WORK on Blackpool’s £220m Central Business District has begun.
Talbot Road’s multi-storey car park has been closed as the first phase of work will see it refurbished.
The scheme includes new retail space, the development of an office building for both public and private use and a Sainsbury’s foodstore.
Muse Developments has been given planning permission for the scheme which is being delivered in partnership with Blackpool Council.
Coun Gary Coleman, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The Central Business District is going to transform this area of Blackpool and can’t happen soon enough.
“I am often told by residents they will have to ‘see it to believe it’ in respect of the new town centre development, so hopefully they will finally believe that positive things are happening.
“There has been so much work that has already taken place behind the scenes in order for us to have reached this stage, and for Blackpool to see such a massive investment taking place in the current economic climate really does send out the message that Blackpool is open for business.
“Throughout the project there will be hundreds of people working on various aspects of the scheme which means local jobs for local people and a boost to the businesses in the area.
“This car park is long overdue a make-over and I’m sure regular users will appreciate the improvements. Having previously worked in the bus station for a number of years I am acutely aware of the building’s limitations.”
Howard Lewis of the Blackpool Business Leadership Group said: “I’m delighted work has finally started – and be even more delighted when it’s finished.
“It will be difficult while work is ongoing but we’ve to look to the long-term future of the town.”
Steve Pye, of the Fylde coast branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, added: “This work needs to be done.
“Muse has thought a lot about how to go about it and has consulted a lot.”
Talbot Road multi-storey car park is expected to re-open by the end of the year.
Talbot surface car park will remain open for permit holders until further notice.