Steelwork to go up for new Blackpool hotel as part of £34m next phase of regeneration
Visitors to Blackpool town centre will soon see the new Holiday Inn hotel start to take shape as work ramps up on the £34.6m second phase of the Talbot Gateway.
Contractors are preparing to install steel framework for the four star hotel which will be built on the site of the now demolished former Wilko’s store.
Workers are also back on site at the tramway extension in order to complete the £23.4m link to Blackpool North train station including a new terminus.
The link was originally due to open in summer 2019 but has been held up by delays in other elements of town centre regeneration.
Construction will mean the closure of High Street for around 26 weeks from the middle of this month with traffic diversions in place.
Council leader Coun Lynn Williams said: “This whole development will play a significant part in the overall economic recovery of Blackpool and help us build back after Covid.”
The 144 bedroom hotel, which will also include a Marco Pierre White restaurant, is due to open next summer while the tramway should begin operating later this year.
Contractors SISK are working to further extend the line from the corner of Dickson Road and Talbot Road, through the construction site to a new North Station terminus accessed via an updated underpass.
Hotel development contractors Robertson Group will be on site for approximately 26 weeks and a one way system will be in place for deliveries on and off site, managed from the existing Lord Street access, exiting via Queen Street onto Dickson Road.
Overhead electric lines and new signals are also due to be installed along Talbot Road from the terminus area to the Promenade.
This work will be phased and will take place overnight with the council saying no day time closures of Talbot Road are anticipated. It is expected the work will last for four weeks and will start in July.
Coun Williams added: “It’s great to see the construction of the new hotel, Marco Pierre White restaurant and underpass starting to take shape and we’re looking forward to seeing the steelwork go up, a significant next step in the build programme.
“It’s come a long way since the demolition started back in September last year, despite the year we have had, which is a real testament to all those involved in this important regeneration project.
“We are aware that these works are inconvenient for people and we apologise in advance but the disturbance will be worth it in the end.”
“We’re also a step closer to the new tramway extension being finalised which will bring greater capacity, more frequent services and better connectivity around town, making travel for residents and for visitors much easier, as well as providing more jobs for local people.”
The tram link from North Pier to Dickson Road has been in place for some time, but could not be completed until Wilko’s was demolished and relocated.
That in turn was held up when its new site as part of the Houndshill extension was disrupted by uncertainty around the future of the shopping centre when it was put up for sale.
The council bought Houndshill in November 2019, and work has now begun on the £20m extension kickstarted by a £5m goverment grant.
Training opportunities on the second phase of the Talbot Gateway are also being provided as part of the project through a partnership with Build Up Blackpool and Department of Work and Pensions.
The tramway extension originally received £16.4m from the Lancashire Growth Deal.
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