Gateway to get cash backing

Luddenden in bloom
Luddenden in bloom
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SHOPS, a nightclub and car parks help make up the area set to be bought up under council powers to enable work to start on the £220m Talbot Gateway.

Councillors will this week be asked to give officers approval to seek a Compulsory Purchase Order to allow the massive office and retail development to proceed.

A report to the council’s executive says: “The council owns the freehold interest in approximately 80 per cent of the land required to deliver the development including highways.

“Its original ownership has been augmented by acquisitions funded by the Northwest Development Agency with the intention of bringing the Talbot Gateway site for redevelopment.

“However a number of interests remain to be acquired to enable the development to proceed in a timely manner.”

The land which will be subjected to the order includes:

n A two-storey terrace of shops with flats above at 140 to 162 Talbot Road and an adjacent NCP car park in Cookson Street;

n The Tache nightclub on Cookson Street and an adjoining residential property;

n The Talbot Road multi-storey car park and former bus station, which although in council ownership may have other third party interests;

n Part of Seed Street, the electricity sub station and the Buchanan Street car park.

Blackpool Council leader Coun Peter Callow said; “I’m delighted this scheme is moving forward.

“I want the town to be great again and I think it’s on its way to recovery and its former glory, and the Talbot Gateway scheme is a key part of achieving that.”

The first phase of the development will see the construction of new council offices and a supermarket on land off Talbot Road.

This phase of will also see the refurbishment of the Talbot Road multi-storey car park and Bank Street car park.

The £28m cost of the new council offices is being met through the sale of other council buildings including Westgate House in South Shore and Progress House in Marton.

Workers are already being relocated in readiness for the sale of properties.

Development partner Muse has said it has had four “strong” offers from potential supermarket operators.

The report goes before the executive on Wednesday.