Sands Venue - October 2020

Bpl Central: Redevelopment of Sands Building

The Sands Venue at Tower Festival Headland on Blackpool Central Promenade is being redeveloped into a brand new building. Take a look and see what’s happening!

Redevelopment of Sands Building on Blackpool Seafront

The proper name of this block is the Palatine Building. It’s more usually known as the Sands Building.

Work is well underway to rebuild the whole of the block, creating a new Sands Venue Resort Hotel and Spa including  Blackpool’s first five star luxury hotel. The new Blackpool Museum will also have a home on the first floor.

Artist's impression of the new Sands Resort Hotel on Blackpool's Golden Mile
Artist’s impression of the new Sands Resort Hotel on Blackpool Golden Mile

Above and below are artists impressions of what the new building will look like –

Artist's impression of the new Sands Resort Hotel on Blackpool's Golden Mile

Did you know? The original Sands Venue was in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.

The Sands had been on Blackpool seafront for more than seven years. Work began on site in January 2018 to create the new all-in-one onsite entertainment centre. The modern 5* hotel will have a 1920’s – 30’s theme.

Plans include:

  • a top class 91 luxury room hotel,
  • restaurant, bistro, ground floor bar and restaurant,
  • expansion of the Wild West Diner,
  • conference facilities,
  • Plus a spa, barbers, hairdressers, nail salon and hotel shop. 

Two ground floor venues opened for trading in 2021. The Wild West Diner is back, along with Spy Glass – a new, themed cocktail bar.

Update: Winter 2020

With the scaffolding and much of the exterior construction work gone, interior fit out is underway. Of course 2020 is also the year of COVID-19.

Sands Venue - Autumn 2020
Sands Venue – Autumn 2020

The Wild West Diner opened for a brief period in autumn, before closing again for Lockdown 2. We went along for another look at the exterior of the building at the end of October –

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Update: Summer 2020

Construction workers are hard at it again, and anyone who hasn’t seen the building for some time will see a big difference! It’s really taking shape now and looks amazing!

Redevelopment of Sands Venue - June 2020
Redevelopment of Sands Venue – June 2020
The new Sands Venue seen from the promenade
The new Sands Venue seen from the promenade. July 2020

Our most recent walk-around video was filmed in July 2020. Take a look around the exterior of the building and see how much progress has been made –

Update Spring 2020

By early Spring 2020, work is progressing apace. The glass window panels are going in on the sea side of the building…

Sands Venue taking shape in February 2020
Sands Venue taking shape in February 2020

The cladding is being installed on the town centre side, as you can see in the next photo. Then of course, everything went haywire because of coronavirus.

Cladding being fitted on the town centre side of Sands Venue, March 2020
Cladding being fitted on the town centre side of Sands Venue, March 2020

Update: Autumn 2019

By October 2020 you could really see the shape of the new building starting to emerge from the steelwork. The old Sands Venue is now disappearing underneath the new form.

Taking shape - October 2020
Taking shape – October 2020

Update: Summer 2019

Did you see the steelwork structure taking shape for the redevelopment of the Sands Building?

It will take the hotel upwards, building three additional floors for stunning bedroom spaces with 91 breathtaking rooms and suites alongside the penthouse.

Steelwork being built as part of the redevelopment of the Sands building
Steelwork being built as part of the redevelopment of the Sands building
Big cranes on site to install steelwork in August 2019
Big cranes on site to install steelwork in August 2019
Building the new steelwork around the old concrete skeleton
Building the new steelwork around the old concrete skeleton in 2019
Building the new steelwork around the old concrete skeleton in September 2019
Building the new steelwork around the old concrete skeleton in September 2019

Update: Spring 2019

As of April/May 2019, the building looked like a bomb site!

Hemmed in on all sides in it’s prominent position on Blackpool Central Promenade, the contractors slowly and carefully went about their heavy demolition work.

Looking inside the building - May 2019
Looking inside the building – May 2019

But every few weeks, you can see progress being made. It’s amazing how civil engineers know how to create order from what looks like construction chaos. Take a look at these recent photos –

Photo taken April 2019
Photo taken April 2019
Looking into the construction site in Feb 2019
Looking into the construction site in Feb 2019

Update: Summer 2018

Sands Venue being stripped - August 2018
Sands Venue being stripped – August 2018
Scaffolding at the Palatine Building in August 2018
Scaffolding at the Palatine Building in August 2018

Sands Building Before

For many years, the Palatine Building was home to the Sands Venue.

