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Breaking new ground in Blackpool

A ground breaking ceremony took place in Blackpool last week to mark the start of construction on the Talbot Gateway Central Business District  scheme, which is being delivered by Muse Developments in partnership with Blackpool Council.

Muse Developments' regional director, Mike Horner, was joined by Cllr Gary Coleman, cabinet member for regeneration and development at Blackpool Council, and John Wilson, managing director of Eric Wright Construction, to break the first piece of ground for the new Council offices, which form part of the first phase of the scheme.

Mike said: “Today is the first step towards realising the transformation of this part of central Blackpool into a vibrant commercial district.  This is the first phase of a comprehensive scheme which will revitalise this important gateway to the town’s Blackpool North Station.  We are looking forward to working closely with our partners at Blackpool Council to bring about this much needed change for the benefit of all visitors, but particularly for local residents and businesses.”

Cllr Gary Coleman said: “We estimate that 400 people will be working on the construction of the Talbot Gateway. It’s a great boost for the economy of the town centre as well as creating local jobs for local people.

“I’m sure everybody agrees that this area needed a lift, and today marks the start of the project that we’ve been talking about for so many years.  It’s such an exciting time and I look forward to seeing the new landscape take shape.”

The Homes and Communities Agency has invested £7.5m in the scheme. Nick Jackson, area manager at the HCA said: "Construction of the Talbot Gateway Central Business District is great news for Blackpool and highlights the commitment of partners to support economic development, improve job opportunities for local people and promote a thriving economy. The transformation of this important area will provide better facilities for residents and help to attract much needed inward investment.”

Work on the new council building which has been designed by Aedas Architects and is being built by Eric Wright Construction, is expected to complete in April 2014.  The building will provide some 120,000 square feet of new office accommodation and meet the highest efficiency and environmental standards.

Planning consent for phase one, which includes the new council office building, remodelled multi-storey car park and Sainsbury’s store was granted in October 2011. Work on the multi-storey car park and store is targeted to commence later this autumn. 

Overall, the £220 million Talbot Gateway CBD scheme will create new retail, commercial and community space for Blackpool in addition to town centre parking and transport facilities. The masterplan also includes a new public square, offices, restaurant and retail units, three hotels and a new supermarket which has been pre-sold to Sainsbury’s.