£1m obstacle to Blackpool's new civil service hub

A dental practice must be relocated to temporary premises at a cost of more than £1m before drilling can commence on a £100m new office block in Blackpool.

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 2:44 pm

The King Street Dental Surgery will move into temporary accommodation until its new home is ready inside the nearby former Hop Inn pub, which is being converted as part of the overall scheme.

Council chiefs warn work on the new offices cannot be delayed due to risk of inflating the cost of construction.

A council report says “it is essential that the council has vacant possession of the existing King Street Dental Surgery so that 5-31 King Street can be demolished and the site cleared so that construction work can commence.”

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Artist's impression of the King Street offices

It was announced in November the council had signed a deal to transfer up to 3,000 civil servants from the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) into a seven storey office block to be built on King Street.

The report adds work to convert the former Hop Inn into a new dental surgery will not be done in time “to complete the necessary demolition of the existing buildings, site clearance and remediation works that will enable the main office construction works to start when planned.

“It is therefore necessary to relocate the King Street Dental Surgery from their existing premises into temporary accommodation whilst work to their new premises is completed.”

The surgery will occupy its temporary facility on a short term lease until work is completed at the former Hop Inn, with the cost to provide temporary accommodation for a minimum of 12 months being £1.15m which will come from the development budget.

Demolition to make way for the new office block is expected to start next April to enable construction to begin in May or June with completion in autumn 2024.

Around 2,700 staff will be transferred from Warbreck House in North Shore, and just over 300 from Ryscar House in Bispham.

The investment is part of the third phase of the Talbot Gateway project to rejuvenate the town centre.

The £100m cost of the offices includes £82m from council borrowing which will be recouped in rent throughout the 25-year lease, with the DWP putting the remainder of the money in.

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