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Does Blackpool need more offices?

Questions have been raised about council plans to build more offices in Blackpool town centre in the wake of expectations more people will work from home in the future.

The council is currently assembling a site in the King Street area for phase three of the Talbot Gateway regeneration scheme.
The acquisition of property is among 11 schemes submitted  by Blackpool as part of its bid for £25m from the government’s Future High Streets Fund.
Coun Maxine Callow told a meeting of the full council held on Zoom: “I do want development, particularly on King Street.
“But it crossed my mind that in this day and age, do we need more offices when people will be working from home more and more when this epidemic has gone away.”
Coun Mark Smith, cabinet member for business, enterprise and job creation, said he hoped more people would soon be returning to their jobs in the town centre.
He said: “We have aspirations to bring more jobs and employment which will also help regenerate the town centre.
“But we won’t build unless we have had the commitment of a long term lease. We would get the contract first and then the offices would be built.”

 Previously the council has revealed it is in active negotiations “with an end user” which could lead to 20,000 square metres of office accommodation being built on a single site.
 


In 2019, itl set aside £1.25m towards developing plans for new office accommodation and previously it has been suggested civil service jobs could be among those brought into the town centre.
The first phase of the Talbot Gateway included Bickerstaffe House which has seen hundreds of council staff and insurance workers relocate.
 

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