The future is taking shape writes Andy Mitchell

The speed at which the new development at the top of Talbot Road in Blackpool is taking shape is heartening.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 12:30 pm
Talbot gateway phase 2

I’ve passed the old Wilkos site a few times in the past week, and the giant steelwork for the new hotel and offices has been bolted together liked an enormous Meccano set.

One of the fascinating bits to watch, is the development of the new tram interchange. It’s a complicated set of rails which will form a cross over for trams when they get to the terminus, allowing them to come back down Talbot Road and on to the Promenade again.

For the last few years, passers by looked on bemused, as the tracks disappeared through the front door of the old supermarket building. Of course, it sparked a flurry of local conspiracy theories on social media. I remember one correspondent suggesting that “the Council” (for it is ALWAYS their issue, according to Facebook warriors), had got the direction of the tracks wrong and they’d ended up in Wilkos by mistake!

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For some reason, getting good news out about expansion and development in Blackpool has usually met with cynicism and a default position that the intention is somehow to do damage. I’ve never been able to get my head around this. Other towns and cities don’t seem to suffer from it. Manchester for example, is a constant building site, with impressive buildings going up at a fast rate, yet locals seem to take it in their stride.

What we need now more than ever is an exciting, optimistic view of what’s happening to the future of the resort, and get behind it.

The council isn’t responsible for every building or development in town, it is big business looking to invest in the resort. If grant funding is available to Blackpool to develop individual projects, then we should always be welcoming of it. We need every penny that Central Government can throw our way. Grant funding and private investment will redevelop our town.

The next job in Talbot Road will be to put up the overhead wires which will enable our modern light rail tram system to link North Station with the rest of the network. This is expansion in action, and we are here to see it happen.

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