Blackpool's new 'flying theatre' is no pie in the sky says developer

Norbert Reichart at the launch event for the 300m Blackpool Central development
Norbert Reichart at the launch event for the 300m Blackpool Central development

The mastermind behind a £300m tourism development for Blackpool's Central Station site vowed the Chariots of the Gods themed attraction would definitely materialise.

Austrian music mogul Norbert Reichart pledged that the scheme, destined for the resort's pivotal 17 acre site which has seen so many grand ideas be proposed only to evaporate into disappointment, said investors were in line to get involved and work was under way on designing the films to be show in the 4D fly-though cinema experience.

Nick Payne from Nikal Ltd, Coun Simon Blackburn, Coun Gillian Campbell, Norbert Reichart, and Richard Fee project director for Nikal Ltd

Nick Payne from Nikal Ltd, Coun Simon Blackburn, Coun Gillian Campbell, Norbert Reichart, and Richard Fee project director for Nikal Ltd

He was speaking at the Blackpool Central scheme's official launch presentation to resort leaders and media at Bickerstaffe House where bosses from his company Media Invest Entertainment and UK partner, Nikal Ltd, talked about the masterplan.

He said: "We have a lot of investors approaching us to get involved and it has been designed in phases to make it manageable to fund. It will definitely go ahead, we are working with people highly experienced in developments and the best companies in the industry for this form of entertainment. The technology is proven, this is no experiment here."

He said the only thing that might cause problems would be if any issues came up on the council side or the development area itself.

Mr Reichart was confident that the concept based upon author Erich Von Daniken's best selling 1968 book Chariots of the Gods which had sold 70 million copies, would appeal to visitors and would anchor the ambitious mixed use development which he said would bring in 600,000 more visitors to Blackpool and create 1,000 jobs.

How the "flying theatre" might look at Blackpool Central

How the "flying theatre" might look at Blackpool Central

"It is very important to us to have local people working there and we will be working very closely with various groups to train them. It will be important for the economy," he added.

"We have the investors in place and a huge team involved working on it. We are currently writing the scripts for the movie, it is going to be fantastic for Blackpool."

Leader of Blackpool Council Coun Simon Blackburn who introduced the presentation said it was the developers' passion for the project that convinced him that it was different to other previous, fanciful proposals for Central Station.

He confirmed that they had approached the council two years ago, no council money was being invested and that they had met them in Florida to discuss the plans in detail.

An overview of the whole Blackpool Central development area

An overview of the whole Blackpool Central development area

He said: "The Snowdome and the Supercasino failed for different reasons. With the first, the developers did not have the finances, they wanted us to spend the money, the other did not happen because Gordon Brown decided that supercasinos were not a good idea.

"I am confident that Media Invest Entertainment and Nikal will get the investment. The fact that phase one - the Chariot of The Gods experience, Alien Diner and the rest is going to draw in visitors and so it make absolute sense for people to invest in the rest of the scheme."

He said the flying theatre would be the anchor that created the footfall for the other attractions, restaurants, bars and other features.

During the presentation he was asked if a 50 year old science fiction conspiracy book was too obscure for such a huge tourism investment to be based upon, he replied: "It is an old book, but it is one that sold 70 million copies and tells stories that span hundreds of thousands of years if not millions and so does not age. The themes are enduring. Some would say that Game of Thrones was an old story but that was successful."