Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, today announced a government cash boost of £69.8 million for Lancashire to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth. A 21st Century Conference Centre and Hotel in Blackpool is one of the locally-chosen projects set to benefit over the next few years, alongside others which improve educational attainment, create jobs, build homes or improve infrastructure.
It is hoped it will bring back big conferences to the resort and be a huge boost to the town’s economy.
Plans originally went before Blackpool Council last year for the new development which will be attached to the Winter Gardens building. There will also be a new exhibition hall as part of the same complex.
The development will allow access straight into the Empress Ballroom and the Floral Hall.
The leader of Blackpool Council, Simon Blackburn, has welcomed the announcement.
Cllr Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “By coordinating the efforts of the 14 political Leaders of Lancashire, and the business-led Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, I felt confident that we would secure the best possible outcome for Lancashire. The Prime Ministers announcement today confirms that this approach was crucial.
We had hoped to secure somewhere in the region of £35 million from Growth Deal 3. To have been awarded just shy of £70 million therefore is nothing short of a triumph, and shows the value of us all working together, and I want to thank all of the Leaders of Lancashire, and my fellow LEP directors for their support and efforts to bring home this result.
Projects around advanced manufacturing in Blackburn, the Burnley Growth corridor and huge housing delivery South of Lancaster will make significant improvements to those communities, and bring in further millions of pounds of private sector investment.
But for us here in Blackpool, the icing on the cake is that we can now deliver on our plans for a £20 million state of the art Conference Centre – linking the historic Winter Gardens to the new facilities it needs. This pulls together various strands of investment and infrastructure planning (new town centre hotels aimed at business tourists, the new tramway extension and the potential for further new restaurants and other growth around the Winter Gardens site).
This is a once in a generation opportunity, secured by collaborative working, which will alter the face of the resort forever. People can start to expect to see preparatory works onsite in the late spring, as we begin the process of building Blackpool’s conferencing future.”