A councillor has called for a railway station to be incorporated into plans for a new major entertainment venue in central Blackpool.
Coun Paul Galley, who represents Anchorsholme on Blackpool Council, has previously stated he would like to the site of the former Blackpool Central station used for its original purpose once again.
And Coun Galley believes passing up the chance to include a transport interchange as part of the proposed new attraction would be “a lost opportunity”.
If it comes to fruition the scheme would involve a snow-themed entertainment complex being built on the site, which is presently a car park.
However a number of obstacles face the proposals, including the requirement for both the police station and law courts to be moved.
Coun Galley said: “My personal preference for that site has always been that we should work to a long-term plan that would work to replace Central station, I would try to work that into the plan.
“It would be a lost opportunity not to do so. It would be a short-term gain for a long-term loss.
“The benefits of a railway station would make it even more successful.”
Wigan-based developer Greenbank Partnerships announced the proposals to transform the Central Station site back in 2009.
Tourism bosses have backed the plans for a snowdome-style venue, as well as local hoteliers and publicans.
Coun Galley cited the recently built Shoreditch Overground station, in London, as the model he would like to see being followed for the site.
Shoreditch has been built in such a way other buildings will be able to be built around it should prospective investors choose to do so.
He said: “I believe we should be ambitious and see the impossible as being possible. The more ambitious we are with that site the better chance we’ve got of delivering that project because we’d get funding from both the private sector and the Department for Transport. Train stations no longer have a separate identity and are places of retail and entertainment as well.”
The history of the Central Station site
Wigan-based developer Greenbank Partnerships initially earmarked the site for development.
The Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company says it is currently in talks with the company about the plans.
However, a number of issues surrounding the site must first be addressed, including a new site being found for Blackpool police station.
The former Lancashire Police Authority set aside £21m for a new police station in the town to replace the current Bonny Street headquarters and the search for a new site was launched last October.
Blackpool Central railway station closed in 1963 and the line now terminates at the present Blackpool South station on the South Fylde branch line.
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