Blackpool town centre boost as Slater Gordon Solutions Motor move in

Bickerstaffe House
Bickerstaffe House
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Hundreds of jobs are set to move into Blackpool town centre in a move which town hall chiefs hope will boost the economy.

Blackpool Council is poised to sign a deal with insurance firm Slater Gordon Solutions Motor which would see the firm relocate from its current base on Blackpool Business Park to Bickerstaffe House on Talbot Road.

The council’s executive committee is being recommended to approve the lease of the first floor of the building, and the ground floor reception area.

If the deal goes ahead, it will see 230 jobs initially relocated to the town centre with plans to recruit a further 70 staff shortly after the move.

More jobs could be created in the following 18 months, bringing the total to 400 employees by 2020.

A report to the executive says the proposal is part of the “strategy to promote town centre regeneration by locating businesses within the CBD (central business district) area and increasing footfall to support the local economy.”

It adds: “This will dramatically increase the local town centre economy, directly bringing jobs into the town, supporting the council’s town centre regeneration plans.”

Councillors will consider the recommendation when they meet today.

Council workers relocated to Bickerstaffe House in 2014 from outlying offices including the former Progress House on Clifton Road, Marton.

While the council was the anchor tenant for the building, it was always proposed to attract other tenants.

Slater Gordon Solution was founded in Bispham with just six staff.

Solicitor Andrew Gorton founded AI in 1991, becoming Auto Idemnity in 1996, originally operating out of the Blackpool Technology Management Centre, in Faraday Way.

It floated on the AIM (the stock exchange for smaller companies) in December 1999 and moved to its current offices at Frank Whittle Way on Blackpool Business Park in 2002.

The company handles all aspects of motor insurance claims from its call centre based.

Earlier this month it was also announced part of the ground floor of Bickerstaffe House is to be used as a specialist health and social care training and research hub.

The scheme, in partnership with Blackpool and the Fylde College and Lancaster University, will take over empty units previously occupied by a council-run gym.