Home > Council and Democracy > Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider an update on the progress of Town Centre regeneration projects.


The Committee received an update on progress on the various projects being undertaken to secure the regeneration of Blackpool Town Centre following the last update in October 2019, and details of planned future work.


Members asked if the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, including greater homeworking, meant that plans for new offices in the town centre were no longer viable. Councillor Smith, Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Job Creation, responded that the Council had an aspiration for a first class office space within the town but that any office development would be built to the specification of an occupier once they had signed a lease. Mr Gerrard, Growth and Prosperity Programme Director added that a potential occupier was still in negotiations with the Council to build new office accommodation having reviewed and confirmed their requirements in a post Covid-19 scenario.


The Committee noted that the report recognised that securing community support for urban regeneration was an important part of making it successful and asked if any public engagement exercise had been undertaken. Mr Gerard informed Members that a major public consultation had been undertaken as part of the application for a Town Deal. The results of this had been published on the Council website and would be retained going forward. He also confirmed that such engagement would continue as an important part of Blackpool’s regeneration. The Committee welcomed this information and asked that officer continue to let the public know of such work.


Members asked if more details could be provided regarding the proposal to build a boutique hotel in Blackpool. Mr Gerard replied that an opportunity for such a hotel had been identified following a commercial assessment. A boutique hotel would be a unique themed hotel, and it was suggested that the theme could be the town’s entertainment history.


The Committee also asked why the Blackpool Museum had employed the number of consultants it had. Mr Gerrard replied that each consultant employed had been done so to provide advice on a specific area and that their work was monitored by the Museum Trust’s Board.


The use of funding from the Future High Street Fund (FHSF) exclusively in the town centre instead of other areas of Blackpool was queried by the Committee. Councillor Smith, responded that the criteria for bids to the FHSF required any money received to be spent in the town centre. Mr Gerrard added that the money received as part of the Town Deal would be spent in schemes across Blackpool as a whole. Consultation had also been undertaken with the public to identify the key themes for future investment in the town.


Member questioned what the proposed `Multiversity’ development was and what benefits it would bring to Blackpool. Mr Gerard replied that the `Multiversity’ would bring a broad range of educational opportunities into the town centre, in conjunction with Blackpool and Fylde College. He added that a tender had been issued for the first stage of work on the project for a Masterplan and Delivery Plan and that it was hoped that some funding would be provided as part of the Town Deal.


Mr Gerrard left the meeting following this item.

Supporting documents: