JV tables application for £300m Blackpool leisure venture
Three indoor entertainment venues, a heritage quarter and a 1,300-space multistorey car park all feature within Nikal and Media Invest Entertainment’s 17-acre scheme.
A hybrid application for the £300m project has been submitted to Blackpool Council.
“This is a watershed moment for Blackpool Central,” said Richard Fee, chairman of Nikal.
“The overwhelmingly positive response to our consultation shows the level of excitement and enthusiasm around the scheme.”
The seven-storey car park and heritage quarter, for which full planning consent is sought, are to be delivered first. Dutch firm Ballast Nedam is lined up to deliver the car park, as revealed by Place North West last month.
The car park was designed by Ballast Nedam’s in-house architect, Stripe Consulting.
Blackpool Central’s heritage quarter is to comprise a food hall within the grade two-listed former King Edward VII Picture House, as well as the refurbishment of the locally listed King Edward VII pub.
In addition, the King Edward VII apartment building is to be redeveloped into an aparthotel.
Subject to planning approval, the car park is due to be operational by Q3 of 2022 and the heritage quarter is scheduled to complete by Q1 of 2024.
The bulk of the scheme, which includes the 127,000 sq ft indoor theme park and a 70,000 sq ft public square, is subject to an outline application.
Two smaller indoor theme parks, a 200-bedroom hotel, and several bars and restaurants, also feature in future phases. The developers will seek full consent for these elements in the coming years.
Nikal and Media Invest predict Blackpool Central could create around 1,000 new jobs, attract an estimated 600,000 additional visitors each year, and boost annual spend in the town by around £75m.
The entire project, which will also see Blackpool Magistrate’s’ court relocate, is scheduled to complete in the second quarter of 2029, as outlined by Spawforths, the masterplanner and architect for the project.
Norbert Reichart, chief executive at Media Invest Entertainment, said: “We have taken a major step towards creating one of the UK’s most exciting destinations with this application submission.
“The scheme has a crucial role to play in enhancing Blackpool’s tourism offer and attracting more visitors to the town.”
Cllr Lynn Williams, Blackpool Council leader and cabinet member for tourism and culture, said: “Blackpool Central is vitally important in creating new jobs, boosting the town’s tourism and supporting the local economy.
“The plans for the new Heritage Quarter are an extremely welcome feature as they will breathe new life into neglected properties, reviving the Central Drive area for the benefit of surrounding businesses and residents.”
A decision on the planning application is expected from Blackpool Council later this year.