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Ravaged Prom hotel set for £500k boom

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A Blackpool Promenade hotel is set to be given a half a million pound facelift – creating 20 jobs.

The Royal Carlton on South Prom has been closed for four years.

But its owner today said it would be a “beacon” on the seafront by this summer.

The Royal Carlton was badly damaged by smoke and water when a neighbouring derelict hotel caught fire in February 2010.

Now owner Tony Banks, who also owns The Royal Seabank, The Boston and Southbank in the resort, said he hopes his redevelopment will raise the standards for holiday properties and restore local residents’ faith.

Last week The Gazette revealed nine former hotels had been boarded up on the Prom – many in the southern part of the resort.

Mr Banks said: “It’s costing me thousands but it’s got to be done, Blackpool’s got a great future. There’s a window of opportunity now to get Blackpool to what it should be.

“It’s still number one for visitor numbers but we’ve got to take it kicking and screaming into the 21st century.”

On the to do list are new interior walls, modern bedrooms and 10 chandeliers for the bar area alone.

A £70,000 frontage is also planned for the property as well as a decking area and the restoration of the exterior glass fronted lift.

Mr Banks added: “It’s going to be a quality establishment.

“It’s a question of making the redevelopment right. If I set the bar high enough then people will try emulate it.”

Mr Banks is looking to take on 20 staff members as well as seasonal workers at the 40-bed Royal Carlton.

He is already in talks with entertainer Tony Jo’s HRH Entertainments to secure acts to play seven days a week.

Last week, tourist leaders called on Blackpool Council to do more to address the blight of boarded up seafront properties.

Mr Banks says he is ready to invest big in the resort. He added: “There’s a lot of people coming into the town who think it’s got a future – Britannia Hotels have invested, so have Merlin.”

Mr Banks added: “I’m about to buy another hotel because I’ve got that many visitors coming in.

“By the end of this I’ll have 340 bedrooms in the town, I’ve invested millions over the years. Blackpool has got a real future, people need to jump on that.”

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