A £300 million scheme to construct a multi-venue leisure complex on the site of the former Central Station has been given a unanimous go-ahead after Blackpool Council’s Planning Committee universally backed the proposal – despite an objection from nearby Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Their objection said that the Blackpool Central plan posed a ‘serious threat’ to the Pleasure Beach’s existence and that there is no precedent in the UK for two theme parks ‘happily co-existing’ in the same town or city.
The £300m Blackpool Central will now be constructed on the site of the former train station of the same name – and will feature three indoor entertainment venues including a 127,000 square-foot flying theatre.
Other elements of the scheme include:
- A 70,000 square-foot public square
- A 200-bedroom hotel
- A 1,300-space multi-storey car park
- A heritage quarter – with food hall and aparthotel
- Bars and restaurants.
The developers, Nikal and Media Invest predict Blackpool Central could create around 1,000 new jobs, attract an estimated 600,000 additional visitors each year, and boost annual spend in the town by around £75m.
Councillor Lynn Williams, Blackpool Council leader, said: ‘Yesterday’s decision is a major milestone for this transformational regeneration project, which has been widely anticipated by our residents.
The development means so much more to our residents than just a new leisure and entertainment destination, as it brings lots of new, varied and skilled year-round job opportunities, extra footfall and revenue to local businesses, and breathes new life into a run down and neglected part of the town.’
Richard Fee, Chief Executive Officer at Nikal, said: ‘This is a key moment for levelling up Blackpool’s visitor economy post Covid. Blackpool Central will help transform and futureproof the town’s tourism offer, and last night’s approval is an important step forward in our journey.
We have worked hard to ensure that the scheme will complement Blackpool’s current attractions and wider leisure offer. This approach will help us to secure game-changing benefits for Blackpool – drawing in 600,000 additional visitors a year and boosting annual spend in the local economy by £75m.’
Norbert Reichart, Chief Executive Officer at Media Invest Entertainment, said: ‘Blackpool is the undisputed entertainment capital of the UK and our scheme will help cement the town as a must-visit year-round destination for generations to come.
The resurgence of staycations and the UK opening back up to international tourists creates huge opportunities moving forward to attract more visitors and encourage tourists to stay longer on their trips to Blackpool.’
The heritage quarter (pictured below) is to feature a food hall and hotel.
Below depicts the location of the new Blackpool Central Leisure Complex with multi-venues
Below is a quote from Nick Gerrard, growth and prosperity programme director at Blackpool Council.