Three picked for Blackpool seafront work

Michael Hunt

Three companies have been awarded contracts for the final elements of Blackpool's seafront vision with work expected to be complete within twelve months.

The firms picked for the public realm and building contracts includes:

  • Morrison – awarded £8m for public realm works on Tower Festival headland and Parade 5
  • Carillon – awarded £6.5m for public realm works on St Chads and Waterloo headlands
  • Parkinson's – awarded £2.6m for the construction of the seafront wedding venue and strategic tourist information centre

Mike Appleton, chair of The Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company, which awarded the contracts, said: "It has taken a great deal of hard work and effort from a great many people to move the plans forwards to this point but the signing of these contracts guarantees the completion of the seafront vision which has been drawn up for the benefit of Blackpool.

"Residents and visitors can already see the huge improvements which have been made along the front by looking at the Southern end of the promenade which is now complete. The signing of these contracts will extend the excellent work which has been completed right through to the North Pier and will incorporate a whole range of elements including public art and sculpture, activity areas for BMXers and skaters and a great wedding venue for couples to tie the knot.

"It demonstrates the clear commitment we have to the town and the wider Fylde Coast and the fact that as a town Blackpool is changing – it has something to offer everyone – residents and visitors alike 365 days a year."

The Tower Festival headland is set to be the home of new work of public art designed by Gordon Young and Why Not Associates, known as the Comedy Carpet. The pavement design will feature catchphrases which have been delivered by the comedians who have performed in Blackpool.

The Parade 5 project is set to link the Tower Festival Headland with the wider area, and will feature public artworks including giant see-saws.

The £4.77m Waterloo headland will feature a skateboarding park and BMX area, designed by architect Jeremy Donaldson. It will also be home to a large adventure playground.

The £1.95m St Chads headland will be transformed into a 120,000 sq ft of flexible events space which will host events such as kite surfing and vehicle rallies.

The timber wedding building has been designed by dRMM Architects and funded by the North West Development Agency.

Planting and landscaping will be included on both Waterloo and St Chads headlands.

The Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company, which has the full backing of council leaders and chief executives in Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre and Lancashire County Councils, is also strongly supported by both the North West Development Agency and the Homes & Communities Agency.

The seafront works are set to be completed in phases with the majority open to the public by May 2011.

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Staing on the south prom already open, i find it rather drab uninteresting and quite honestly just like anywhere else. Before there were temples and other interesting features now just concrete and a few concrete blocks! BLACKPOOL NEEDS TO BE DIFFERENT NOT THE SAME AS EVERWHERE ELSE.

By mike poole