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Agenda item


This report sets out for review and approval:

a)      The further progress on the delivery of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone and related activity at Blackpool Airport since the Executive of 5 December 2022

b)      Outlines activity planned for the next fifteen months to the end of financial year (FY) 2024/25; and,

c)      Seeks authority to proceed with planned activities, related investment expenditure and required prudential borrowing in relation to: 

·         Continued progression with work to undertake Phase 1 - highway and utility provision at Eastern Gateway and Airport East.;

·         Advance preparatory work and property acquisition to facilitate delivery of phase 2 at Silicon Sands, together with approval in principle to progress developments for a technology demonstrator data centre, solar farm and battery storage.

·         Confirmation of relevant delegated authorities including the letting of larger construction contracts and formal expenditure approvals in respect of match funding under the Town Deal.

·         To confirm amended governance arrangements



The Executive resolved as follows:


1. To agree that Appendices 7a, 7b, 7c, 7e and 7g to the Executive report, are not for publication by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 as they include detailed costings that enable the scheme to be viable. The publication of such information could prejudice continuing and future negotiations.


2. To note the progress made on the delivery of the Enterprise Zone Masterplan to date.


3. To note the higher levels of risk associated with the overall whole life expenditure and income forecasts, given the present volatile nature of the economy and uncertainty over the long-term format of business rates.


4. To note, the total estimated cumulative expenditure from April 2016 to end of March 2024 of £32.17m and the proposed works to take place.


5. To approve the forecast expenditure budgets set out in exempt Appendix 7a, to the end of financial year 2023/24 (£14.85m), 2024/5 (£13.19m) and Town Deal project spend in 2025/26 (£8.62m), totalling £54.17m (from the current approval of £44.2m) and to note the increased whole life cumulative expenditure estimate of £ 83.69m at present values to March 2041.


The £54.17m forecast expenditure referred to above includes:

a)         The increase in the commitment to provide match funding for the Towns Fund project from £16.4m approved in December 2022 by an additional £2.8m to £19.2m.

b)         The capital costs in relation to the Phase 1 works (Eastern Gateway and Area A / Airport East) and shown in Appendix 7d to the Executive report.

c)         The initial capital spend profile in relation to key enabling items in respect of Phase 2 (Silicon Sands) including the proposed development of a Tech Demonstrator its project methodology and proposed funding model.

d)         Expenditure of up to £200,000 to prepare a planning application and undertake due diligence for the development of a solar farm at Blackpool Airport.


6. To delegate to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council the direct contract award to the preferred contractor for the road infrastructure following the period of Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) (as set out in detail in exempt Appendix 7e to the Executive report).


7. To approve the delegation hierarchy and thresholds, to authorise expenditure on individual schemes and property acquisitions within the Enterprise Zone and inter-related airport holdings of Blackpool Airport Properties Ltd (BAPL) as set out in exempt Appendix 7g to the Executive report.


8. To authorise the Head of Legal Services to enter into the NEC4 construction contract for the construction or Eastern Gateway, Common Edge Road and Airport East Access highways once approved by the Chief Executive under decision 6.


9.To note the ongoing review of the Airport business strategy and masterplan and its role in determining the nature and timing of new operational infrastructure provision and that a further report will be presented to the Executive in 2024 to identify Enterprise Zone investment in airport infrastructure spend which is not included within the funding approved in decision 5.


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