Blackpool Central Station Masterplan December 2018 2
The £300m scheme features a flying theatre

Deal agreed for £300m Blackpool Central masterplan

Charlie Schouten

Blackpool Council has agreed terms with developers Nikal and Media Invest to kickstart the first phase of the £300m map pinBlackpool Central masterplan, once set to be home to a supercasino.

Following negotiations over the course of this year, the council has now agreed terms with the developers to release the land required to begin the development.

An opening enabling phase will include a multi-storey car park with more than 1,300 spaces; this will be followed by phase one, an entertainment-led offering, including what is said to be the UK’s first “flying theatre”, a virtual reality entertainment zone, an indoor family entertainment centre, and a multimedia exhibition space, as well as restaurants and a food hall.

Phase one will also include a 150-bedroom hotel.

A second phase, including residential apartments, further food and drink outlets, and a second hotel featuring 250 bedrooms and landscaped public space, will follow after.

Under a timeline announced in December last year, this first phase is set to complete in 2024. The heads of terms are now with the developers’ and the council’s legal team, with an aim to complete the deal in the autumn. A planning application is to follow soon after.

The entertainment offer for the site is themed on Chariots of the Gods by Swiss author Erich Von Däniken and is being brought forward in partnership with Media Invest Entertainment, which owns the intellectual property rights to von Däniken’s work.

The Blackpool Central Station site covers around 17 acres and the council had formerly earmarked the site for a supercasino, putting forward a bid in 2006 to the Labour Government of the time. However, the town lost out to Manchester’s bid, which had proposed building a supercasino in Eastlands, though this was never progressed.

The site behind Coral Island is currently used as a surface car park.

It is estimated that once complete the project could attract 600,000 additional visitors a year and generate 1,000 jobs along with an annual spend of £75m. The council has had an exclusivity agreement with the site’s developer since March 2016.

Cllr Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Throughout the course of this year the council have continued negotiations with Nikal in relation to the terms of the development and for bringing the proposals to fruition. These negotiations are now at an advanced stage and we are delighted to announce that the terms have now been agreed for the release of the land required to kick start development on the site.

“The proposals for the site remain very positive and the council and developer are now progressing towards agreement of the legal documents with their commercial and legal advisers, with a view to having the deal completed later this autumn, so that work on the submission of a planning application can commence.”

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Talk about rolling a turd in glitter!

By Steve

I really hope that this gets built. Blackpool desperately needs this in order to compete with other town and cities within the NW.

By Scott D

The Manchester casino was scrapped by government which explains why it was ‘never progressed’.

By UnaPlanner

Yet more car parks and hotels which aren’t needed. In one sense a scheme entirely lacking in imagination; on the other a bizarre concept for the anchor tenant. Build it and they will come? Am not too sure about that.

By Simon Miotto

Bring back the Casino bid, a great loss to Blackpool. However this is a step in the right direction and a positive start.

By Tony Webster

‘A second phase, including residential apartments’. So, not the other type of apartment, then?

By Erich Von Heineken

Blackpool from the sea looks like a Christmas tree. Once you get behind the prom it resembles Steptoe’s yard.

By Elephant

In one sense it will be great for Blackpool and for our country economy wise but what about the other hotels livelihood ?

By J Hall

Blackpool needs a Bus Station like other towns have instead of buses dotted in different places. A central bus and coach not everybody arrives in cars. Enough hotels already.

By Marion Turner

No more hotels look at Universal Studios Florida thats how to make blackpool fantastic every were looks shabby the illuminations are poor everywhere here need attention also take a leaf out of Brighton. Its beautiful.!!! Stop the influx of lowlifes to live in shabby bedsits . The council needs a big shake up… Just saying

By Kerry Cerami

Go for the casino again, it’s the only hope.

By Loganberry

Blackpool needs to become more like a ‘normal’ town. It needs to concentrate on environmental quality and better facilities for its residents. It is full of cafés and restaurants but there is nowhere you would want to eat. The centre behind the prom is just dull and tatty. It needs a complete change of gear. Forget the mass tourism and try and do a few things very well. Maybe start with a small zone that is gonna be different, but role the quality out across the patch. Could take 50 years but you have to start somewhere.

By Fleetwood

Blackpool council are skint. Anything which brings in much needed money to improve this once great town is to be applauded. I have had some fantastic holidays there over 60 years. I look forward to taking my grandchildren one day, educating them in the ways of being a Northerner!!!

By Steve Loker

This is a good starting point and should be celebrated, but the sheer scale of Blackpool’s decline is there for everyone to see and the council lacks imagination and the necessary urgency to deal with it.

Twelve of the top twenty poorest neighbourhoods in the UK says it all, really – and 8,000 new social welfare claimants a year move into the town, according to the council’s own figures. It’s going backwards at a staggering rate and there would need to be ten schemes of this scale to arrest the level of social and economic decline you see with your own eyes.

Perhaps something will come of their ambitions for the Airport Enterprise Zone, but that seems to be moving at a snail’s pace, too. A pity.

By Sceptical

This would make a fantastic tourist attraction if it’s done right, and I would welcome the investment and job opportunities it would bring to Blackpool. However, Blackpool Council need to sort out the cheap, multiple occupancy housing around Central Drive, it’s a haven for people with complex needs/problems, it’s an eyesore and it’s unsafe! A regeneration of the area needs to occur to ensure the success of the project and to benefit the people who actually live in Blackpool!

By Michelle O

End up getting another few take aways. Barber shops and bookies lol

By Steve

I hope they preserve and restore the central theatre house, the king edward and the fire house it would make a great museum and historic attraction for schools.

By Andy

Blackpool is a completel hell hole right now and is like stepping back in time to the mid 1900s. The whole place looks tired and worn, with hotels and bed and breakfasts all dropping to bits. The promenade and the piers are horrendous and walking around the town centre you can spot out the drug addicts and see the desperation and despair on a lot of the local residents faces.

It’s really sad that money has not been invested fo make this town a capital of culture and bring much needed money and jobs to one of the most deprived areas on the west coast.

If I was a city planner, I would knock down most of the buildings that sit on the sea front including the decapitated hotels and bed and breakfasts that are not grade 2 listed and redevelop the whole lot. Anything grade 2 listed should see a complete overhaul and introduce new facilities and amenities to make it a family friendly place to stay

By Anthony