Council praises Merlin’s Blackpool Tower plans

Michael Hunt

Plans for the refurbishment and restoration of the Blackpool Tower and Louis Tussauds Waxworks have been praised by the council.

Leisure operator Merlin Entertainments, which takes over the running of the attractions in November, has unveiled the proposals.

Blackpool Council completed the purchase of Blackpool Tower, the Winter Gardens and the Golden Mile Centre in March from Leisure Parcs.

Cllr Peter Callow, leader of Blackpool Council, said "Bringing the Tower into public ownership is already paying off and I'm delighted to see the plans Merlin has for the whole complex. This Council wants people to think of Blackpool as a family friendly resort and these new attractions are bound to attract new visitors.

"Having seen what has already been suggested I have no doubt that Merlin is exactly the right partner for us on this project, and that working together we make local residents proud of what their town has to offer.

"We want residents to feel real ownership and pride in the new Tower Complex and the project as a whole. It is "our" Tower now and we plan to breathe new life into this wonderful building."

The council said work will start on transforming Louis Tussauds waxworks into the only Madame Tussauds outside of London once Merlin takes over operation in November.

Blackpool Tower is also set to have new attractions including a dungeons and a 4D cinema experience.

The Grade II-listed Winter Gardens will undergo a first phase refurbishment and upgrading programme to create a new multi-purpose conferencing venue for events and functions.

The first phase of the project expected to be completed in time for the beginning of the 2011 tourism season.

The deal was worth £38.9m with investment divided between the Northwest European Regional Development Fund, which contributed £14m, North West Development Agency, £7.9m, and the Homes & Communities Agency, £7m.

The council contributed £10m towards the refurbishment deal.

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the regeneration of blackpool tower is the best thing to happen to blackpool. I support and host in a online virtual world “Secondlife” we are currently in development of a 3D virtual representation of the famous blackpool tower and i will personally be in touch with the current managers and tourist board hopefully in creating the 3D virtual blackpool tower will be a delight to many tourist wanting a little taste before coming to the UK there is curently over 5000 visitors to the virtual site and the build is still ongoing. I have made contact with carl carrington and will be requesting any new construction plans avalaible so please if you love blackpool come join in at or just post a comment

By damion milner