Bid to attract thousands of office workers into Blackpool town centre

The Talbot Gateway in Blackpool town centre
The Talbot Gateway in Blackpool town centre
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Blackpool hopes to attract around 5,000 office workers into the town centre in order to help preserve the high street.

Around 1,000 workers have already been brought into the central area due to the creation of space within the council’s Bickerstaffe House in the Talbot Gateway.

This includes hundreds of council staff who were moved from out-of-town sites as well as the recent relocation of 250 workers from Slater Gordon motor insurance.

Council chiefs hope to create more office space as part of moves to protect Blackpool’s main shopping area.

A bid is due to be made before the end of March for funding from the Government’s £675m Future High Streets Fund to help develop ways of protecting the
town centre.

Blackpool Council’s director of regeneration Alan Cavill told a meeting of the tourism, economy and resources committee that other ideas set to form part of the bid included creating a hub for independent shops.

He said: “We are looking at the consolidation of independent shopping into a space that is conducive to people going in with good rents. We are also considering how we can use large areas of the town centre to bring more people in.

“From the work we have done to date with Bickerstaffe House we have brought 1,000 office workers into the town centre, and our ambition is to have about 5,000.

“We think this will have a high impact on the vitality of the shopping centre.”

New office buildings are earmarked for future phases of the Talbot Gateway scheme, which has proved controversial in the past.

It is hoped bringing more workers in will encourage them to spend money in the town centre stores.