Madame Tussauds Blackpool in line for more investment

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Blackpool Council is set to invest £700,000 into the Madame Tussauds site which it owns in order to create a new Promenade attraction.

Councillors are being asked to agree to borrow the money so work can begin immediately on creating the new television-themed venture which would be aimed at pre-school children.

Madame Tussauds Blackpool

Madame Tussauds Blackpool

It is due to open in May in time for the 2020 holiday season.

Entertainment company Merlin would operate the attraction but the financial investment would come from the council which is proposing to borrow the full amount over 10 years.

The full cost would be £875,000 including debt charges, with repayment funded through part of the revenue.

In 2018 the council borrowed £645,000 to bring the Marvel Comics superheroes figures to the Madame Tussauds site.

The latest attraction - full details of which are being kept under wraps at the moment - would be built in existing space which is part of the Madame Tussauds site.

It would link into the waxworks which is part of the Merlin-owned global brand, with Madame Tussauds remaining in its current form.

Leases have not been renewed on two retail concessions in order to create access to the new attraction on the ground floor directly from the Promenade.

A report going before the council's executive committee on Monday says: "The attraction will contain interactive elements including photograph opportunities and other activities along with merchandise, and follow the business model associated with the existing, highly successful, Madame Tussauds attraction.

"The timing of the investment is critical in order to allow the new attraction to open and trade for May 2020."

Kate Shane, head of Merlin's cluster of attractions in Blackpool, said: "We are very excited about this because it's more investment in Blackpool.

"It's a new route for us because we will be actively targeting the pre-school market whereas Madame Tussauds is mainly aimed at older kids.

"We have been able to create the space where two shops have been taken back after their leases came to an end, in order to have a frontage onto the Promenade.

"It will be another reason for people to visit Blackpool, and also to stay overnight as it will be something else on our Big Ticket."

Merlin already operates attractions in Blackpool on behalf of the council including Madame Tussauds, the Tower, and the Blackpool Dungeons.

The council report says extensive costings have been prepared to demonstrate the scheme would be financially viable, but these have not been made public due to commercial confidentiality.