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

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Events and publishing group Ascential plc has had a ’a good year with strong organic growth’, driven by the launch of new products.
Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Global roadshow specialist Event Marketing Solutions (EMS) has announced a record-breaking financial year, with profits reaching £1.04m for the year ending December 2016.
VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain has announced the launch of a one-day event, to promote Britain as a business events destination to international buyers.

CONFEX LIVE

Most read Stories

And the #ENAwards finalists are…

And the #ENAwards finalists are…

The countdown timer has run out. After weeks of companies submitting award entries and sweating over it, there is just one thing left to do before the big night: Announce the shortlist.
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.

Latest Features

Come to Confex and be inspired

Come to Confex and be inspired

The exhibition and events industry is all about the power of face-to-face, the art of exhibiting and networking with old friends and new, which is why EN would like to personally invite you to attend International Confex to learn more.
When is the right time?

When is the right time?

It’s all very well having a successful show, but how do UK exhibition organisers replicate their success across the country and overseas? Three event profs share their experiences
Stand and deliver

Stand and deliver

When it comes to exhibition stands, the only limits are the exhibitor’s imagination (and floor space and budget), three stand building firms tell EN.

Latest Galleries

100% Optical 2017

100% Optical 2017

More than 8,000 visitors arrived at ExCeL London on 4-6 February for the fourth edition of 100% Optical. The show featured more than 175,000 frames, catwalk performances and a comprehensive education programme.
Cumbria Flood Expo 2017

Cumbria Flood Expo 2017

The inaugural Cumbria Flood Expo, organised by flood emergency response charity CERT UK, took place on 2-3 February at Carlisle Racecourse.
Mexia Communications at 10

Mexia Communications at 10

PR and content marketing agency Mexia Communications celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Mexican Fiesta at the Royal College of Physicians on 26 January.

Latest Opinions

Good practice with data

Good practice with data

Simon Clayton, chief ideas officer at RefTech, on being open, transparent, and accurate about what you are doing with the data you handle.
Beware of the punter

Beware of the punter

Trevor Punt, managing director of TBG Group, on the rise of the stereotypical punter and the need for nerves of steel.
Peer to peer

Peer to peer

Will Broadfoot, director of Footfall Events & Marketing on unlocking exhibitor potential and improving participation.