A once disused Blackpool town centre building is getting set to buzz with activity after two business partners brewed up a London-style mixed use plan.
Jon Parks and David Worsfold have quit the big city for the seaside to launch their new venture Hive in Church Street.
Their vision is to start with an artisan coffee bar with fresh local produce on the ground floor then once established open up the upper floors as an overflow area for the coffee shop at weekends and as a business lounge and entertainment space with serviced offices on the top floor.
The building used to house the Moments gift shop and the pair say they aim to contribute to the gradual revitalisation of the street.
Jon said: “We both were in London and have seen this sort of thing work really well there.
We started working on the project 12 months ago. The building was a bit of an eyesore and had fallen into disrepair. It is an ideal location on a very busy street opposite the Winter Gardens.”
Jon studied an HND in hotel and catering at Blackpool and Fylde College, 25 years ago and then moved to work in London in five star hotels such as the St James Hotel on Buckingham gate before working in IT.
David is a qualified chartered accountant who worked in several businesses in London and also holds a Diploma in Wines and Spirits.
Jon said: “Some people thought we were mad to come to Blackpool but we have been very impressed by the regeneration of the town. We echo Amada Thompson’s call for businesses to “step up as resort ambassadors” when she opened the new ride ICON at the pleasure beach.
“We would like to contribute to that regeneration and encourage Fylde residents to spend locally rather than travel to say Manchester.”
They have been supported by Blackpool Unlimited, the Start Up Loans Company and the British Business Bank and have created five full time jobs and 14 par time roles. In the long term they aim to expand into wholesale trade, bread baking and jam making courses, and wine tasting events.