Developers say they are confident a £50m housing development is on track to transform perceptions about living in the centre of Blackpool.
The first owner-occupiers have now moved into Foxhall Village which is rapidly taking shape on a 19-acre site between Central Drive, Rigby Road and Tyldesley Road.
Rik Faircloth, development manager for Hollinwood Homes which is building 410 houses in total, said: “We have seen a real upshift in interest and pleasingly a lot of locals buying here.
“The main reason driving this is we are creating quality homes in central Blackpool and no-one else is doing that.
“We are showing people central Blackpool is a place you can consider and bring your kids up in.
“The whole idea is to create a development which is of a sufficient size to act as a catalyst and I think what we are doing will open the eyes of other developers to the fact there is a market here.
“The only challenge is to change people’s perceptions, the design of the houses and the price is right.”
The first 20 owner occupiers will all be in by Christmas.
Darryl Ferguson, 60, is one of the first after retiring from his job as a London tube train driver and moving north.
He said: “What really appealed to me at first was the location, right near the Promenade and seafront and with public transport links to the other towns along the Fylde coast, like Cleveleys and Fleetwood.
“There’s a real mix of people starting to move in, from people like myself to couples and families.
“The development has really brightened up the area, and I’m really happy to be a part of a thriving new community which I’m enjoying seeing unfold before my eyes.”
Steve Matthews, housing consultant to Blackpool Council, said: “This is an environment where people really want to be.”
Eighty houses have now been completed, with the first 70 being allocated for social rent through Great Places Housing Group.
A show home has been unveiled as private sales start to ramp up.
The project is seen as key to regeneration, replacing failing guest houses and using land formerly occupied by the council’s Illuminations Depot and the Mecca building.
Roads are named after Blackpool Football Club’s 1953 FA Cup winning team.
Blackpool Council received a grant of £2.7m from the Government towards the £15m cost of clearing the land for redevelopment, with other funding from the Government’s New Homes Bonus scheme.