Blackpool Council’s development partner is seeking consent for a 215,000 sq ft office on King Street, to be occupied by an unnamed Government department.
It is not yet known whether the £50m office would be occupied by a Government department relocating to the North from London, or if the end-users would be divisions already based in Blackpool, including the Department for Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Defence.
When approached by Place North West, the council declined to comment on the potential occupier and said talks were ongoing.
The office, part of Muse Development’s Talbot Gateway masterplan, will not be built speculatively and construction would only start if an agreement had already been signed with an occupier, according to the council.
Muse Developments submitted outline plans for the office building last December and is in the process of appointing a lead contractor for the project.
Under proposals designed by Make Architects, a 2.4-acre site bounded by Deansgate, King Street, Cookson Street, Charles Street and East Topping Street, would be redeveloped into a seven-storey office block.
If approved, the scheme could house up to 1,735 staff, according to a planning statement prepared by consultancy Avison Young.
A medical centre and a dental surgery also feature in Muse’s plans. The latter, for which full approval is sought, would be located within the refurbished Hop Inn public house fronting Cookson Street.
Architect Cassidy + Ashton is lined up to design the redevelopment of the Hop Inn and Eric Wright Construction is attached as contractor.
An area of public realm would dissect the Hop Inn building and the office development.
The King Street site was originally earmarked for a car park under the Talbot Gateway masterplan, but the refurbishment of Talbot Road multistorey car park during the first phase of the scheme prompted a rethink and the site was subsequently identified as being suitable for commercial development.
The council owns the vast majority of the site but announced its intention to exercise compulsory purchase powers to acquire additional properties on King Street and Cookson Street that would be demolished under the proposals.
Blackpool Council’s planning committee will discuss the plans on 16 March.
The office project is the latest in Muse and Blackpool Council’s Talbot Gateway scheme, which has already seen the construction of a 125,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s supermarket close to Blackpool North train station, and a 120,000 sq ft office development, No1 Bickerstaffe Square.
The second phase of Talbot Gateway is currently underway and involves the demolition of the former Wilko store opposite the train station to make way for a 144-bedroom Holiday Inn hotel.