Massive investment in Madame Tussauds Blackpool given the go ahead
Councillors have agreed a £700,000 investment into the Madame Tussauds site on Blackpool Promenade.
Blackpool Council's executive approved a recommendation to borrow the money when it met on Monday.
The investment will mean work can begin on creating a new television-themed attraction which would be aimed at pre-school childen.
Councillors approved four recommendations including further development of Madame Tussauds using under-utilised space in the building, and to carry out due diligence associated with the project.
They also agreed to finance the investment through prudential borrowing, and to update the council's operating agreement with Madame Tussauds, and any other legal agreements.
The attraction, full details of which are yet to be released, is due to open in May in time for the 2020 holiday season.
Entertainment company Merlin will operate the venture but the financial investment will all come from the council which is proposing to borrow the full amount over 10 years.
Merlin will contribute the creative, legal and marketing elements of the project.
The full cost comes to £875,000 including debt charges, with repayment funded through part of the revenue.
Coun Tony Williams, leader of the Conservative group on the council, questioned why the council was putting in all the investment.
He said: "I welcome any new additional attraction to Blackpool especially something that adds value to an existing successful business such as Tussauds.
"But I am at a loss as to why these multi-million pound companies have to borrow the money from the council to develop these new features.
"Why can’t they put their hands into their own deep lined pockets and bring some real inward investment into the town?"