Blackpool Council submits Levelling Up Fund round 2 bids for £63 million
Posted on Monday 1st August 2022
Three bids into the government’s Levelling Up Fund round 2 have now been submitted.
Blackpool Council’s bids cover the following projects:
- Multiversity – £65 million scheme for a new world class university experience within the town centre.
- Post office – £26 million scheme for the refurbishment of the old Abingdon Street post office into a new 4-star hotel.
- Town centre access – £17.1 million scheme to transform Blackpool town centre’s transport network providing better traffic circulation with improved pedestrian areas.
Multiversity (£65m scheme with £40m Levelling Up Funding) – joint bid with Wyre Council
Money has already been approved for part of this scheme from the Town Deal Fund (£9m) which will allow the purchasing of the land for this site. A further £40m is now being requested through the Levelling Up Fund for its construction.
£65m will provide a new world-class university experience which would be carbon neutral in its operation. The new learning environment would facilitate upskilling, reskilling and lifelong learning within the town centre. The learning opportunities will be linked directly to local job opportunities thus filling any skill gaps across the Fylde Coast.
The site is based within the town, close to the train station and tram interchange. The Multiversity’s development will enhance the town centre with an iconic building and increase its vibrancy with a substantial increase in footfall to help boost local businesses.
Multiversity will be delivered through a partnership involving Blackpool Council and Blackpool and the Fylde College in association with Lancaster University. It will accommodate approximately 2,300 learners with many able to gain higher-level qualifications.
Refurbishment of the Grade 2 * listed former post office and conversion into a Hotel Indigo and suites (£26m scheme with £8m Levelling Up Funding)
This scheme will revitalise the derelict listed former post office building in the heart of the town centre – having been vacant for 15 years – and provide a new 4-star 144 room Indigo hotel, including 48 family suites to appeal to both the business and family leisure markets.
The development will create new job opportunities and is sited just 50 metres from the new tram extension on Talbot Road, which also adjoins the transport interchange at Blackpool North Train Station.
The New Indigo Hotel will help Blackpool break its current dependency on short-stay tourism and will attract visitors with greater spending power by providing a unique addition to Blackpool’s hotels.
Town Centre Access Scheme (TCAS) (£17.1m scheme with £15.4 Levelling Up Funding)
The scheme proposed will transform Blackpool town centre’s transport network, allowing traffic to flow better with improved pedestrian areas. There will be improvements to walking, cycling and bus access.
The transport interchange will be improved as will access to the town centre by bus giving buses priority and readying the town for a brand new electric bus fleet.
Measures proposed are designed to complement Blackpool’s other Levelling Up Fund regeneration proposals.
This scheme also looks to encourage economic growth by reducing travel times into the town centre. Other aims include reducing general congestion, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and improving safety for those walking and cycling.
Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council said:
“This bid comes after a tireless amount of work has been undertaken for quite some time now and its part of regeneration plans that have been ongoing for over 10 years.
“We have built and continue to build relationships with our communities, partners,
potential investors to the town and those that hold the purse strings in central government.
“We have an ambitious £1 billion+ regeneration programme for Blackpool purely focused on making Blackpool better for all those that live work and visit our tremendous town.
“We aim to provide more jobs for local people, encourage economic growth and upskill and educate our workforce and young people. I am hopeful that our hard and vision will be recognised through this bidding process”.
Posted on Monday 1st August 2022