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Blackpool handed £25m for town regeneration

Blackpool is to receive a cash boost of up to £25m after it was unveiled as one of 100 communities nationwide included in the government’s latest round of handouts from the Towns Fund.

The resort has been named among the first five towns in Lancashire to benefit.

Civic leaders have been pushing for a Town Deal since last year when the Blackpool Town Prospectus was published setting out a future vision to be achieved by 2030.

Funding from the deal could be used to support some of these initiatives.

Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said: “In July the council’s chief executive and I went to London to meet with Jake Berry MP to discuss this very issue.

“I am glad that the compelling case we set out to the Government has been acknowledged and acted upon.

“Any investment that will enable us to continue to revitalise our town is to be welcomed. At this stage we don’t know how much money will be receiving so we will await with interest further details as they are released.”

Among the ideas set out in the Blackpool Town Prospectus is a covered zone in the town centre to link landmarks including the Tower, Winter Gardens, the Sands Resort Hotel and the Houndshill  Shopping Centre.

Also proposed is more office accommodation in the Talbot Gateway Central Business District to enable the creation of a Civil Service hub and the designation of the Fylde Coast as a tourism zone.

Around £50m could be invested in completing a rail loop around the Fylde, while funding could also support work to improve housing and educational standards.

Paul Smith of the Blackpool Pride of Place Partnership said: “This town deal recognises the challenges we face and will help us fulfil our aspirations for the future.

“We know from experience that with the right sort of interventions, we can create a vibrant destination that has a thriving retail, leisure and accommodation offer, complemented by better housing, sustainable employment and a tangible sense of civic pride.”

The latest funding for towns is on top of £1.3bn announced in July, taking the total value of the Towns Fund to £3.6bn.

The other Lancashire towns to get funding are Preston, Leyland, Nelson and Darwen.

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