Blackpool town centre hotel plan and demolition of homeware store earmarked to go ahead
A multi-million pound new hotel in Blackpool town centre is set to move a step closer to being built.
Councillors are being recommended to approve a full planning application for the £31m scheme to bulldoze the Wilkinson’s store on Talbot Road and replace it with a six storey four-star hotel with 142 bedrooms.
Blackpool Council’s planning committee is due to consider the submission by developer Muse when it meets on Tuesday.
The investment would kickstart phase two of the ambitious Talbot Gateway central business district.
Planners also say it will rid the town centre of the “dated” Wilkinson’s building which presents a “negative image” to visitors arriving in the resort.
Wilkinson’s is due to move to a new store earmarked for Tower Street, adjacent to the Houndshill shopping centre.
A report to the committee says: “The current Wilkinson’s building has a heavy and dated concrete appearance with little active frontage, and does not therefore make a positive contribution to the surrounding area and detracts from the setting and character of the Town Centre Conservation Area.
“The building also presents a rather negative image of the town when arriving at Blackpool North railway station.
“The immediate area would benefit considerably from a quality redevelopment of the site and will assist in the on-going regeneration of the central business district, the town centre and of the resort itself.”
The proposal also includes a temporary 127 space surface level car park and the widening of the underpass and other access improvements connecting the application site, the new tram station (which is not part of this application) and Blackpool North railway station.
Facilities at the hotel will include a restaurant, bar and conference accommodation along with shops at the lower ground floor level.
Blackpool Council is borrowing £17.5m towards the cost of the scheme, which includes extending the underpass from Blackpool North train station to the new tram terminal.
The full cost is £23m plus £7.8m already spent on acquiring the Wilkinson’s site.
The remaining £5.5m will come from the development trust account for the Talbot Gateway.
Future phases of the Talbot Gateway will see the car park built on, and replaced with three buildings set to be a mix of office and residential accommodation.
Phase one of the Talbot Gateway has seen investment in a Sainsbury’s supermarket, new council offices at Bickerstaffe House and the revamping of the Talbot Road multi-storey car park, with a gym and restaurant beneath.