Work starts on £300m Blackpool, Central visitor attraction

The fencing has gone up and ground work is about to begin in the first stage of the construction of Blackpool’s new  £300m visitor attraction.

By Tim Gavell
Sunday, 30th January 2022, 4:55 am

Site preparation is under way on part of the Central Car Park site and work to start the build of a new multi-storey car park is due to commence at the end of February.

It will form the first part (the enabling phase costing £32m) of Phase One of the huge attraction, which will eventually have three indoor theme attractions including a hi-tech flying theatre, a 200-room hotel plus bars, restaurants and outdoor entertainment space.

Workers from Ballast Nedam will divert some water mains under the site and some time next month will put up hoardings around the build area for safety and to protect surrounding businesses.

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Workers make a start on the Blackpool Central project

Developer Nikal signed a deal at the start of the year with one of the UK’s biggest pension funds, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, to finance the 1,306 space, seven storey car park.

When work fully commences in March, nearby Seasiders Way will have to be closed but Central car park will stay open, but with 250 parking spaces taken away from its current 900 total.

Diversions from Seasiders Way at its junctions with Waterloo Road and Bloomfield Road will be in place with access from Central Drive remaining open.

it is predicted to take 16 months for the build.

Fencing has gone up around the area earmarked for a multi-storey car park

The former Central Station closed in 1964 and has since been used as a car park. Previous attempts to develop the site, including planning applications in 2001 and 2006 failed.

At the time of the plan getting the go-ahead, Richard Fee, chief executive of Nikal, said: “This is a key moment for levelling up Blackpool’s visitor economy post Covid.

Blackpool Central will help transform and future proof the town’s tourism offer.”

The full project for the 17 acre site will take place in four phases according to the developers Nikal Ltd and Media Invest Entertainment.

Phase Two is likely to involve new apartments, further food and drink outlets and a hotel of 250 bedrooms plus landscaped public space after phase one ends in 2024.

Phases Three and Four will not start until 2026 and the final builds will depend on moving the magistrates court from its current site in Bonny Street and the building’s demolition along with the former police station there.

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