Plans submitted for £300m new Blackpool leisure destination
Plans to transform Blackpool's Central car park into a £300m year round leisure destination have been submitted to the council.
Developers Nikal Ltd and Media Invest Entertainment are asking for outline approval for three branded indoor theme parks, a six storey hotel, and an events square big enough to hold the Illuminations switch-on ceremony.
The hybrid application for Blackpool Central is also seeking full permission for a seven level multi-storey car park, and a heritage quarter accessed from Central Drive.
The blueprint sets out a vision for an "interconnected collection of all-weather leisure attractions, hotels and public spaces, liberally interspersed with a multitude of places to eat and drink throughout the daytime and evening."
The scheme for the 17 acre site has taken four years to develop and 125 documents have been submitted with the application.
Public spaces have been designed to "follow the sun, providing shelter from the wind and rain with canopies and partially covered streets and spaces that connect the development to the town centre and Promenade."
Richard Fee, chairman of Nikal, described it as a "watershed moment for Blackpool Central."
He added: "The initial phases, including the multi storey car park and Heritage Quarter, will create a springboard for delivering our vision for the Blackpool Central project."
Norbert Reichart, chief executive officer at Media Invest Entertainment said: “We have taken a major step towards creating one of the UK’s most exciting destinations with this application submission.
"The scheme has a crucial role to play in enhancing Blackpool’s tourism offer and attracting more visitors to the town, and we have been spurred on by the strong show of support for our plans."
The developers say consultation has shown 'overwhelming' public support with 90 per cent of 700 people who took part backing their vision.
A decision is expected to be made by the council later this year, and once permission is secured work would begin first to build the multi storey car park as part of an enabling phase.
Coun Lynn Williams, Blackpool Council leader and cabinet member for tourism and culture said: “Blackpool Central is vitally important in creating new jobs, boosting the town’s tourism and supporting the local economy.
"The new multi storey car park is a key part to enabling the future phased stages of the development to take place, whilst protecting the car parking spaces needed for our visitors throughout the development.
“The plans for the new Heritage Quarter are an extremely welcome feature as they will breathe new life into neglected properties, reviving the Central Drive area for the benefit of surrounding businesses and residents.”
The scheme is expected to create around 1,000 new jobs, bring an estimated 600,000 additional visitors each year, and boost annual spend in the town by around £75m.
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