‘Things are moving forward’ on Central site

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Blackpool Council’s assistant chief executive Alan Cavill today outlined a catalogue of work which has been carried out on the Central Station site since a proposed super casino bid collapsed – and said new proposals could come soon after May’s election.

Following the collapse of the casino bid in 2008, the council went out to tender and Greenbank was appointed a development partner.

The company drew up plans for a “snowdome” type attraction at the site – but also raised concerns over obstacles for development, including that the police station and courts are currently sited there.

The agreement with Greenbank has now expired.

Mr Cavill said: “Around six to nine months ago we agreed to go out (to tender) again and look for something else.

“There are a lot of issues Greenbank felt needed to be sorted out before development could go ahead.”

Along with the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Lancashire County Council the council has commissioned two pieces of work. An engineering firm has been appointed to draw up details of what obstacles need to be overcome before development can commence.

And a leisure consultant has been appointed to look at what kind of development could be built there.

Both pieces of work are due to report to officers and then councillors within three to four months.

At the same time, town hall bosses are working with the Home Office and police on re-siting the police station and courts.

Mr Cavill said: “It is incorrect to say that nothing has happened since 2007.

“We know from the airport that we could talk to 500 potential investors and only one of them could do what we want.

“I think we have to be very clear about what we want and go and look for it. If Coun Williams has found that we would be happy to make that part of the process, but to suggest nothing has happened in incorrect.”