Blackpool Council is setting aside £1.25m to prepare for the third phase of Talbot Gateway, after receiving “a potential inquiry to accommodate a large office”.
Muse is the council’s development partner for Talbot Gateway; the first phase completed in 2014 and included a 120,000 sq ft office occupied by the council and Slater Gordon Motor Insurance, a Sainsbury’s and multi-storey car park. Phase two is due to start on site next year and would see the demolition of the Wilko building, the construction of a 142-bedroom hotel, and the £18m extension of the tramway.
Further offices are planned at Talbot Gateway as part of the council’s strategy to increase footfall in the town and bring more jobs back into the centre, whether through relocation or inward investment.
According to a report to the council’s next executive meeting, the £1.25m would go towards feasibility studies and design for the third phase. While the name of the possible occupier is not revealed, it said: “Talbot Gateway phase three has a potential inquiry to accommodate a large office development, and if it were to materialise it is vital that the opportunity is not lost.”
However, the report goes on to say “discussions are under way regarding several possible opportunities; none are yet at the stage where they can be announced, and caution is naturally exercised on such matters as inquiries often come and go.
“Nevertheless, it is vital that the Council is in a position to respond quickly to the potential implications of such opportunities should they arise.”