Exclusive: Plans for 200-bed hotel to bring back political parties

Adelaide Street hotel
Adelaide Street hotel
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Plans have been unveiled for a 203-bedroom hotel which could eventually connect directly to the Winter Gardens.

The five-storey building earmarked for a site between Leopold Grove, Adelaide Street and Alfred Street, would include a second floor bridge giving guests direct access to Blackpool’s new conference centre currently being built.

The investment, if it goes ahead, would give the resort conference facilities with accommodation which rival towns and cities already boast.

Coun Mark Smith, cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and economic development at Blackpool Council, said: “Blackpool Council is supportive of the proposed hotel development on Leopold Grove.

“It is envisaged that these regeneration plans could enhance Blackpool’s conferencing offer, particularly due to the close proximity and potential direct physical link to the new Blackpool Conference Centre.

“Independent conferencing analysis commissioned by Blackpool Council highlights the correct type of hotel accommodation and operation as a significant requirement of conferencing delegates.

“We welcome any private investment of appropriate quality that supports the conference offer and our wider regeneration plans.”

An outline application for the project has been submitted to town hall planners by London-based architects Bisset Adams.

It says the scheme would be a three and four star hotel with accommodation on the upper levels and leisure facilities including a cafe, bar and restaurant on the ground floor.

Parking for 59 vehicles would be provided on the lower ground level accessed from Adelaide Street.

There would also be a spa on the lower ground floor for use by hotel guests.

A design statement accompanying the application says: “ The design of the new hotel aims to complement the existing surrounding buildings and conservation setting.

“This includes the Winter Gardens complex and new conference centre which is currently under construction.

“The aim is to create high quality accommodation with accessible and legible entrances, while also providing good visual and physical links to the external spaces and conference centre opposite.”

Leopold Grove could eventually be pedestrianised paving the way for a direct foot-link to the conference centre.

Meanwhile a second floor bridge would connect directly to the first floor concourse of the conference centre.

The statement adds: “This would allow potential shared guests and delegates of the hotel and conference centre to access directly via the enclosed bridge link.

“Access control could also be implemented to assist with security.”

Secure attached hotel accommodation could help the Winter Gardens win back the main party political conferences which it previously hosted.

The site is currently partly occupied by a car park.

Outline planning permission has previously been granted for hotel development there, but has never been acted upon.

Permission has also been agreed for the demolition of properties on Alfred Street in connection with the hotel development.

Last summer a row of properties on Leopold Grove was demolished after being bought by the council for £557,000 as part of the long term strategy for the Winter Gardens. The application must now go before council planners at a future date.