John Sisk & Son has been picked to build an £18m extension to Blackpool’s tram network, running between Blackpool North station and North Pier.
The contractor is due to start on the project early next year on a 16-month build period. The first tram services on the extension are expected to begin in April 2019.
The proposed extension will leave the existing route at North Pier, crossing the main promenade highway and run along Talbot Road, including a new stop at Talbot Square, before terminating at Blackpool North.
The scheme, which is expected to cost £18m, is still subject to final funding approval by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, which is expected by the end of this year.
It links closely with Muse’s £100m Talbot Gateway development, a 1 million sq ft mixed-use scheme including office, retail and leisure space, which being delivered in partnership with Blackpool Borough Council.
Around £16m of the project cost will be met by Transport for Lancashire – made up of Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council, and Blackburn with Darwen Council – with the remainder provided by the private sector.
The new terminus will replace the existing Wilkinson’s Building on Talbot Road, which was purchased by the council in April 2016 for £7.8m.
The council plans to replace the building with a new four-star hotel and a tram stop as part of its £31m town centre regeneration scheme.