Investment plans backed by council

An artists impression of plans for a new conference centre in Blackpool
An artists impression of plans for a new conference centre in Blackpool
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Town hall chiefs have backed two key regeneration schemes for Blackpool.

The council’s executive committee has agreed to bid for government funding through the Lancashire Growth Deal for a £25m conference centre at the Winter Gardens.

Hotels on Bourne Crescent off Blackpool Promenade, South Shore

Hotels on Bourne Crescent off Blackpool Promenade, South Shore

Detailed plans show a three-storey building boasting exhibition space and a conference centre.

Tory opposition group leader Coun Tony Williams questioned whether the proposed complex would be big enough to host large-scale events. But council leader Coun Simon Blackburn accused him of having “a lack of vision.”

He added: “Once again Coun Williams makes a knee-jerk reaction without reading his paperwork.

“A 2,000-capacity venue, alongside the existing facilities at the Winter Gardens will create one of the biggest conference complexes in the North West and the UK.”

The executive also agreed to a £4.5m council loan towards the redevelopment of the fire-ravaged Palm Beach and Bourne Hotels on Bourne Crescent, South Promenade, to pave the way for a new Hilton by Hampton Hotel.

Create Construction was granted planning permission last August for the 130-bedroom scheme.

There is already £8m committed to the scheme, including £1m from Create and £7m from a PLC pension fund.

But there is still a funding shortfall in the financing of the plans.

The council loan will fill this gap, ensuring the full investment can go ahead.