Blackpool Council 'full tilt' for £40m deal to buy Tower and Winter Gardens

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
With less than two months to go before the April deadline of the new financial year, Blackpool Council bosses are optimistic about their chances of buying city icons, Blackpool Tower and The Winter Gardens. Current owners Leisure Parks are thought to be ready to sell the two landmark properties for £40m and Council leader Peter Callow says his officials are “going full tilt” to tie up a deal. The news is welcomed by director of marketing at Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board, Tony Openshaw, who tells conference-news the purchase would boost the ongoing work to provide exciting new opportunities and packages for business tourism. “We’re asking conference organisers to take a fresh look at a regenerated resort that has a positive and passionate team ready to help with every request,” Openshaw says. “The Winter Gardens is the resort’s main conference and exhibition centre and this deal would obviously provide a fantastic addition to the work already being done.”The failed bid to bring a casino complex to Blackpool acted as a call to arms for the resort, Openshaw believes.It is understood the council’s bid is dependent on gaining access to funding from the European Regional Development Fund. Its Project Management Committee has reportedly given the initial thumbs up to the bid. European money would be matched by a package of public funding.  The idea to buy the two properties flowed from recommendations made in Sir Howard Bernstein’s report on the regeneration of Blackpool after the supercasino bid was turned down by Gordon Brown. Bringing the landmarks into the public sector would mean heritage funding could also be accessed.  Chief executive of regeneration agency ReBlackpool, Doug Garrett, says: “Given the potential funding which may be available, the time is right to take this bold step and acquire these assets, which can then underpin the overall regeneration programme for the town to deliver a 21st century resort.” The Winter Gardens was opened in 1878, offering a “pleasant lounge, especially desirous during inclement weather”. Blackpool Tower opened in 1894 as a homage to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Millions have been invested in sea defences, new public squares, shopping centres and an event space on the promenade. More than £100m is being spent on the seafront tramway. A planning application is about to be submitted for Talbot Gateway, a £220m project to create a new civic and cultural quarter. Tourism chiefs say the investment will bring two million extra visitors this year to the Golden Mile, including 38,000 conference delegates.
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Elsewhere on EN

EN spotlights #eventtech start-ups with new competition

EN spotlights #eventtech start-ups with new competition

EN has teamed up with Event Tech Lab and EventTech 17 to launch a competition to help #eventtech start-ups get more exposure in the events industry.
Reed acquires Imbibe Media

Reed acquires Imbibe Media

Reed Exhibitions has announced that it has acquired Imbibe Media, the company behind B2B drinks industry show Imbibe Live.
Celtic Manor convention centre construction to commence in February

Celtic Manor convention centre construction to commence in February

Construction of the International Convention Centre at the Celtic Manor Resort near Newport is to get under way next February, according to chief executive of the Celtic Manor Ian Edwards.

WATCH THE EN AWARDS 2016 HIGHLIGHTS


silverstream.tv

Most read Stories

EN Awards People Finalists revealed

EN Awards People Finalists revealed

The first group of the highly anticipated shortlist for the EN Awards has been announced, including Best Newcomer and Best Event Director categories.
Reactions from events industry following Britain’s vote to leave EU

Reactions from events industry following Britain’s vote to leave EU

As the UK has voted to leave the European Union with a 52 per cent majority result, EN has spoken to members of the exhibition and events industry, to gauge their initial reactions on the future of the UK and their businesses.
And the Show category finalists are...

And the Show category finalists are...

The final shortlist group for this year’s EN Awards has been announced, including Best Consumer Show Marketing Campaign, Best Brand Expansion and Best Trade Show.

Latest Features

New kid on the block

New kid on the block

Stuart Johnston discovers the world of exhibitions in his new Ascential role.
The big picture

The big picture

Imagine you could find all the photos taken at your event...well now you can, says Gaggletag founder Gideon Summerfield.
The talent of a nation

The talent of a nation

Following the launch of Connect16 this year, EN catches up with founder Nicola McGrane on experiencing the essence of Ireland.

Latest Galleries

ESSA 2016 Conference of Things

ESSA 2016 Conference of Things

This year’s ESSA Conference achieved a record attendance of delegates from across the events supplier industry, representing over 100 companies at Ricoh Arena, on 24 November.
The Prosthetics Event 2016

The Prosthetics Event 2016

Exhibition, education and shopping show The Prosthetics Event, returned to Conference Aston in Birmingham for the third consecutive year on 19 November.
World Travel Market London 2016

World Travel Market London 2016

World Travel Market (WTM) London 2016, which took place on 7-9 November at ExCeL London, celebrated its most successful show yet with a joint record attendance of 51,500.

Latest Opinions

Opportunity knocks

Opportunity knocks

Paul Byrom, AEO chairman and MD at Upper Street Events on the formation and goals of the new AEO Development Board
The height of safe practice

The height of safe practice

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director on continuing to build a robust, safety-first, working culture in events and exhibitions.
All part of the plan

All part of the plan

Kevin Horler, project director of Vividfish Ltd, on the importance of creating an inbound marketing strategy for your next exhibition.