Blackpool Central £300m leisure complex a 'game-changer'

Image source, Blackpool Central
Image caption,
Plans for the site - highlighted in yellow - are expected to be submitted to the council in the summer

A proposed £300m leisure complex will be a "game-changer" for Blackpool, the town's council leader has said.

Plans for Blackpool Central include a new indoor theme park, an artisan food hall and boutique holiday apartments.

It is hoped the site will create up to 1,000 jobs, attract 600,000 visitors to Blackpool every year and boost annual spending in the town by £75m.

Council leader Lynn Williams said the development was a "huge investment and a game-changer for our town".

The proposals include converting the Grade II listed former King Edward VII Cinema into an food hall with outdoor dining areas, refurbishing the locally-listed King Edward VII pub and turning the King Edward VII apartment building into a hotel, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Image source, Blackpool Central
Image caption,
The first phase of the plans includes the restoration of the existing heritage buildings to create a new Heritage Quarter

Richard Fee, chairman of developer Nikal Ltd, said the aim was to "create a world-class leisure destination that will add to Blackpool's current offer".

However, the pace of the scheme has come under fire after it emerged a central attraction, a flying theatre ride, would not be unique to the resort, as a similar ride will open at Legoland in Windsor on 29 May.

Cllr Tony Williams, leader of the opposition Conservative group, has previously warned the town's scheme now looked like it was "going to be out of date before it's even built."

A planning application for the first part of the plans is expected to be submitted in the summer and residents have until 26 May to take part in a consultation, which focuses on the new multi-storey car park and the creation of a Heritage Quarter.

Image source, Family handouts

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