The local authority has launched a market-sounding exercise as it seeks to bring developers and investors on board to deliver major employment sites within the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.
Blackpool is using The Chest procurement portal to invite expressions of interest from developers, design & build contractors, investors and development managers.
Expressions of interest must be submitted by the end of November, as Blackpool intends to enter informal dialogue with appropriate parties in December and January.
The 356-acre zone is divided into various parts, billed as:
- Knowledge & Business Quarter – home of business, knowledge and education
- Airport Zone – high quality airport operations
- Business Hub – key development sites on Amy Johnson Way
- Innovation Gateway – new gateway, landmark building and business hub
- Industrial Heart – mixed advanced manufacturing, light industrial and logistics
- Third Space – mixed use commercial space
- Sports Village – key eastern gateway and commercial leisure use
Blackpool has ramped up its efforts to bring development forward at the enterprise zone over the course of 2018. In February, the council along with Fylde Council and Lancashire LEP approved a 25-year masterplan for the zone, including up to 3m sq ft of commercial floorspace and levering in £300m of private sector investment.
The council’s executive later approved a £28.8m investment in infrastructure over the next three years, including the eastern access road, D&B opportunities at Common Edge Road, site acquisition and the redevelopment of the 1.3m sq ft Wellington bomber factory.
On seeking cabinet approval for the funding, Cllr Mark Smith, cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and economic development at Blackpool Council, said: “The Enterprise Zone has the potential to dramatically change the economic landscape of the Fylde Coast, and Blackpool Council are committed to delivering a premier business location that will sustain long term economic growth and investment.”
The council has also started the planning process for the eastern access road that will provide another entry point to the area, appointing BWB in August to carry out preliminary assessments.
Mott MacDonald is advising on transport and project management, while IBI Group is working on masterplanning, graphics and 3D visualisation for the LEP.