In 2020, Government opened applications for a new Towns Fund, designed to give areas the chance to invest in projects that would benefit their local communities. In October, Blackpool was one of the first 7 UK towns to receive a funding amount, or ‘Town Deal’ and received £39.5m, the highest amount received by any town in the first round.
What are Blackpool’s proposed projects?
During 2020, Blackpool’s Town Deal Board invited local residents, businesses and visitors to give their views on what they’d like to see happen if the town received some money. The responses were used to put together a list of projects that the Council could take forward over the next five years. The projects are:
Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone – Creating a new road to open up development sites to attract jobs and investment on the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.
Blackpool Central – Supporting the relocation of Blackpool’s magistrates and civil court to create more space for a new, world-class, year-round leisure attraction.
Multiversity – Supporting the relocation of the Blackpool & The Fylde College’s Palatine Road campus to a new carbon neutral university campus in the town centre, improving education and revitalising Blackpool.
Southern Quarter/Revoe Community Sports Village – Starting the regeneration of the Revoe area by creating new sports pitches and facilities for community use.
The Edge – Redevelopment of a town centre building to create modern office space for new start-ups and growing local businesses.
Blackpool Illuminations – Upgrading the world famous Blackpool Illuminations to attract new visitors by including new features and letting them shine for longer every year.
Youth Hub – Development of a virtual and physical town centre space to help get our young people into training and work.
How will Town Deal funding improve the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone (EZ)?
£7.5m of Town Deal funding will enable a critical part of the EZ to be delivered to improve access to and from the existing EZ site by building a new road and improving existing ones, resulting in better traffic flow in and around the site. The highway improvements will open up new land for commercial development providing more investment and jobs locally, and boosting the economy. The scheme includes:
Building a new road linking Amy Johnson Way with Common Edge Road to the east of the site – a new entrance and exit point for the business park
Expanding the capacity of the existing Common Edge Road to reduce traffic waiting times for vehicles moving into and out of the EZ, as well as those travelling around the local area
Utilising 15 hectares of previously unused land for growing companies requiring new, bespoke properties
Creating opportunities for all businesses through access to gigabit capable, full fibre broadband, including local access to transatlantic internet connections that deliver some of the world’s fastest internet speeds
This project is in the initial proposal stages and detailed plans are currently being produced. Before any development takes place, the project will need full planning permission and a full public consultation will take place giving local residents and businesses further opportunities to comment.
What local benefits will this development bring as part of the overall EZ plan?
If the scheme were to go ahead as outlined above, we would expect to see the following benefits: