The businessman behind the Sands Hotel taking shape on Blackpool Promenade is confident his multi-million pound investment will pay off

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Blackpool is on the up - and we want to be part of it.

That's the message from businessman Peter Swann who is the driving force behind what is set to be Blackpool's first five star hotel when it opens later this year.

The Sands Hotel Resort taking shape on the Promenade

The Sands Hotel Resort taking shape on the Promenade

The Sands Venue Resort Hotel is now taking shape quickly on Central Promenade and will boast facilities including a luxury spa and gym, conference rooms and valet parking - plus stunning views across the Irish Sea.

It will be managed by the same group which operates the five star Lowry Hotel in Salford when it opens in time for the Illuminations.

Peter said: "We have been involved in Blackpool for 10 years now and we know the area.

"I believe a five star hotel will not only generate a lot of interest in the town, but also a new type of customer.

Construction work at the Sands Hotel Resort

Construction work at the Sands Hotel Resort

"We think Blackpool is on the up and becoming a place to invest in.

"You can see that from the investment coming to Central Car Park, along with the other hotels going up at the moment."

The Sands Resort Hotel will have 91 rooms built around an atrium and has proved a challenging construction project due to the decision to add storeys to the existing building.

Its price tag has been previously reported at £20m although Peter, whose other business interests include ownership of Scunthorpe Football Club, is reluctant to be drawn on the final investment figure.

Peter Swann pictured in the former Sands cabaret venue

Peter Swann pictured in the former Sands cabaret venue

There was controversy when revised plans were submitted to change the colour of the glazing from bronze to black.

Peter said: "It's on target now to open late summer but there have been delays due to redesigning the height and the change of colour.

"We hope people can see now the glass is not dark, it is reflective.

"It is starting to look like quite an impressive building and we're really pleased with the design.

"We are building it to a five star standard so all the facilities from the IT to evening meals to the rooms will be to a five star standard.

"That's why we have taken our time. We could have opened six months ago, but we wanted to get everything correct."

He added inquiries are already coming in from potential guests with the first bookings expected to be taken around March.

The Wild West diner will return to the ground floor and be extended by around 23 covers, and there will also be a new themed bar where the old entrance to B&Ms was.

Valet parking will make use of spaces at the nearby Houndshill Centre car park.

The building will also house the council's new museum for Blackpool which is due to open in June 2021.

It is a historic site, having originally been occupied by the Palatine Hotel before it was demolished to make way for development which included the old Palace Nightclub.

After Peter took it over he opened the Sands cabaret venue which proved a success, and he hopes to find a new home in Blackpool for its Legends Show.

He added of the hotel project: "It's been a lot of work and time and effort.

"The end product will hopefully be an exciting addition to Blackpool's offer."