Boutique hotel hope for former Blackpool post office could be part of new funding bid

Hopes of converting Blackpool’s historic former Post Office into a boutique hotel could be revived thanks to a potential new bid for government funding.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 10:24 am
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 10:26 am

Cash could also be sought towards transforming Central Drive if an application to the Government’s £4.8bn Levelling Up fund goes ahead.

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The council’s executive is being recommended to approve the preparation of a bid which must be submitted by June 18.

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Abingdon Street Post Office building

There was disappointment earlier this year when the resort failed to secure money from the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) for projects including the refurbishment of the Grade II listed former town centre Post Office on Abingdon Street.

But now town hall chiefs could include the scheme in a bid for up to £20m from the Levelling Up fund to support high-value infrastructure across the country up to 2024/25.

Blackpool has been identified as among areas needing the highest level of support from the fund.

Applications must have the support of the town’s MPs, with a decision expected to be made in the autumn.

Artist's impression of Central Drive from the Revoe Masterplan

A report to the council’s executive, which meets on Monday, says “projects that are already relatively worked up and can start in the 2021/22 year are a key requirement” to securing funding.

It adds “potential projects include those that did not receive support through the Future High Streets Fund process” and says these “all present strong

possibilities that will be assessed against the detailed qualifying criteria.”

Plans were approved in November 2019 to turn the former Post Office into a 102-bedroom hotel with shops, a bar and restaurant, plus a roof terrace. The service yard at the rear of the building would be converted into a 46-space car park.

A 25-year blueprint for the Revoe area of the resort could see Central Drive and the surrounding neighbourhoods reinvented with a new school, housing and shops.

The first phase, to create a sports village linked to Blackpool Football Club, is already on the cards thanks to a £5.5m funding boost from Blackpool’s £40m Town Deal.

Other FHSF schemes which missed out included land acquisitions to support town centre office development around King Street, the Adelaide Street transport hub, and the extension of the Quality Corridors scheme.

These could also be part of a bid to the Levelling Up fund.

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