Blackpool has something of a reputation as a traditional seaside town whose better days might be behind it. However current regeneration plans hold the potential to completely transform the look, feel and purpose of the town. In this report we will look at what is ongoing and planned in Blackpool.
Firstly, an interesting observation about regeneration here: The current schemes appear to be part of a holistic approach aimed not just at updating Blackpool’s tourist offer and developing its commercial potential but regenerating the whole town. According to the local authority the current ‘big ticket’ regeneration projects are designed to bring long term, year round jobs to the community, improving skills and standards of living in the process.
The largest single regeneration project here is already on the ground. In the recent past Blackpool has lacked modern commercial space. Talbot Gateway is a collaboration between Blackpool Council and Muse Developments to rectify this by creating a new business district and civic quarter on a 20-acre site north of the existing town centre and offering 1.1m sq.ft. of commercial space. The site also benefits from easy access to Blackpool North railway station and the seafront.
Talbot Gateway Phase 1 has already provided retail, leisure, Grade A office space and new public realm. Phase 2 is in progress and will add 170,000 sq.ft. of office space, a four-star Holiday Inn hotel, flagship restaurant and a new entrance to the station. A new spur line will connect the area to the Blackpool Transport tram network.
Phase 3 of Talbot Gateway will commence shortly and should prove to be the icing on the cake for the scheme. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has committed to establishing a new regional hub in 215,000 sq.ft. of space here. Around 3,000 staff will relocate here from other local offices by 2025.