Executive gives go ahead for powers to clear land for £65m campus in Blackpool town centre

A raft of powers has been approved by councillors in order to drive forward plans for a £65m new university campus in the centre of Blackpool.
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Measures given the go ahead by Blackpool Council’s executive on Monday October 16 include to authorise use of a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to buy up properties and businesses needed for the regeneration scheme.

It paves the way for a planning application which is expected to be submitted before the end of the year for what will be called the multiversity, offering vocational courses to equip people with the skills required by employers.

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A report to the executive says the scheme “is in the final stages of design” with the campus set to be built across severable plots of land once the existing buildings are demolished.

Artist's impression of the multiversityArtist's impression of the multiversity
Artist's impression of the multiversity

Potential development also includes ancillary facilities such as a cafe or restaurant, offices which could be used for commercial purposes or research, and new public open space.

Blackpool and the Fylde College will relocate the University Centre Blackpool Campus from Park Road to a new three acre site with a capacity for up to 3,000 students, expected to open in September 2026

Negotiations have already been completed with some property owners in the area required between Cookson Street, Milbourne Street, George Street and Grosvenor Street.

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But a report to the executive warned: “Without the use of the council’s powers of compulsory purchase, the much needed regeneration and redevelopment of multiversity will not be achievable, as it appears there is no possibility thatall the land necessary to deliver the redevelopment will be acquired by agreement.”

The site requiredThe site required
The site required
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Further powers approved by the executive include to close any roads required for the development, and to include car parking elements of the multiversity in the land covered by the CPO.

Legal powers in relation to the CPO have also been approved.

The council has pledged support to all residents who need to move out of their homes.

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Council leader Coun Lynn Williams said: “I want to reassure them we will continue to support any tenants or residents who have to move as a result, and nobody will be asked to move out without reasonable warning and support to find somewhere else suitable to live.”