The contribution from central Government will be spent on projects that form part of the seaside town’s ongoing regeneration, but is “just the start” of what is required, according to the council.
Cllr Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This funding allocation is a very welcome contribution to our ongoing regeneration and will help facilitate some key projects but we are hopeful it is only the start of the journey.
“We want to open up a wider conversation with the Government about ways in which it can help the town to achieve its long-term aspirations. Our vision for Blackpool is ambitious but very much achievable if we can secure the right level of support.”
The £40m from Whitehall, awarded from the Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund pot, will support several projects in the town, including the relocation of Blackpool Magistrates Court to unlock developer Nikal’s £300m Blackpool Central leisure attraction.
Another project tipped to benefit from the funding is an education facility dubbed a ‘Multiversity’, part of the Talbot Gateway project, which would provide academic and vocational training to students in bid to boost employment levels in the town.
Blackpool Council’s airport enterprise zone also falls under the scope of the £40m boost from the Government, which could fund infrastructure work required to unlock 37 acres at the site and with it the potential for 344,000 sq ft of employment space.
Other projects that could benefit from the Towns Fund award include:
- The creation of a community sports village in the Revoe area of Blackpool
- The modernisation of Blackpool illuminations
- The creation of The Edge – a proposed incubation office space within the council-owned Stanley Buildings on Caunce Street
Paul Smith, chair of Blackpool’s Towns Fund Board, said: “We are committed to working hand in hand with central Government over the coming years to create a brighter future for the town and its residents.
“We are extremely grateful to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government for the belief they have shown in our plans to revitalise Blackpool. This is the first step to realising our vision for the area and we look forward to working across Government to tackle other important local issues such as healthcare and education.”
Blackpool has this year also secured support from Whitehall’s Getting Building Fund for “shovel-ready” projects, with £5m committed to the Houndshill Shopping Centre extension and £3.63m allocated to the acquisition and revamp of Abingdon Street Market.
Additionally, the town has lodged a £25m bid for Future High Streets Funding for projects including the redevelopment of the Old Post Office into a hotel and the acquisition of a property on King Street to bring forward a 215,000 sq ft office development.