'Gillespies Art Deco??' - Blackpool's Champs Sports Bar branded "cheap" by town hall planners

Champs Sports Bar on Topping Street
Champs Sports Bar on Topping Street

A historic Blackpool pub has been branded “cheap” by town hall planners.

The renovation of the former Gillespie’s pub on Topping Street saw current owners Ma Kelly’s put signs up and remove original windows.

The building – which is now operating as Champs Sports Bar – is part of the town centre conservation area and subject to tougher rules on what changes can be made.

READ MORE: Town hall planners demand the restoration of historic Blackpool pub building



The council are now demanding that the historic Blackpool pub is restored to its former art deco appearance.

However, many of you seem to disagree with the council's opinion on this.

Here are your thoughts on the story

It's a bit rich for this council to brand any private investment "cheap" given their track record of doing everything on the cheap.

Seems that there is a little bit of a witch hunt going on where Ma Kelly's are concerned.

They have transformed a dilapidated pub on Queens Promenade into a now well received and popular venue, and the cost of doing so was significantly more than any of the previous National breweries level of investment in the place.

If you want cheap, take a look at the tramway revamp, with shelters that have been left to rust away because they are not of Marine grade materials.

Have a close look at the wedding venue opposite the tower, or the state of the structure along Birley street, the patched up with Tarmac blockpaving in Church St or even the roofing on the tram depot.

These are Just a few examples.

There are countless run down hotels around the town centre that make those who have invested in theirs see red, and perhaps dealing with these owners who show a total lack of respect for their neighbouring properties should be dealt with, rather than targeting someone who clearly wants to improve and update their stock.

Freddy Pug



The team at ma Kelly's work hard to achieve a good a safe venue credit where credit is due, so Blackpool council should sort out its own issues within the council where it fails us the tax payers, instead of going slagging hard working businesses off when they are the biggest fail service in Lancashire.

Parkerwaters Rfu Jonathan



What a load of tripe.

Did they go in Gillespies in the 12 months before it changed hands?

No atmosphere and more importantly no customers.

At least someone is trying to make a go of it.

Chris Lonsdale



Before Gillespie's was renovated we went in and the place smelt like a toilet, there was hardly anyone in and the decor and furniture was beyond saving.

The new pub is clean, attractive and a pleasant place to be.

Let's concentrate more on the boarded up places like The Cedar Tavern and all of the run down shops and buildings in the town.

Chris Walsh



This council needs to get a grip.

After years of going into Gillespies and seeing it decline in customer, repair and life it was a breath of fresh air to once again return once it had been turned into the current format of champs sports bar.

Instead of it looking dark and tired it now looks bright, modern and attractive to people.

You can now go in and there is always people in there enjoying the sports and drinks combo.

I think it is exactly what the town needed and hope that more tired old places make the upgrade.

Surely having a more modern looking place is a good thing!

Or would the council leaders prefer yet another empty run down derelict building for the druggies to set outside.

Wake up and look to the future not live in the past.

Steven Stanfield



I think the town hall planners, must walk around blackpool with their eyes shut, maybe instead of criticising the people who are working really hard to run their Business and to make it look wonderful and inviting to get custom, for them to just about cover the yearly Council tax rates & etc.

Maybe their planners would like to get more involved with the local traders help them with cost etc, help them with the designs, or take a walk down Central Drive, and start planning, it’s so easy to sit back and Criticise others, who are doing their best with the tools they have, their are countless buildings shutdown, countless buildings that need renovation and homes and not just low income families but hard working People who just can’t afford to have the houses done up to make.

Blackpool a nicer place to be, my mum and dad are doing their house up at the moment they live on Keswick rd, so naturally like most people in their homes you start with the inside make that nice, then the outside, they received a letter from Blackpool Council, telling them they have to make the outside look better, it’s by far not the best looking house, but clean windows, clean blinds, clean garden, beautiful pot plants, it needs painting, but they can only do one thing at a time, and again they work hard and can’t afford to get somebody else to do it so it gets done when they have time to do it, it’s such a shame that this pub owner has worked really hard on restoring this building, and also created job opportunities, to be criticise.

No wonder so many traders in Blackpool give up, and if they were so concerned about the renovation of the historic pub, then surely, they would of been more supportive.

Come blackpool town hall planners wake up.

Jamie Mcphee



This is the council that allowed a 30 foot skull and plastic parrot along with the wedding toilet to be built on the prom.

Eric Lee



The clowncil got a nerve,take a look at the mess they make of things.Its a lot better than an empty building and making that area a bit more busy.

Jonny Meehan



Look fine, better than being empty. Bigger problems out there.

Laura Clare



Every time somewhere new opens up it’s always a cheap and tacky dump like something from Benidorm.

Chris Bond



Gillespies Art Deco??

Liam Troughton



A bar? Look cheap? here? In Blackpool? Nooooo.

Antony Pothecary