Millions of pounds of investment is set to see key projects bring a ‘dynamic feel’ to Blackpool in 2018.
That’s the belief of council leader Coun Simon Blackburn as the new year heralds a multi-million pound new rollercoaster and hotel unveiled in the resort.
Residents will also witness the conference centre taking shape at the Winter Gardens, while other projects set to get off the ground include the five star Sands Hotel on Central Promenade.
Tourism will also get a boost through a new elephant house at the zoo and investment in a new comic hero-based attraction at Madame Tussauds.
Meanwhile housing developments on Progress Way and Preston New Road will be well underway.
An announcement is also expected on a new attraction for the Central Station car park.
Coun Blackburn said: “Blackpool is being transformed for the better in so many ways.
“Look around our town and you will see massive levels of investment taking place by both the public and private sector.
“Big construction projects such as the new £25m Winter Gardens conference centre, the £20m Hampton by Hilton, the five star Sands Hotel and several quality housing and apartment developments show that there is huge confidence in the future of Blackpool.
“There is a real dynamic feel about the town.
“New entertainment venues and attractions ranging from the new Icon roller coaster at the Pleasure Beach, the new elephant house at Blackpool Zoo to the planned IMAX cinema at Houndshill Shopping Centre will all add to Blackpool’s fresh offers for residents and visitors alike.”
Coun Blackburn said development was being supported by investment in new infrastructure.
He added: “In addition to private and council funded projects, we have also worked hard to secure additional funding from both the Government and other bodies to deliver infrastructure schemes.
“These include the extension of the tramway from North Pier to Blackpool North Station, upgrading roads and creating modern streets.
“All of this work is helping to re-establish Blackpool as a vibrant destination for all seasons, giving people work, creating new jobs for locals, boosting the economy and helping revitalise areas of the town.
“Such large-scale investment will continue to attract more investment going forward which is great news for our community and will help Blackpool thrive.”
Developers say their investment will benefit the whole town.
A spokesman for Create Construction, which is building Hilton by Hampton on South Promenade, said: “We are making good progress on site and are on track for our May completion.
“2018 is going to be a great year for Blackpool with the opening of our new hotel and the new ride at Pleasure Beach.
“There’s a real positive momentum around the town’s regeneration and we are delighted to be playing our part in it.”
Amanda Thompson, managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, said: “2018 is set to be a hugely exciting year at Blackpool Pleasure Beach with the launch of our new ride ICON in the spring.
“The construction is coming along very well and the ride is really rising from the ground now.
“ICON will not only benefit Blackpool Pleasure Beach but also the resort as a whole as we are anticipating we will welcome thousands of additional guests who will visit us to ride the UK’s first double launch rollercoaster in 2018.”
Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said events would also be vital once more in 2018.
She said: “Anything new which we can shout about is what hoteliers need.
“If we can give guests a list of new stuff, then word of mouth is very important.
“All the investment is fabulous, and we are also on pins waiting to hear something about the Central Station car park site.
“I’m hoping for something amazing which will bring people in 365 days a year.
“We’re also looking forward to another successful Livewire concert, while events such as the Ladies Open Golf at Royal Lytham will also be a boost to us all.”