Update on Blackpool's £20m Houndshill Centre extension

Blackpool’s Tower Street car park looks set to close at the end of August to enable construction of the £20m Houndshill extension.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 3:55 pm
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 3:58 pm
Artist's impression of the Houndshill extension

Council regeneration chiefs say enabling work on the project which was announced in the spring, has begun.

A spokesperson said: “Essential utility works have been taking place on site which has enabled the car park to remain partially open to date.

“We won’t be closing the car park in full until absolutely necessary, when the main contractor fences off the site later in August.”

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The scheme secured a £5m government grant in October 2020 which has to be spent by March 2022, but the council added “practical completion of the site will be later in the year for a 2023 opening.”

Deals were signed in the spring to bring a new Wilko store to the site, and an IMAX-style cinema and multi-media entertainment centre.

The phase two extension is also due to include two restaurants, although operators have not yet been revealed.

The cinema will boast 850 seats across nine digital screens including a giant PLF (Premium Large Screen Format) IMAX-ready central screen, set to be the largest in the North West, within a 40,500 sq ft unit.

Screens will be able to double up as conference venue spaces, and there will also be an e-sports cafe.

The overall scheme has been facilitated by £5m of funding from the Government’s Covid 19 Getting Building Fund, following formal approval by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in October last year.

Blackpool Council will fund the balance of the scheme through prudential borrowing.

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