Blackpool Central development: 'The unique theme of Chariots Of The Gods will merge entertainment, culture, and history '“an enthralling '˜Edutainment' experience for the whole family"
The 17-acre Blackpool Central site that is key to the Â£300m investment in the resort currently includes one of its biggest surface car parks alongside the magistrates' court building and the former police station.
Blackpool Council was approached by Nikal Ltd, and Media Invest Entertainment in 2016 to see if the site would be available for the ambitious plan, which would be delivered in several phases over an eight to nine-year period, with work starting as early as 2020.
No council money will be invested in the project.
Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said: “Over more than 50 years, many ideas for this site have come and gone.
“The difference this time is that we have worked very hard with our fantastic partners at Nikal and MIE for almost two years to create a scheme that is not just aspirational, but highly deliverable.
“These new attractions are of ground-breaking international quality and their cutting edge technology will take Blackpool’s tourism offer to another level.
“We already have, to my mind, the best amusement park in the UK, in the form of Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
“These new attractions will allow thrill-seekers to enjoy their visit even more, will attract new visitors, and encourage existing visitors to stay longer.
“They will create jobs, regenerate a part of the town that is in need of love and attention, and boost trade.
“This new development, alongside the other investments taking place in the town, represent a game-changer for our visitor economy.
“We have long stated that a key objective is to create a year-round destination that delivers year-round employment. Blackpool Central will play a major part in that ambition.”
Norbert Reichart, chief executive of Media Invest Entertainment, said: “The unique theme of Chariots Of The Gods will merge entertainment, culture, and history –an enthralling ‘Edutainment’ experience for the whole family – that can be enjoyed all year round.
“Together with some of the best companies in the industry, we have developed a one-of-a-kind, exciting indoor entertainment concept with truly world-class attractions which will integrate perfectly into Blackpool’s pre-existing leisure cluster.
“This well-balanced mix of top attractions for all ages will significantly enhance Blackpool’s reputation as one of the UK’s top entertainment destinations.”
Alan Cavill, Blackpool Council’s director of communication and regeneration said: “If you have been to any of the theme parks such as Disney World you would see that these 4D immersive rides area easily the most popular with the visitors.
“They suit all ages and this will be an indoor attraction so it would attract visitors all year round which will benefit Blackpool’s economy.
“We are being as realistic as we can. The second and third phases are dependant on the success of the first.
“Both Merlin and the Pleasure Beach have been consulted and have seen the plans which we believe are not too similar to what we have here in Blackpool already. They are fully supportive.”
He said the land would be on a 125-year lease and if the development did not come to fruition within a certain time span it would revert to the council for someone else to come forward with a suitable scheme.
Kate Shane, head of Blackpool cluster for Merlin Entertainments, said: “We welcome any scale investment that drives further visitation to Blackpool and helps generate greater economic activity for the resort.
“It’s good too that we have a clear, well-supported plan for this area. The vision is an exciting prospect and we look forward to working with Nikal and Media Invest Entertainment to incorporate our Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE Centre in the new development.”