Plans to revive former Blackpool post office as hotel

Plans have been submitted to convert the Grade II listed former Post Office and Sorting Office in Blackpool into a 148-bedroom hotel.

Developer Ashall Projects intends to bring the two buildings back into use as Hotel Indigo and Indigo Suites.

The Cheshire firm has previously worked on projects such as the Aloft in Liverpool, the former Royal Insurance building which had been derelict for 20 years and had been placed on the National Buildings at Risk register, and which later won BCIA’s Building Project of the Year following a multi-million pound restoration project.

The company is working in partnership with Blackpool Council and hotel specialist IHG on the project. If given the green light, many of the original features of the Post Office, which opened in 1910, will be retained.

They include the frontage onto Abingdon Street which has a number of stained-glass windows which overlook a distinctive row of eight red telephone boxes. Inside, the marbled flooring, cornicing and other attractive architectural features will be restored. The Post Office and Sorting Office are separated by a large interior courtyard, which will also be transformed.

The site is a short walk from the railway station, the Winter Gardens and the new £28m Conference Centre, Blackpool Tower and North Pier. It is also close to the new tramway extension connecting Blackpool North with the Promenade.

Mark Ashall, director of Ashall Projects, said: "This will be a Hotel Indigo with a difference. It will cater for both short-stay leisure and business visitors and it will also offer extended stay suites with additional facilities, such as kitchenettes, to provide the space and amenities for guests who want to stay longer.

"There are nearly 150 Indigo Hotels across the globe but this will be the first time anywhere that Indigo will be offering extended stay rooms in addition to the classic Indigo rooms. We believe this will allow us to provide a wide range of accommodation options which will meet a variety of customer requirements.”

The hotel will employ around 70 staff and 215 people will work on the construction. It is one of three development projects to be put forward in Blackpool’s Levelling Up Fund bid that was submitted to central government alongside an Active Travel/Town Centre Access Scheme and redevelopment work and creation of a new convention space with retail, within Winter Gardens. 

Coun Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: "Blackpool Council fully supports the plans to bring this key historic property back to life. This upscale hotel development will attract extended stay business and leisure guests to the centre Blackpool all year round for the benefit of local businesses. We look forward to working with Ashall Projects on this exciting new project."

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