Work set to begin on next phase of Houndshill development

On 6 September main contractor Grahams will begin construction work to kickstart the second phase of the Houndshill development which will bring new leisure and retail attractions to Blackpool.

Blackpool Council acquired the Houndshill Shopping Centre in November 2019, followed by three related deals in February 2021 as part of its strategy for regeneration in the town centre.

The new developments will include a cinema/conferencing and entertainment centre providing an 850 seat venue, with nine state-of-the-art digital screens, including a giant PLF (Premium Large Screen Format) IMAX-ready central screen, set to be the largest in the North West, within a 40,500 sq ft unit.

Wilko will also return to the resort. Formerly located at the old Fine Fare building on Talbot Road, the hardware and household retailer will take a 15-year lease with the council on the new, purpose-built 22,500 sq ft unit on the land which previously housed Tower Street Car Park.

The overall scheme, which will also include two new restaurants, has been facilitated by £5m of funding from the government’s Covid-19 Getting Building Fund, following formal approval by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in October 2020. Blackpool Council is funding the remaining balance of the scheme.

Debbs Lancelott, centre manager at Houndshill Shopping Centre, said: “Ever since the detailed plans were revealed, we’ve been excited to see the project progress. We remain open as normal and have a fantastic selection of more than 50 national and independent retailers who are all looking forward to welcoming shoppers and diners over the coming months.

"After a challenging 18 months, we're delighted to see an increase of families visiting Blackpool for both shopping and entertainment and it's heartening to see the town effectively coming back to life. The Houndshill car park is a popular choice not just for shoppers, but for theatregoers and visitors to the Illuminations too. With that in mind, we expect that there may be some delays when exiting the car park at peak times as the sheer volume can sometimes cause delays."

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