Blackpool seeks partner for Winter Gardens

Blackpool Council has started the process of looking for a partner to help develop and run its historic Winter Garden complex.

The local authority bought the Grade 2*-listed complex from Leisure Parcs in 2010 and has since spent £7m on improvements to the condition of the building. This includes upgrading food and drink venues and refurbishing the main entrance and public areas.

Funding for the purchases and investment was secured from Blackpool Council, £10m, Homes & Communities Agency £7m, North West Development Agency £7.9m and European Regional Development Fund £14m.

The council said the improvements to the building have 'resulted in an upturn in business and now it is seeking a partner to steer the process of developing the inherent opportunities of the site and its buildings to map out a successful and sustainable economic future for the complex.'

The tender brief went on: "The process will require a partner or partners with wide-ranging creative vision and an understanding of the current cultural, leisure and conference markets."

Cllr Graham Cain, portfolio holder for tourism and culture, said: "We have made a terrific start on improving this historic and important facility. The building is now open 364 days a year and has many new facilities.

"We now need to look at how we move on to the next phase in the life of the complex and how it will continue to make a major and growing contribution to our town and the resort."

Organisations wishing to express their interest must register on The Chest – and download the brief which provides more information.

Written responses must be received no later than 12 noon on 6 June.

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