Too much money or is it all just a little too late?

Opinions are split on plans for conference centre

By The Newsroom
Monday, 18th July 2016, 1:00 pm
Blackpool Conference Centre
Blackpool Conference Centre

Bold multi-million pound proposals unveiled for a new conference centre in Blackpool have split opinion.

It would be built on the Winter Gardens site and boast state-of-the-art exhibition space as well as a 1,500 capacity conference room.

Blackpool Council has put together detailed plans for the scheme which would cost between £18m and £25m to build.

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It is hoping to secure funding from the government’s Growth Deal 3 by making a bid through the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

While many welcomed the plans, others said they were too late and too lacking.

Here’s a selection of both sides of the argument.

Personal think that this type of project is very important to the future of the town so why the heck are people not getting behind it and supporting this type of essential growth? Yes we have lost some very valuable business to the big cities however that doesn’t mean we can’t win it back and keep it. I know for a fact that some of the larger hotels in Blackpool still host conferences in the corporate sector and it’s very good and profitable business too. 
The Winter Gardens also has some great clients coming back year after year spending millions so its clear to see that some of the comments are from people who have no clue about what business is coming into the town.

Big on Blackpool

Promising news and Blackpool needs a 21st Century Conference facility with full press and internet capability to compete with the likes of Manchester etc.

Who know they might even attract back the party politicals....


It’s about 10 years too late. It should have been the first thing they did before the Prom and Talbot Gateway. We have lost all the big conference parties now to big cities.


The main reason Blackpool lost the conferences was because there was and still is a lack of suitable quality accommodation in the town - with sufficient car-parking oh and en-suite facilities which is still missing in so many guest houses. Brighton’s conference centre is alongside a major hotel complex - within a short walk and that is what delegates want in the 21st Century.


Is this a case of trying to make the Winter Gardens work as a conference centre again? I feel that the centre is not going to big enough to attract the large political conferences so it will be a sort of a halfway house at best. The transport logistics are a nightmare for large HGV trucks entering this part of town also we really don’t have the calibre of hotels that business people expect these days.

I would rather the council put all there efforts into attracting private investment to build a multipurpose arena on Central Car Park along with some modern four star hotels, the HGVs will be able to enter Central Car Park straight off the motorway via Yeadon Way and be able to unload inside the arena, if it is designed correctly to facilitate this.


Very easy on the eye


A superb facility for Blackpool. We need to bring major conferences back to the resort

Pietro Mowbrayzonia

Any investment can only be a good thing.

John Mailey

Funding would NOT come from the council it would come from a central government pot. My only complaint is that the proposed look of the building is ugly

Councillor Maycock

We really need a sports arena and concert arena like Manchester and a conference centre that will create loads of jobs and bring thousands of people in for pop groups and sports events

Glenn Bastow

The cost is ridiculous even if being funded by central government.

Joanne Downs

We need one plus an arena so that the big names in show business will come back to the town, instead of us having to go to other places

Madeliene Cason

Conferences bring in big business if we can attract them. This will mean a good economic benefit for the town. Don’t get me wrong I think them not cutting the grass is a misguided and unfair policy but that does not make this idea a bad one.

Andy Witty

I hope this and the museum aren’t more pie in the sky dreams and actually happen.


Good idea, but the multi-storey car park space isn’t enough by itself, surely - it’s tiny. There must be other parts of the building, and potentially the shops up to the corner, included in the plan.


These conferences make trade in Blackpool quieter, it’s a fact, when these conferences used to come here trade dropped, not to mention all the aggro for local folk trying to go about their business, and then the council tax payers have to pick up the bill for security and policing, good riddance to these conferences I am glad they are no longer here


Having been to conferences in Brighton and Bournemouth I have to agree with criticism of the somewhat limited goals of this project.

Anyone who is a Labour MP ought to know how rubbish the aircon is in the ballroom on a summer afternoon. I imagine the Tory MPs with a blood temperature above 36° would also agree.

The people slagging off Gordon Marsden for having a home in Brighton (a similar time by train as opposed to a tube to the outskirts of Greater London as per many other MPs) are missing the point. Brighton has an excellent conference centre, despite which there has been talk of knocking it down to build an even better one. 
Gordon as a part time resident of Brighton and as a veteran of many Labour conferences in the city, would be the ideal advisor for any project to create a conference centre in Blackpool. If that did happen, the people running such a project would have to be prepared to hear a few home truths.


Yet another scheme hardly likely to see the light of day due to it being far too small and at least a decade too late, not to mention in the wrong location.

Concentrate on cleaning and improving the general appearance of the town and leave the risky big money schemes to those who know what they are doing.

Reg 40