Big new model attraction planned for Blackpool town centre
Ambitious plans have been submitted to Blackpool planners to transform part of the former BHS store into the UK's largest exhibition of iconic model buildings and vehicles.
The project lodged with Blackpool Council would see the basement of the old BHS (British Home Stores) premises in Market Street renovated and turned into a giant emporium housing hundreds of replica models of iconic British buildings, trains, aircraft and boats.
It will be located beneath the B&M outlet on the site.
Spencer Pryor, MD of Mini Planet Ltd, the company behind the exciting 'Mini Planet' venture, said: “We have been working on this project for nearly three years now, but unfortunately we have had numerous delays due to the pandemic.
"Now we are in a position to get underway with converting 26,000 sq ft of the old BHS shop in Blackpool into a world class visitor attraction.
"The original idea was to mimic Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg which is Germany's number one tourist attraction with over one million visitors a year.
"However we have now refined the idea to bring a showcase of the best landmarks of Great Britain in 4mm scale ranging from Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge in London through to scale models of Old Trafford.and Blackpool's iconic Golden Mile to the thousands of families that visit Blackpool each year.
"Coupled with spectacular computer controlled lighting effects and movement of trains, boats and planes we are sure this will be a great addition to Blackpool's visitor attractions.
“Mini Planet will also give every visitor the opportunity to be part of the exhibition as the company is at the forefront of 3D model printing and we'll have the facilities to take a 3D scan of visitors and to replicate them to be placed in the exhibition for posterity.
"Visitors could be immortalised in resin or plastic to forever walk the Blackpool Prom or stand outside Buckingham Palace!”
Mini Planet will initially consist of four lands – London, Scotland, England and AirportLand, with other lands such as Wales and Ireland proposed for 2023 onwards.
More than100 iconic buildings have already been identified and model building is already underway off site.
AirportLand will be a scale replica of Manchester Airport and will actually feature taxiing and flying aircraft down to scale details such as operating arrivals and departure boards.
Mr Pryor continued: “Building work is due to start within the next couple of months, and we are having to design the new exhibition area to be covid-19 compliant with increased ventilation
and larger visitor circulation areas.
"We aim to be a safe and welcoming attraction to visit. We are already starting to think about staff recruitment and up to 40 full and part time jobs will need to be filled in various roles from retail and ticket office through to skilled electronics and modelling
We are currently recruiting more skilled model builders who can work from home during the pandemic restrictions.”
Subject to planning permission being granted Mini Planet intends to open to the public in June 2022 and up to date information can be found at the Mini Planet website at www.miniplanet.co.uk