Sale of land agreed for Blackpool Central

Further to agreeing terms with developers in September 2019, Blackpool Council can confirm that the final terms of the legal contract for the land release at the Blackpool Central site have been signed by all parties and initial development works on the 17 acre plot can get underway.

The land disposal is based on a sale agreement by Blackpool Council to Nikal Ltd and Media Invest Entertainment for the long lease (250 years) to deliver various phases of the site, in accordance with the masterplan that was approved in December 2018. DWF Legal Advisors and JLL Property Consultants acted on behalf of the council.

Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council said, “We are delighted to have finalised the details of the contract and are confident and happy to have secured the best possible deal for the site and that the final agreed terms meet our desires and ambitions for the comprehensive redevelopment of Blackpool Central. The agreement offers Nikal and Media Invest Entertainment the flexibility around the phasing programme to ensure the effective viability and deliverability of the project, whilst securing the council’s ability to retain the revenue income from the site for the long term future.

“We are looking forward to continuing work with the developers on this game-changing, high profile regeneration project that will bring in over £300m investment, create over 1,000 new jobs and attract more than 600,000 new visitors to Blackpool every year.”

Nikal’s Co-founder Alan Murphy said, “Blackpool has a long history of debuting state-of-the-art family entertainment. We are excited to be delivering the UK’s first Chariots of the Gods themed attraction to the north west of England along with all other phases. We look forward to working with Blackpool Council to deliver this landmark development for the town.”

The Enabling Stage will see the development of a 1,300 space multi-storey car park to replace the surface car park that exists on site and associated public realm works. Nikal will shortly be instructing agents to progress the car park lease and work will commence shortly on the hybrid planning application for all areas of the site which will set out the vision for the site.

A hybrid outline/part detailed planning application for the car park is anticipated to be submitted late 2020.

The Council will continue to operate and take the revenue of the majority of the existing car parking spaces on Central, Chapel Street and Bonny Street throughout the Enabling phase of development. This will ensure limited impact on car parking spaces in and around the town centre for visitor parking. Once the new multi-storey car park opens the existing surface level car parks will close, making way for construction of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the development.

The site which includes the town’s largest surface car park, the magistrate’s court and the former police station, will be transformed in several phases over the course of approximately nine years, including:

Enabling Phase: This will provide a new 1300 space multi-storey car park replacing the existing open air car park as well as new coach drop off facilities and public realm works.

Phase 1: The first major phase of the project will incorporate several key components including the UK’s first flying theatre, Virtual Reality Experience, Greatest Mysteries Multimedia Exhibition Space, Adventure Land, Thrill & Gaming Zone, Alien Diner, an artisan food hall, and event square and a 150 bedroom hotel.

Phase 2: Plans include residential apartments, further food and drink outlets and a second hotel comprising 250 bedrooms and landscaped public space.