Hotel also vital if Blackpool is to win back political parties

Coun Tony Williams
Coun Tony Williams
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The leader of Blackpool Conservatives says its members are lobbying hard to bring its national party conference back to the resort.

Coun Tony Williams added delivering a secure hotel in addition to the £25m conference centre currently under construction at the Winter Gardens was essential.

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Coun Williams was speaking after Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis revealed talks were being held about the possibility of bringing the conference back.

During a meeting at the office of Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard, Mr Lewis said "there is a conversation going on at the moment".

But he warned conferences were booked quite far in advance.

Coun Williams, who attended the meeting with Mr Lewis, said: "All political conferences are arranged and booked well in advance as you can imagine due to the work that has to go into security and accommodation arrangements.

"I was at the meeting with Mr Lewis and he did certainly indicate that Blackpool was on the radar.

"Obviously a secure conference access and integrated hotel arrangement such as Birmingham is a big factor.

"That’s why I am anxious that the adjacent hotel complex, that I negotiated to bring to Blackpool to be built next to the conference centre, will still be part of the overall plan.

"Conservatives in Blackpool including Paul Maynard and myself have continued to lobby to bring one of our conferences to Blackpool and Mr Lewis’s comments are most encouraging."

The new conference centre is due to be completed next year and will bring the capacity of the Winter Gardens up to 7,000 delegates.

Planning permission is in place for a hotel on an adjoining site on Leopold Grove with an elevated corridor connecting it to the conference centre.