Fears over the state of one of Blackpool’s most historic hotels

Blackpool Civic Trust is concerned about the state of the Ibis Hotel in Talbot Square
Blackpool Civic Trust is concerned about the state of the Ibis Hotel in Talbot Square
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Heritage guardians today raised fears about the condition of one of Blackpool’s most historic hotels.

Cracks have appeared in the frontage of the Grade II listed former Clifton Hotel in Talbot Square which now operates as Ibis Styles.

Blackpool Civic Trust is concerned about the state of the Ibis Hotel in Talbot Square

Blackpool Civic Trust is concerned about the state of the Ibis Hotel in Talbot Square

Joan Humble, chairman of the Blackpool Civic Trust, says its members are concerned particularly because the building, which dates back to 1865, is in the heart of the holiday area.

Owners Brook Leisure, who operate the Ibis Styles Hotel in the building, said it hopes to invest in the property and are trying to find a tenant for the vacant ground floor units.

It said without its initial investment a few years ago, the situation would be much worse.

But Mrs Humble said: “At a number of our recent meetings concerns have been raised about the deteriorating exterior of the Ibis Styles Hotel because this building is of historic significance.

At a number of our recent meetings concerns have been raised about the deteriorating exterior of the Ibis Styles Hotel because this building is of historic significance.

“It is a Grade II listed building, next to the Town Hall which is also Grade II listed and opposite the Grade II listed North Pier.

“It is in a key area of the town and we hope the owners can improve its appearance so our visitors see this building at its best.

“I have contacted the chief executive of the council to highlight the issue although I am not sure what powers they have to act.

“But we feel it is important to let the council know of our concern.”

Blackpool Civic Trust is concerned about the state of the Ibis Hotel in Talbot Square

Blackpool Civic Trust is concerned about the state of the Ibis Hotel in Talbot Square

Our pictures show cracks in some parts of the building, peeling paintwork, a smashed window and a boarded up window.

The building was granted listed status in 1974.

It stands on the site of the Forshaw’s Hotel, one of four of the oldest inns in Blackpool dating from the 1780s.

The Clifton was built around 1865 and in 1876 the western part of the building was demolished and rebuilt in Italianate style by the following summer.

Blackpool Civic Trust is concerned about the state of the Ibis Hotel in Talbot Square

Blackpool Civic Trust is concerned about the state of the Ibis Hotel in Talbot Square

Features include decorated arched windows and a Tuscan porch.

Yorkshire-based Brook Leisure invested around £9m in the property when it took it over and in 2008 entered a deal with Travelodge to operate a 90-bedroom hotel there.

When that deal came to a premature end, Brook Leisure took over the running of the hotel itself in 2013, bringing in an Ibis Styles as part of a franchise agreement with Blackpool Central Hotel Ltd.

However two bars which operated in the ground floor of the premises - Che Bar and Coco Club - have been closed for a number of years.

Matthew Stephens, from Blackpool Central Hotel Ltd, said the Clifton’s location made it difficult to keep on top of maintenance.He said: “We have worked hard to get the Ibis to where it is, and the hotel is doing well.

“When Brook Leisure took over the Clifton, we invested a lot of money into it and the building is certainly in a lot better state then before we refurbished it.

“The location does make it difficult to maintain the exterior, but we do want to ensure it is kept in good condition. Our intention is to deal with that and to find out if there are any grants available.

“We are also actively trying to find a good quality tenant for the ground floor and would like to attract a family-style restaurant or leisure operator.”