Office developments plan for Blackpool town centre

Offices at Bickerstaffe House in Talbot Gateway
Offices at Bickerstaffe House in Talbot Gateway
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Up to £1.25m is to be set aside towards developing plans for new office accommodation in Blackpool town centre which it is hoped will  attract more jobs to the resort core.

The council's executive has approved the spending as part of preparations for phase two of the Talbot Gateway which is due to begin next year.

A report to councillors says "discussions are underway regarding several possible opportunities" although nothing is ready to be made public yet.

The report adds: "Nevertheless it is vital the council is in a position to respond quickly to the potential implications of such opportunities should they arise."

Investment of around £80m in the town centre has already brought in around 1,000 jobs including at Bickerstaffe House. The building mainly houses council staff but recently saw 260 staff from Slater Gordon Motor Insurance move in.

It is hoped additional office accommodation will boost the town centre economy.

The executive was told the council "is looking to bring forward more office-based developments to increase footfall in the town centre and support the town's economic growth."

In the past the council has said it hopes to attract more civil service jobs to the town centre.

The St John's car park on East Topping Street is already earmarked for office development as part of the Talbot Gateway scheme.

Previous plans for the land have also included a £14m hotel but the proposal was shelved in 2015 with a scheme now in place for a hotel on Talbot Road instead, linked to the new tram terminal on the site of Wilko's.

Phase one of the Talbot Gateway includes Bickerstaffe House, Sainsbury's and the refurbished Talbot Road multi-storey car park.