Blackpool submits £63m Levelling Up bid

Blackpool is bidding for £63m of government funds which will be used to advance plans for its town centre multiversity, develop a new four-star hotel and carry out improvements to its transport network.

The money would be sourced from the government's Levelling Up fund and follows bids from Blackburn, Rossendale and St Annes.

Blackpool, in partnership with Wyre Council, is hoping to secure £40m towards the total £65m cost of creating its multiversity. 

The new learning environment would facilitate upskilling, reskilling and lifelong learning within the town centre.  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.

The project has already secured £9m from the Town Deal Fund to purchase the land required.

The council is also hoping for fund towards the £26m renovation of the Grade II listed former post office building, which has been vacant for 15 years.

The four-star Hotel Indigo will feature 144 rooms 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 third part of the bid is for £15.4m towards the total £17.1m cost of the Town Centre Access Scheme, which 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.

Coun 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 it's part of regeneration plans that have been ongoing for over 10 years.

"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."