Blackpool's £220m revamp is "boon" for residents

An artist's impression of Central Business District The Central Business District was formerly called the Talbot Gateway

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A £220m transformation of Blackpool centre will be a "big boon" for the resort's residents, said the head of building works at the town's council.

Supermarket Sainsbury's has announced plans to open a new store within the multi-million pound Central Business District, creating 400 jobs.

The redevelopment still requires planning permission but the council is confident it will be completed by 2014.

The superstore, shops and new council offices are included in the scheme.

With much of Blackpool's regeneration concentrated on tourist attractions, John Donnellan, service director of built environment at Blackpool Council, said this will also benefit the residents of the resort.

'It will happen'

He said: "It will be a big boon for local people looking for jobs - the key is 400 jobs at Sainsbury's. It will lift the whole town."

Unlike the £700m Tithebarn project in neighbouring Preston, which was recently abandoned by Preston City Council, Mr Donnellan believes Blackpool's project will go ahead.

"The planning applications are in, the deal has been signed with Sainsbury's, which is critical, and the council has got a big commitment to build offices there.

"I am confident it will happen and we will be on site next year."

The work is expected to take between 18 months and two years.

The bus station will be refurbished and the area east of the station will be developed in the Central Business District, which was formerly known as the Talbot Gateway.

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