Central Station development back on track

Simon Donohue

Blackpool is one of five areas included in a public-private partnership pilot aimed at kick-starting stalled local infrastructure projects.

The Local Infrastructure Demonstrator Partnership pilots will see private sector professionals working for free alongside Government partners to identify and overcome problems that have been hindering infrastructure projects that could otherwise be creating new jobs and growth.

The Blackpool pilot is aimed at achieving the redevelopment of the former Central Station site into a leisure complex.

Challenges include the relocation of tenants and improvements to local roads. It is hoped that the scheme can be completed by 2015.

The other pilot areas are Grantham, Northamptonshire, Norwich and Swindon.

The specialist support offered through the partnership should lead to each project moving forward more quickly than would have been the case without support.

The private sector led teams comprise representatives from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association and the Royal Town Planning Institute, who will work in conjunction with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, with other senior public and private sector partners also making significant contributions.

To develop the partnership and ensure additional free specialist support is available, the Construction Industry Training Board is providing funding through its Growth Fund.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: "Making improvements to local infrastructure and unblocking new developments are vital for growth, and having free industry advice and support on hand can help get projects off the ground.

"By bringing together the relevant experts face-to-face with the parties involved, solutions can often be found to problems and costly delays avoided. I would like to thank the private sector experts who are working on the projects on a pro bono basis."

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