Blackpool to get new town centre square as part of £100m office investment

A new leafy town centre square, more than a hundred bicycle racks and a design based on Blackpool’s Art Deco heritage are among the details revealed after full plans for the town’s £100m office development were submitted.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 12:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 12:22 pm

The scheme to redevelop an area between Cookson Street and King Street was granted outline permission by the council in March.

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Councillors sign off on £100m Blackpool office development

But detailed documents including a 109-page design statement have now been lodged by Muse Developments as part of the next phase of investment in the Talbot Gateway.

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An artist's impressions of the proposed offices

London based Make Architects, which has drawn up the plans, says “Reference has been made to the curves of the beautiful Art Deco buildings of

Blackpool, with the curve allowing the resolution of the corner of the building addressing Cookson Street and Deansgate.”

The design brief adds: “The form and appearance of the new office building has been developed drawing upon the rich architectural context of some of

Blackpool’s significant older buildings which often featured a curve.”

The development area

Orange has been chosen as the main colour to reflect “local brick buildings including the beautiful base building to the Blackpool Tower”, contrasted by grey ceramic tiles on the ground floor.

Cycling to work will be encouraged with the provision of 114 indoor cycle racks as well as changing facilities on the ground floor.

Extensive landscaping is proposed including a new public square to the north of the Hop Inn, which is being partially retained and remodelled for use as a dental surgery.

The plans add: “Establishing a strong green character to the street and square will be help to characterise the development.

“There is the opportunity to provide one of the town centre’s only green spaces, creating a public realm offer that doesn’t exist currently.”

It is also proposed to pedestrianise the north end of King Street and plant trees along the route.

A formal announcement on who will lease the new offices, which will bring 2,500 jobs to the town centre, is expected in coming weeks with the Civil Service widely expected to be the new tenant.

A council spokesperson said: “A non-disclosure agreement remains in place until the agreement for lease has been formally completed and we hope to be able to make a full announcement in the coming weeks.”

Muse Developments, the council’s partner for the Talbot Gateway, will build the offices at a total cost of £99,750,000 funded by the council, including borrowing of just over £82m.

This includes £55m for the shell of the building plus the cost of fitting it out, and land acquisitions to enable development to proceed.

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