Upgrade heralds a brighter future

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ONE of Blackpool’s grandest hotels is set for a multi-million pound facelift – and the new man set to take the reins says Blackpool has a bright and exciting future ahead.

Barcelo is set to give the Imperial Hotel an exterior facelift before turning its attention to the historic hotel’s interior.

And incoming general manager Nick Testa says the investment follows the improvement works going on across Blackpool.

The 44-year old added: “Barcelo is looking at the hotel with positive eyes and wants to improve it. There is a vision to take the hotel forward but we can’t quantify exactly how much we’ll be spending yet.

“And that’s down to the fact we’re so impresssed with what’s going on in the town - there’s the Tower, Promenade, Winter Gardens and Nickelodeonland and we have to keep up with that.

“It’s even better when you see they are improving interior streets like Birley Street as well.”

Mr Testa has a strong background in hotel management and says it was inevitable he would wotrk in Blackpool one day.

He’s already plied his trade with Hilton in Amsterdam, Principal Hayley sites in the UK, and spent 11 years with award-winning Yorkshire-based hotel chain Cedar Court.

He said: “I always enjoyed coming to Blackpool as a child and I always wanted to come back here to work.”

The Chorley resident is delighted to be taking over at the helm of Blackpool’s ‘grand old lady’.

He added: “We need to preserve what we’ve got – this hotel has been here since around 1860 – and some of it’s features can’t be replicated – we simply don’t have the craftsmen today to do such work.

“Then, we’ll concentrate on improvements.”