Historic Blackpool building to house business growth hub

By Tim Aldred

05 Dec 2023

Blackpool Stanley Buildings

A £7.5m renovation project which will convert Blackpool's historic Stanley Buildings into a business growth hub have been granted planning approval.

The listed building is located on a triangular plot situated between Caunce Street, Church Street and Cookson Street in the town centre.

Vacant and derelict upper floor space can now be converted into 44 modern offices and state of the art meeting facilities.

Parts of the ground floor will be altered to create an extensive co-working space featuring flexible hot desk and meeting spaces.

Originally designed by the renowned Borough architect, John Charles Robinson, Stanley Buildings was built in 1935 to replace former residential terraces.

When it opened, the building contained 26 shops at ground floor level and housed Corporation Departments above, then known as Stanley Chambers. A former Midland Bank, a red brick corner building was retained, and forms part of current council ownership and future development plans.

Restoration and repair works will focus on a number of critical areas including roof replacement, installation of new windows to all upper floors, brick repair and render, and restoration and cleaning of exterior faience and mosaic tiles.

Initially, eight shopfronts will be fully replaced with the aim to restore all shopfronts when funding is available.

The project is being developed in line with Blackpool Council’s net-zero objective with both air source heat pumps and solar panels installed to power the office spaces.

A number of courtyard facing buildings will be demolished to form space for several parking spaces, electric vehicle charging facilities and secure bike storage.

The scheme is led by the council and supported by Cassidy + Ashton architects. Local construction company F Parkinson has been appointed the main contractor with works set to start in the New Year and complete by spring 2025.

More than 50 per cent of the contract value will be spent with local suppliers, and other social value will benefit the local community.

Coun Mark Smith, cabinet member for Levelling Up (Place) at Blackpool Council, said: “This project will enable us to fulfil our twin aims of creating a first-class home for growing small businesses as well as the transformation of a prominent locally listed building.

“This scheme provides an ideal opportunity to expand the quality and range of flexible managed workspace within the town centre by delivering high-quality, affordable commercial floor space.

“In close proximity to several flagship regeneration projects, local amenities and transport networks, the project aligns with our ambition to foster growth and create more opportunities for local people."

The project is being funded by a combination of £4.5m from the Town Deal, £2.8m from the council and £200,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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