Developer sought for Blackpool Enterprise Zone land

Blackpool Council is seeking a development partner for 30,000 sqm of land at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

Work to build an £18m road to access the development plots has started and is expected to complete in late 2025, with the land released slightly earlier for construction.

Once the road is open, the site will be accessible by car and HGV just five minutes off the M55 motorway, while it also sits next to Blackpool Airport, which services chartered and business jets, and can operate aircraft up to B737 Max.

The site already has been granted planning permission for employment purposes, with the preferred use a series of industrial units catered to the advanced manufacturing, energy, food and drink and digital sectors.

The development plots, which could cater for units ranging from 15,000 sq ft to 75,000 sq ft, will be available from summer 2025 and will be targeted for industrial and warehouse use, specifically aimed at advanced manufacturing, energy, food and drink production and digital technology sectors.

Plots on the Eastern Gateway will be provided with bell mouths off the highway, landscaping and access to individual secondary substations, while the wider site offers sustainable cycleways and transport routes, as well as green drainage and landscaping.

Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone also hosts the ‘North Atlantic Loop’ subsea cable, carrying up to one-third of the world’s internet traffic. This means the site can access high capacity, ultra-low latency access to some of the world’s fastest, most reliable internet speeds. Equally, a data centre quarter – Silicon Sands – is being developed at a separate site on the Enterprise Zone in the coming years.

Cllr Mark Smith, Cabinet Member for Levelling Up (Place) at Blackpool Council, said: “The Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone is becoming a premier business destination for the North West, with a number of leading national and international manufacturing companies already located here.

“For developers, we have made great progress on the infrastructure, with power, internet and water being delivered to the site, and a brand-new landscaped access road available next year. With a large element of the risk taken out of the site, this allows a developer to work with us to realise our ambitions of creating more high quality jobs in the local area over the next few years.”

The full Expression of Interest (EOI) document can be found at www.blackpoolez.com or by emailing ez@blackpool.gov.uk and developers are asked to submit proposals by 1 July 2024.

Support to build the new access road at the Enterprise Zone has been provided through a £7.5m grant from HM Government Town Fund, while architectural support has been provided by Cassidy and Ashton and Wildes Consulting. The highway is being constructed by George Cox & Sons Ltd.

For more information on the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, visit www.blackpoolez.com.