Developers pressing ahead with Arcade Club for Blackpool

Proposals to bring a retro gaming centre to Blackpool have been 'put on pause' due to a planning blip but those behind the scheme say it is still on track to open in the resort.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 5:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 5:16 pm
The site when it operated as the Paris Casino
The site when it operated as the Paris Casino

Developers are aiming to open their third UK Arcade Club in the former Sam Thai casino premises on Bloomfield Road.

It had been hoped to secure a certificate for lawfulness for the project, due to its similarity with the previous use of the building, which would have averted the need for planning permission and the applicant had hoped to open the club next month.

But Blackpool Council has ruled the new use is sufficiently different from the casino to require a planning application to be submitted.

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Arcade Club says it will be submitting an application and its proposals are still on track.

The company, which already operates sites in Bury and Leeds, wants to fit around 200 classic arcade games into the premises which have been empty since 2015.

In public documents setting out their decision, town hall planners say "the use proposed is likely to result in materially different levels of traffic generation, parking demand and vehicle movements, along with associated noise and activity."

The report adds that issuing a certificate of lawfulness would also "prevent the authority from imposing controls on the operation of the premises within the classification identified."

Visitors to Arcade Club pay an admission fee and once inside, the games are free to play with people able to come and go during the day using their pass.

Admission would be £16 for over 16s, £8 for under 16s, with free entry for children aged under four. Under 16s would have to be accompanied by an adult, with 16 and 17-year-olds admitted without an adult at the discretion of the club.

There would also be a licensed bar and restaurant and up to 30 jobs could be created.

Arcade Club started as a private collection of 30 retro arcade machines in the back room of a family run computer shop

Retro games include Frogger, Kung-Fu Master and Sega Rally Championships 1995 but the clubs also have some modern gaming rooms.