A round one bid to back the listed building's revamp failed. Credit: Newsmaker PR

Blackpool hotel included in LUF bids

The conversion of the Abingdon Street post office into a 148-bed hotel is one of three bids prepared by the council ahead of the Levelling Up Fund’s second round deadline this week.

A report to Blackpool’s full council meeting in June confirmed that three bids will be made: an updated version of the transport-specific Town Centre Access Scheme; one to support the delivery of Blackpool & the Fylde College’s Multiversity project; and £7m to facilitate the post office hotel.

Blackpool was already committed to the transport and education – and Multiversity, a £70m skills campus for which £35m is sought, adding to £9m already secured from the Towns Fund, is the senior project – but had been cautious of reapplying for support on the post office redevelopment.

As detailed in an April report, feedback from the failed round one bid was “not as helpful as it might have” been.

However, the council is indeed trying again. Plans for the project, on which Cheshire-based Ashall Projects is working with the council and Indigo Hotels Group on the conversion of the 111-year old building, were approved in November 2021.

The post office closed in 2007 but retains many original features including marble floors. Franklin Ellis is the scheme architect, but the £25m project has a £7m funding gap.

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This is a lovely building and would have a transformative effect – not to mention helping the town begin to claw back lost conference business. Good luck to all involved.

By Sceptical

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