REGENERATION chiefs hope a massive housing scheme in Blackpool will move on by the end of the year.
Around eight construction companies have expressed an interest in the project which would see 400 new homes built on land at Tyldesley Road and on the site of the former Mecca building and Illuminations depot on Rigby Road if it goes ahead.
Council chiefs announced the plans in January but are still waiting to hear if Government funding through the Homes and Communities Agency will be available.
John Donnellon, assistant director for planning at Blackpool Council, said: “The first step is to recruit a developer and we are in the midst of that.
“We have eight or nine interested developers who are submitting proposals so we hope to have a developer partner in place by the end of the year.
“These include housebuilders at national and regional level and we have had a strong interest.
“We have to try and persuade the Homes and Communities Agency to help in terms of investment but we remain very committed to taking the development forward.”
The council has already acquired a number of properties in the area in order for the scheme to proceed.
It will cost around £12m in total to prepare the site for would-be developers through acquisitions and providing infrastructure.
As well as securing Government grants, it is proposed to use the New Homes Bonus – a Government scheme designed to encourage house building - to fund the development.
A number of previous blueprints for the area have fallen through in the past.
A bid will be made for a grant from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) with other funding from the Government’s proposed New Homes Bonus designed to encourage house building.
The plan would see the council borrow £9.5m to be repaid using the funding which means for every new home built, the council receives six years worth of council tax equivalent to Band D from the Government.
The council would also recoup cash at a later date from the sale of the land.
This week the Government announced a £400m fund aimed at kickstarting house building projects across the country.
The cash will be used to help companies whose schemes have stalled because of the economic downturn.