Palatine Building and the old Sands Venue on Blackpool seafront.
Palatine Building and the old Sands Venue on Blackpool seafront.
Front of the old Sands Venue on Blackpool seafront.
Front of the old Sands Venue on Blackpool seafront.

On the seaward side, facing the beach, the Legends show played to packed audiences. The first floor restaurant space had amazing views of the sea.

The ground floor was home to the Wild West Diner bar and grill –

Inside the Sands Bar and Grill, before redevelopment
Inside the Sands Bar and Grill, before redevelopment

This is an old video clip from 2013 where you can see the old Sands Building. And the old frontage of The Blackpool Tower!

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The Town Centre Side of the Palatine Building

Before the redevelopment work began you’d have found a couple of discounter stores at the town centre side of the Palatine Building.

B&M and Poundworld used to occupy the two large units on the ground floor. Poundworld went into administration and closed, while B&M relocated to the former BHS store on Church Street.

B&M occupied one of the retail units in the Palatine Building
B&M occupied one of the retail units in the Palatine Building
Empty Poundworld store in the Palatine Building. Photo - January 2018
Empty Poundworld store in the Palatine Building. Photo – January 2018

Do you remember the extension to the promenade footbridge? It hadn’t been open to pedestrians for many years and was in quite a bad state. This is what it looked like in July 2018 –

Footbridge in Blackpool Town Centre, July 2018
Footbridge in Blackpool Town Centre, July 2018

The town centre looks quite different, now it’s been demolished.

The footbridge is now demolished between the Sands/Palatine Building and TK Maxx
April 2019 – The footbridge is now demolished between the Sands/Palatine Building and TK Maxx

And Before the Sands!

The spectacular, 96 bedroom Palatine Hotel of 1879, once stood where the Sands building is today.

Blackpool’s motto is ‘Progress’ and as with so many other changes, the Palatine Hotel wasn’t to stand forever. In the 1970’s it was demolished.

The site could now be redeveloped, with the construction of the modern Palatine Building.

Palatine Hotel, built in 1879
Palatine Hotel, built in 1879

Interested in old Blackpool? There’s a lot more about the history of Blackpool here. And there’s another page about the changing face of Central Promenade at this link.

Do you remember the footbridge across the promenade? It spanned the road between the beach and town, giving safe access to the Palatine Building for anyone agile enough to climb all of those steps!

You can see it in the next photo – if you look carefully between the illuminations!

Oriental Blackpool Illuminations theme in the 1970s
Oriental Blackpool Illuminations theme in the 1970s

It had been closed to the public for some time, but the promenade footbridge was eventually demolished in 2009. By then it was an eyesore, and covered in graffiti.

Nightclub Land

In October 1986 The Palace nightclub opened in the Palatine Building. In the 90’s it was the biggest nightclub in the north west with a capacity of 3000 people. It cost £2.2m to fit-out and open, with the latest in lighting and sound systems.

Later, in 1994, it became the Golden Mile nightclub, with an art-deco American fuel pump in the dining area.

Jellies nightclub opened in the basement of the Palatine building in 1986. During the recent building work, contractors found some of the old signage.

Jellies nightclub signage found in the construction work for the new Sands hotel
Jellies nightclub signage found in the construction work for the new Sands hotel

The Palace nightclub closed in 2003.

Then, the empty building stood unused until 2010, when plans for the Sands Venue were put forward.

In November 2016, the Blackpool Gazette reported on it with this feature –

Feature on redevelopment of Sands Hotel in November 2016
Feature on redevelopment of Sands Hotel in November 2016

Do you remember any of the previous uses of the Palatine Building? Even better, have you got any old photos? We’d love to share them. Just email jane@theRabbitPatch.co.uk. Full credit given.

While you’re here…

Have a look at the homepage of the Live Blackpool website for more of the latest updates.

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7 thoughts on “Bpl Central: Redevelopment of Sands Building”

  1. excavation auckland

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  2. mrs maureen woodhead

    would like to know if u will be having tribute acts on again when the hotels ready me and my friend have been goiing for ten years and we miss the shows

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    I really appreciate your work especially the research part of it which made the whole point seafront/redevelopment of sands building very easy to understand.I have known very important things over here.Thank you so much for this post.

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