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Outer space inspired regeneration plans unveiled for Blackpool

The £300m plans to develop on a car park would be the biggest investment in Blackpool’s tourism industry for a century.

The Blackpool Central development includes new hotels, restaurants, food market, event square, residential apartments and multi-storey parking.

It is estimated that the development will attract 600,000 additional visitors a year with a combined annual spend of £75m. It is also hoped it will also create around 1,000 new jobs.

The masterplan for the development is inspired by Chariots Of The Gods, a novel written by Swiss author Erich Von Däniken, that explores alien encounters and unsolved mysteries of ancient civilisations.

The main attraction will be the UK’s first ‘flying theatre’, which will be a ‘fully-immersive thrill ride that will create the incredible sensation of human flight.’

This first phase, due to open in Spring 2024, will be complemented by the development of an Artisan Food Hall accommodating up to 30 outlets and an event square incorporating a stage and video wall which will be used to host themed markets, open-air concerts and events. A new 150-bedroom promenade hotel is also planned.

Phase Two will include apartments, further food and drink outlets, a second hotel comprising 250 bedrooms, with additional landscaped public open space.

Future phases to the southern end of the site will include further leisure attractions, residential apartments and a music venue and nightclub.

Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council said: ‘I am delighted to be able to announce this hugely significant milestone in the redevelopment of the Central Station site. This really is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that has the potential to alter the face of our town.

‘Over more than fifty years, many ideas for this site have come and gone. The difference this time is that we have worked very hard with our fantastic partners at Nikal and MIE for almost two years to create a scheme that is not just aspirational, but highly deliverable.

‘These new attractions are of ground-breaking international quality and their cutting-edge technology will take Blackpool’s tourism offer to another level.’

The project is a collaboration between UK-based development company, Nikal Ltd, and Media Invest Entertainment, which owns the intellectual property rights to Chariots Of The Gods.

Blackpool Council says they will be working closely with both parties to help ‘unlock’ the development opportunity which is currently envisaged to be delivered in several phases over an eight to nine-year period, with work starting as early as 2020.

Nick Payne, managing director of Nikal, said: ‘Blackpool Central is a hugely important project for the town and the region and it is an honour to be on board. Place-making and regeneration are the DNA of our business and we thrive on creating dynamic new spaces that inspire, excite and engage.’

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