End in sight for Syndicate

The Syndicate is to be demolished early next year.
The Syndicate is to be demolished early next year.
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Demolition of a Blackpool landmark is likely to start early next year after the council confirmed plans to pull down the former Syndicate nightclub.

The Church Street venue will make way for a car park in the short term, but the site is seen by the council as a key strategic importance and could be used for a new hotel to serve the Winter Gardens.

Plans to bulldoze the building were confirmed this week by the council which has now appointed a contractor to carry out the work once a new site for the telecommunications equipment on its roof has been found.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: “The executive decision approves funding to proceed with the demolition.

“Following a tender process, a contractor has now been chosen and we are currently in the process of finalising arrangements to begin the work early in the new year. As we have said on a number of occasions, the plan for the site is to demolish it in the short term and create a car park, minimising running costs and creating additional spaces in a key town centre location.

“At the same time we are in discussions about a number of options for the future of the site which would have a positive, regenerative effect on Blackpool, one of which is the building of a quality hotel to supplement our events and conferencing offer.”

Removing the building, which prior to becoming the huge nightclub was the town’s ABC, will leave enough space for a 65-car carpark.

The council paid £635,000 for it in April but the total cost of the scheme is estimated to be £1.5m including the cost of demolition.

In its heyday, the complex played host to entertainment greats including The Beatles, and Morecambe and Wise before being transformed into a cinema and then into Britain’s biggest nightclub.

The Syndicate closed in August 2011 after nine years at the centre of the town’s clubbing scene hosting up to 4,000 clubbers on peak weekend nights.

A Facebook campaign to save the venue attracted around 1,500 supporters.

Council chiefs agreed to listen to alternative proposals but firm plans, backed by investment, failed to emerge.

Earlier this month Eric Morecambe’s wife Joan wrote to campaigners supporting their bid to save this part of the resort’s entertainment history.

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