Blackpool’s Town Deal monies approved by Government
Today Blackpool Council can announce that £39.5m earmarked for the 7 Blackpool ‘Town Deal’ projects has been fully approved by Government and work can commence on all 7 projects. Up until now the money had been ring-fenced for Blackpool pending approval of individual business cases for each project.
The Government’s £3.6bn Town Fund was announced in 2019 and Blackpool was one of the first of 101 towns in the UK to secure funding. The funding is aimed at strengthening the local economy and revitalising the town and will help to increase economic growth with a focus on regeneration, improved transport, better broadband connectivity, skills and culture.
With the help of this funding Blackpool will become a thriving coastal community, which offers more work opportunities for residents, a good education for all, a place to grow businesses, an enhanced tourism offer and a place where our young people are supported and developed.
The projects which are now fully approved are:
Supporting the relocation of Blackpool’s County and Magistrates Courts by releasing land for the final phase of the £300m private sector investment at Blackpool Central. This will provide a brand new, world-class, visitor attraction, open year-round providing a major boost to the visitor economy including major job creation.
Land assembly to enable the relocation of the Blackpool & The Fylde College’s Palatine Road campus to allow the creation of a world class university learning environment in the town centre. It will help to address local skills needs, working with local employers and in partnership with Lancaster University. The new Multiversity Campus has been designed to accommodate over 3,600 learners.
Creating a new road to open up development sites to attract jobs and investment at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone (EZ). Through the creation of new highways, the scheme will support business and jobs growth, opening up 10.5 hectares of previously inaccessible development land.
This project will aid the regeneration of the Revoe area, creating new sports pitches and facilities for community use. It will catalyse investment within the Blackpool FC Bloomfield Road ground and surrounding area. The overall project aim is to provide a sports village with leisure, education, and residential uses and attract further private investment to the area.
Redevelopment of the existing town centre Stanley Buildings to create modern office space for new start-ups and growing businesses, and providing business advice for growth-ambitious small businesses. The Edge is the name given to the new extended managed workspace that will bring into use large parts of the upper floors of the building to create a vibrant business hub with a choice of offices, meeting rooms, co-working and breakout spaces.
The project will provide investment to upgrade the world famous Blackpool Illuminations to attract new visitors by developing new features and lighting technology. A number of new centrepiece attractions will be designed alongside new lighting infrastructure improvements and essential technical equipment needed to deliver the illuminations in a greener, more sustainable way.
The development of a physical space to support young people in the town to access jobs and training and to make the jump from school or unemployment into work, smoother and easier. The Youth Hub will provide a ‘one place base’ providing quality advice for young jobseekers aged 16-24. The service will be located in a vacant town centre unit within Bickerstaffe House, a Council owned building.
Leader of Blackpool Council Cllr Lynn Williams said:
“I am delighted that our Town Deal projects have been given the final seal of approval and we can now get on with delivering those projects for the benefit of our residents and visitors.
“A lot of work has gone in so far to get us to this point and I want to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in that work.
“We have consulted widely on the projects that have been approved and I am confident that they will help to provide Blackpool residents with what they need in their town.
“It’s incredibly exciting that the implementation stage will now begin and I encourage all residents to stay engaged and aware of the developing projects and how they and their families can get involved and benefit directly from them.
“Our refreshed council plan will soon be launched, the Town Deal projects are a big part of that - providing more jobs for people, more opportunities and a better place to live and work, truly making Blackpool better”
Paul Smith, Chair of the Town Deal Board said:
“It is a huge step forward now these projects have been given the final seal of approval. The Town Deal Board proudly work to that ensure we represent the needs and views of the Blackpool community and businesses and I am confident this investment is going to the right places with the right plans.
“We will continue to serve the town by ensuring the plans we have in place deliver the results needed.
“We will also continue to build on the relationship we have with central Government so they can fully understand how this funding will tackle some of the issues we have here in Blackpool developing the economy and supporting people to lead healthier and happier lives”.
Minister for Levelling Up Neil O’Brien said:
“This is a huge moment for the people of Blackpool. This £39.5m million Town Deal will back seven impressive projects to revitalise the town, strengthen the local economy and help Blackpool become a thriving coastal community again.
“The government is levelling up every corner of the UK by spreading opportunity, improving services, empowering local leaders and building more places people are proud to call home.”
You can read more about Town Deal on Blackpool Council’s website Town Deal and for more information on the wider regeneration projects already taking place in Blackpool or to register for free updates visit www.blackpool.gov.uk/BetterBlackpool