Blackpool to add £2.3m family attraction to Golden Mile

Blackpool Council is to invest £2.3m in a new 'world class' family-focused attraction for the Golden Mile.

The development will sit on the ground floor between Golden Mile Amusements and Funland. Merlin Entertainments has been selected as the regeneration partner to transform and redevelop the site.

No details have been released yet as to what the attraction will feature. The council has said that more information will be released early next year, and the attraction itself will open sometime in 2022.

Coun Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: "Merlin Entertainments already successfully operates a number of internationally known brands in Blackpool and I’ve no doubt that this new attraction will be equally as popular.

"It is vitally important that Blackpool continues to develop and offer visitors new and different reasons to visit. Any new attraction will help the local economy in terms of job creation and increased visitor numbers so should be welcome news for local residents as well."

Kate Shane, regional director for Merlin Entertainments, said: "We are delighted to further evolve our strategic relationship with Blackpool Council by adding even more reasons to visit to our already strong Blackpool cluster of attractions.

“At Merlin we have some exciting global partnerships that we will be announcing in the coming months, which will firmly support Blackpool’s overall ambition to be the UK’s number one family seaside resort. By adding more globally recognised brands, delivered with Merlin’s world class guest experience, we know this will provide compelling new reasons for visitors to come to Blackpool."

Earlier in the month, the council revealed the extent of the devastating impact of Covid-19 the resort's tourism and hospitality industry. A 2020 analysis, undertaken by STEAM (an economic impact model), shows that the resort lost an estimated 70 per cent of visitors and around £1bn of tourism-related spend compared to 2019.

Coun Lynn Williams added: "Over the course of last year we lost all but one bank holiday and even when businesses were allowed to trade it was with reduced capacity and social distancing measures in place. It was arguably the worst year our tourism industry has ever experienced.

"As we moved into this year, we were determined to do everything within our gift to accelerate the post-pandemic recovery by making a large-scale investment in marketing and events that would encourage people to holiday here, not just in 2021, but in future years too.

"From what we have seen so far, that investment is paying off handsomely. Key indicators such as footfall, hotel occupancy, attraction tickets, are showing very significant increases over both last year and, most importantly, over 2019. At times, the number of visitors on the promenade during the summer and early autumn has been at levels we have not experienced for many years."

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