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Holiday Inn plan set to start

Work is due to start next month on a new hotel and tram terminal in Blackpool – but the cost of the council-backed project has risen by nearly £4m.

Wilko’s on Talbot Road will close at the end of March and it is hoped demolition will begin on April 20 to make way for the 144-bedroom Holiday Inn which is due to open in 2022.
Regeneration also includes a tramway interchange linking to Blackpool North Station, a new underpass and retail and leisure facilities.
The council’s executive is being asked to approve a revised budget for the scheme of £34.6m, an increase of £3.8m on the original cost.
This reflects inflationary increases in the construction programme and additional work including four more rooms in the hotel which will also create up to 50 jobs.
Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “As the flagship commercial development for Blackpool, phase two of Talbot Gateway continues to transform an important entrance to the town, and highlights the excellent commercial opportunities this town has to offer.
“We are delighted to welcome The Holiday Inn brand to Blackpool, and
are confident that more internationally successful, recognised brands will follow in their wake.
“This next phase of the development will offer brand new retail locations, an improved leisure offer to boost the night-time economy, offer more high-quality accommodation choice for leisure and business visitors alike and promote a more integrated and connected use of our transport system. ”
The council has been working with Muse Developments since 2009 to develop the Talbot Gateway which already includes Sainsbury’s supermarket and the Bickerstaffe House council offices.
According to a report going to the executive on March 23, £5.5m is being
funded from the Development Trust Account and the council will borrow the remaining £29.1m with costs met from hotel revenue.
But Coun Tony Williams, leader of the Conservatives on Blackpool Council, warned: “This hotel is the wrong development at the wrong end of town.
“It’s a concrete block and when I looked at the plans, I thought it was still Wilko’s.
“Although borrowing is cheap at the moment the money still has to be repaid, and I don’t believe the viability plan stacks up.”
 

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