Blackpool Tower revamp designs on show

Plans for the £25m refurbishment of Blackpool Tower have gone on public display at the council's Customer First Centre on Corporation Street.

Blackpool Council and venue operator Merlin Entertainments propose a two-phase programme to improve the Grade 1 listed building, which was acquired from Trevor Hemmings' Leisure Parcs last year along with the Winter Gardens.

See gallery of sketches below

Funding for the redevelopment has come from the North West Development Agency, European Regional Development Programme, Homes & Communities Agency.

The first phase will deliver new open and free access to the refurbished main areas and sees reopen an improved observation deck, dubbed the Blackpool Tower Eye, at the top of the Tower. There will also be new restaurant facilities.

The second phase will restore the ballroom and circus and add new shopping and restaurant facilities.

The display at the Customer First Centre details the work that is already under way to restore the building from the repairs to Ballroom roof to painting the top of the Tower.

Iain Hawkins, Merlin Entertainments' head of Cluster Blackpool is overseeing all the works. He said: "It is a challenging but exciting schedule, particularly as we have committed to keep the Tower open throughout. So people can still enjoy events in the ballroom and circus; and a visit to Jungle Jim's. It is a great credit to the Tower team who are being magnificent, working at times in very difficult conditions, but I know like me, they are very excited by the plans, and by the fact that this wonderful iconic building will over time be restored to its former, and even greater glories."

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