Lancashire

Blackpool Tower top closed until summer for £5m revamp

Blackpool Tower
Image caption Painting the top of the tower is the next phase in the redevelopment

Blackpool Tower's summit will be closed to the public until summer 2011 as the £5m restoration work on it continues.

The famous landmark, which attracts hundreds of visitors, has been getting revamped since the town council bought it earlier this year.

Work on the lower part is under way and the ballroom roof is being repaired ahead of Strictly Come Dancing being filmed there in late November.

Louis Tussauds is also closed while it is transformed into Madame Tussauds.

Other attractions in the lower part of the tower, such as Jungle Jims and Tower Circus, will remain open and unaffected, the council said.

Councillor Maxine Callow said: "When we bought the tower earlier this year with funding from the North West Development Agency, the European Regional Development Fund, Homes and Communities Agency and the council we said we would begin essential repairs immediately.

'Breathe new life'

"The £5m restoration project will make a major difference to the facility, and I know when it is complete everyone will forgive any temporary inconvenience.

"The next phase for example involves starting on the repairs and painting of the tower top itself and in order to complete this as quickly and safely as possible we will have to suspend rides up the tower for longer than usual.

"We know how important the tower, and its view, is to Blackpool, to residents and to visitors however so we have asked the contractors to put extra staff on this project to ensure that work is carried out as quickly as possible."

Merlin Entertainments, the firm behind Alton Towers, will take over the running of the resort in the next week.

Council leader Peter Callow said it would "breathe new life" into the landmark.

Merlin announced that the area's "most loved attractions" would be restored, along with proposals to transform the local Louis Tussauds waxworks into the only Madame Tussauds outside of London.

The outline planning application includes proposals to create a new dungeons attraction which will take visitors back to the days of the Pendle witch trials and Oliver Cromwell.

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