Latest update on Blackpool's £21m Houndshill shopping centre extension

Work to build a £21m extension to Blackpool's Houndshill Shopping Centre is on target with the steel framework now going up.

The scale of the development on the former Tower Street Car Park is clear to see as the structure starts to take shape after building work began on the site in September last year.

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Work begins on £21m extension to Blackpool's Houndshill Shopping Centre

Retailer Wilko will occupy the ground floor, with a nine screen cinema above and two restaurants also being part of the development.

The steel framework starting to go up at the Houndshill Centre extension

Blackpool Council, which has owned the Houndshill Centre since 2019, said it hopes to reveal details about further tenants in the coming weeks.

A spokesperson added: "Works are on schedule and are progressing well. The steel frame that is now being erected, due to be complete in summer, shows the large scale building required to fit the huge cinema screen, details of which we will be able to share in the coming weeks.”

Building work to enable Wilko to move in is due to be finished by the end of the year, although the new store is not expected to open until early 2023 when fitting out is completed.

A deal has also been signed with MMC Cinemas to bring a nine screen, 850 seat, 40,500 sq ft multi-media cinema complex to the site, including an immersive PLF (Premium Large Screen Format) IMAX-ready central screen.

The site on Tower Street

Funding for the project includes £5m from the Government’s Covid 19 Getting Building Fund, which was formerly approved by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership in October 2020.

The council bought the Houndshill Shopping Centre in for £47.6m in November 2019 as part of its long-term strategy to revitalise the town centre.

Artist's impression of how the Houndshill extension will look