Council hopes to purchase former Post Office earmarked to become Indigo Hotel
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The landmark building has been owned by businessman Joe Thompson since 2015.
Planning permission was granted in September for revised proposals to convert it into a 150-room hotel with a rooftop terrace and a three-storey rear extension.
The council secured £8m from the government’s Levelling Up Fund in March this year towards the project, with Ashall Projects set to redevelop the site which would operate under the Indigo Hotels brand.
Documents submitted to a meeting of the council’s Levelling Up Scrutiny Committee revealed the council is currently negotiating to buy the Post Office building
The executive has agreed “to delegate to the Director of Communications and Regeneration the acquisition of the property”.
Further details of the deal are being kept under wraps until an agreement is formally signed, but members of the scrutiny committee quizzed officers over whether it would represent value for money.
Director of communications and regeneration Alan Cavill confirmed the purchase was under negotiation, but the hotel would not be managed by the council.
He said the design process was at an early stage, but the benefits of the purchase included giving the council control over the future of the site, and a marginal financial return.
The Post Office was built in 1910, before closing in 2007. Mr Thompson, of Blackpool-based Thompson Developments, bought the building in 2015 but previous proposals to use it as a hotel have never progressed.
The latest proposals are the fifth set of plans to be approved for the site after a series of revisions.
The revised application, submitted by Franklin Ellis Architects on behalf of developer Ashall Projects, has permission for a number of small amendments including a mixture of around 150 rooms,
Ashall has a proven track record in restoring historic buildings and the site also includes Blackpool’s former sorting office.
The ground floor will include a restaurant and bar for hotel guests and non-residents, with frontages on both Abingdon Street and Edward Street, with the design incorporating the old post office counter.