Blackpool Council’s executive is due to approve the final funding package to allow work to begin on the £23m extension of the town’s tram network, nearly four years after the project was first approved.
The executive is expected to sign off £6.4m of council funding to get the project under way, which is on top of a £16.4m funding deal from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. Sisk was appointed as main contractor on the project in October last year.
The extension to the network will run between Blackpool North station and North Pier, leaving the existing network at North Pier, crossing the main promenade highway, and will run along Talbot Road with a new stop at Talbot Square, before terminating at Blackpool North.
In total, it is expected to cost £22.8m. The project was first approved by Blackpool Council in April 2014, while Transport Secretary Chris Grayling approved plans and a works order for the scheme in December last year.
If the funding deal is approved as expected, Sisk is due to start on site later this month, with completion of the project pencilled in for April 2019.
The contractor is undertaking the works on a fixed price design-and-build deal, and the council has built in a 10% cost contingency allowance on the project.
The extension’s new terminus will replace the existing Wilkinson’s Building on Talbot Road, which was purchased by the council in April 2016 for £7.8m, with a new four-star hotel and a tram stop as part of its £31m town centre regeneration scheme.
Part of the project costs include two new trams to cope with extra passenger demand. The extension will be operated by Blackpool Transport Services.