Blackpool Central’s £ 300million development area could be turned into a new food hall

New images have been unveiled of the £ 300million Blackpool Central leisure development project ahead of a planning application submission this summer.

They show how the listed buildings of Central Drive will be transformed into a heritage district with an artisan food hall, a renovated pub and new vacation accommodation.

It comes as residents are invited to have their say in the project that will see Central Car Park transformed over the next decade into a year-round destination attracting an estimated 600,000 additional visitors per year.

The full development, which will take five to 10 years, is expected to see a new indoor theme park built that includes a flying theater, rides, an immersive virtual reality experience and a rooftop bar.

First revealed in 2018, it is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs and increase the city’s annual spending by £ 75million.

Richard Fee, President of Nikal Ltd, which develops the site with Media Invest Entertainment, said: “We are looking to create a world-class leisure destination that will add to Blackpool’s current offering and attract hundreds of thousands of new visitors. every year. .

“This planning application for the enabling phase will allow us to deliver the new multi-storey parking lot and heritage district, where we plan to create a new artisanal food hall.

“We want to understand and listen to what the local community, local businesses and visitors to Blackpool think about this game-changing opportunity. Please contact us and help us define and shape the program. “

Parking plans for the area

A formal consultation exercise has now been launched, with residents having until May 26 to participate.

The plans include a major new public square for live events such as concerts, light shows, sporting events and markets, as well as new hotels and restaurants.

Scoping documents filed with council in February also showed that the first phase would see a heritage district created using the former Grade II listed King Edward VII cinema and the locally listed King Edward VII pub, both located on Central Drive.

A planning request is being prepared for the first phase of development, which includes a new multi-storey car park with 1,300 spaces that will free up land for future phases and ensure that adequate parking is maintained for visitors and residents. .

Proposals include the conversion of the former Grade II listed King Edward VII Cinema into an Artison Food Hall with outdoor dining areas.

The locally listed King Edward VII pub would be renovated into a new pub and hotel, while the King Edward VII building would be renovated into an aparthotel.

Norbert Reichart, Managing Director of Media Invest Entertainment, said: “The new indoor theme park will provide all-weather family entertainment year-round.

“With a mix of attractions, using some of the latest technology in the world, it is fast becoming one of the UK’s most exciting destinations. We can’t wait to hear what people think of the plans. “

The program received £ 8million as part of the Blackpool town deal, which saw it receive £ 39.5million in government funding last October.

An aerial view of the plans of Blackpool Central
An aerial view of the plans of Blackpool Central

Blackpool Head of Council Councilor Lynn Williams said: “Blackpool Central is a huge investment and a game changer for our city.

“We have been working closely with the developers for several years to bring this project to fruition and we are delighted that their commitment to invest and their confidence in Blackpool is stronger than ever as we take the next key step. planned development.

“We are eager to hear what our community has to say about this project, which has the potential to significantly boost our economy, increasing footfall in the area for the benefit of local shops, guest houses, hotels and businesses, and stable jobs throughout the year for the people of Blackpool. “

But the pace at which the system is being developed has come under criticism after one key element emerged – the flying theater – is not believed to be unique to the station.

Legoland in Windsor is set to open a similar attraction on May 29.

Blackpool’s schedule was unveiled by the council in December 2018 – but has been slow to reach the planning stage.

Councilor Tony Williams, leader of the Conservative opposition group in Blackpool Council, has previously warned that the town’s project now appears to be “obsolete before it is even built”.

The site is bounded by Central Drive, Bonny Street, New Bonny Street and Chapel Street.

It includes the old empty Bonny Street police station which will eventually be demolished, and the courts which are to be relocated to the site of the former Devonshire Road Hospital on Devonshire Road.

Blackpool Central Station closed in 1964 and has since been used for car parking and occasionally hosts outdoor events such as the annual Blackpool Illuminations lighting up.

People can participate in the consultation by: –

  • Complete the newsletter questionnaire which is distributed to more than 9,600 addresses in the region
  • Visit the website, which includes an online questionnaire
  • Website registration to attend a live webinar and Q&A on Wednesday May 12 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Call 0800 689 1095 or email [email protected]
  • Write to Freepost MAKE YOUR DISCUSSION
  • Follow on social media: Blackpool Central (Facebook / Instagram) and @ bpoolcentral1 (Twitter)

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About Jerry Richter

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