Procurement is to start in April for a contractor to deliver the hotel and underpass that will be the next stage of Talbot Gateway, Blackpool’s £100m flagship regeneration scheme.
Tender documents will be published on procurement portal The Chest from 15 April for the demolition of an existing retail building, owned by the council and occupied by Wilko, and a car park, along with the construction of a 142-bedroom full-service hotel and alterations to form an enhanced pedestrian underpass.
Muse Developments is Blackpool’s development partner on Talbot Gateway. The sticking point on this part of the project is that discount retailer Wilko is still trading from the site – and although it is intending to move to the Tower Street second phase of the Houndshill shopping centre, this project is itself currently only at the tender stage, so no moving date can be established.
A spokesman told Place North West: “The timeline on Wilko’s move is still not clear, so it’s a case of slowly pedalling up behind them – there’s no point appointing contractors and consultants too early.
“We’ll develop a shortlist over the coming months, with a view to appointing somebody later this year and hopefully starting next year.”
The hotel won planning permission in July 2017 and will feature a restaurant, bar, conferencing facilities and ground floor retail units. A temporary 127-space surface level car park was also included in the consent. How Planning advised Muse, with the scheme designed by Leach Rhodes Walker.
The pedestrian improvements are to tie in with the £18m extension of Blackpool’s tram network to Blackpool North station, the contract for which was won by John Sisk & Son in October.
Phase one of Talbot Gateway comprised One Bickerstaffe Square, a grade A office building occupied by Blackpool Council, followed in June 2014 by a 120,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s. It also includes a redevelopment of a multi-storey car park on site, with the addition of ground floor retail, and a £6m highway works programme.