004 comedy musical ‘Blackpool’ starring David Morrissey and David Tennant.
And Blackpool Council’s planning committee looks set to approve the application when it meets on May 7.
The development will cost around £2.2m and around 50 jobs will be created if it goes ahead.
JD Wetherspoon already operates four pubs in Blackpool – The Auctioneer on Lytham Road in South Shore, The Layton Rakes on Market Street and The Albert and The Lion on Central Promenade.
The firm also has pubs in Lytham, St Annes, Cleveleys, Poulton and Fleetwood.
JD Wetherspoon’s chief executive John Hutson said: “We have enjoyed great success with our pubs in Blackpool and the surrounding towns and are keen to open another pub in Blackpool itself.”
A design brief accompanying the application says the proposal “presents an opportunity to bring a viable, sustainable use to the building” and adds it will also help promote “future investment in Blackpool”.
Planners, who have recommended the scheme is approved, say in a report to the committee, there “is the potential to have a more interesting and imaginative facade, representing the vibrancy of the resort”.
Changes would include stripping back cladding to reveal the building’s original design.
Wetherspoons says it has exchanged contracts on the property – which was also used as the backdrop in the video for Robbie Williams’ hit Advertising Space – subject to planning and licensing approvals.
But the plans were today given a mixed reaction.
Coun Tony Lee, Waterloo ward councillor for Blackpool Council, said: “I’ve spoken to a lot of people in the area and they are all in favour.
“I’m not in favour of heavy drinking, but if you are going to have a drink, Wetherspoon’s are good pubs.
“It’s good for South Shore and I hope they can employ a lot of people because it’s a very busy area.”
But Jim Craig, manager of the Dutton Arms, on South Promenade, says the new pub will hinder his business.
He said: “I don’t know if it will bring more people to the area, but it may affect the visitors that come to our pub because they will go there first.
“Wetherspoon’s are after total domination of Blackpool. How many do they need?”