Investors all set to open new hotels

An artists impression of the Sands Hotel
An artists impression of the Sands Hotel
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Blackpool is on the brink of seeing up to 800 new holiday bed spaces created as investors queue up to open hotels in the town, it is claimed.

Tourism leaders say several schemes to open branded three, four and five star hotels are on the horizon.

An artists impression of the proposed new Premier Inn

An artists impression of the proposed new Premier Inn

These include a 140-room Premier Inn on the former Yates's site in Talbot Square where work is due to begin before the end of May, and a five star 90-room hotel above the Sands venue on Central Promenade which is also due to commence before the summer.

Work has already begun on a site on South Promenade earmarked for a 130-bedroomed Hampton by Hilton, while the council is directly supporting a proposed four-star hotel adjacent to Blackpool North Station which would have 142 rooms.

Also in the pipeline are hotels as part of the redevelopment of the former Abingdon Street Post Office, and on a site alongside the Winter Gardens.

But some councillors say they are concerned about the impact on existing hoteliers.

Coun Don Clapham told a meeting of the full council: "800 new beds is an awful lot of new beds to fill and it will impact on other businesses.

"What is the council going to do to provide a safety net for those who are going to be affected?"

Coun Clapham warned otherwise some guesthouses would shut leaving empty properties which could be turned into HMOs.

He added: "I understand why the council is so set on providing more quality beds but it does come with a health warning."

But council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said the town needed more hotels to meet future demand for overnight stays due to investments including in a new conference centre.

He said: "I am delighted there are so many big operators that want to invest in Blackpool and open hotels here.

"We are talking about 800 high quality bed spaces at a time when we have successfully won funding to build a conference centre that will house 7,000 delegates."