Talbot Gateway is the £220m scheme which has started the redevelopment of the area around Talbot Road. When complete, it will comprise 85,000 square metres of new office and business space, hotels, shops, cafes and restaurants, transforming Blackpool town centre around Talbot Road, Cookson Street and Larkhill Street.
Phase 1 of Talbot Gateway
Phase 1 includes the new Sainsbury’s store and multi storey car park plus petrol filling station. The new offices for both public and private use, and the new plaza, now known as Bickerstaffe Square.
There’s improved access to the railway station, along with improvements to highways, infrastructure, public realm and car parking. The first phase of the project is led by Muse Developments.
In November 2011, Sainsbury’s was officially named as the supermarket to occupy the new flagship food store. Back then the redevelopment was known as Blackpool’s new Central Business District.
The store is 120,000 sq ft with 600 parking spaces, and the supermarket employs around 300 people – 70% of which are full time. The partners involved in this project worked with Blackpool Build Up to give local residents an opportunity to work there during the construction phase. After a 12 week fit out, it opened on 23 July 2013.
Blackpool Council Offices
The store complements the style of the new council office building. The main facade has a stunning sweeping glass frontage, facing onto Talbot Road and the railway station.
The new council office is a 125,000 sq ft building. It’s not only a modern and attractive building, but also extremely energy efficient. More than 800 Blackpool Council staff occupy the offices at Number One Bickerstaffe Square.
Talbot Road Car Park
Talbot Road Car Park has an extensively refurbished interior and exterior. It has 650 parking spaces and retail units on the ground floor.
Blackpool Council ran a competition to name the public space in the main area of the Central Business District. Students from Blackpool Sixth Form College and Unity College came up with the name ‘Bickerstaffe Square’.
John Bickerstaffe was the man who commissioned the building of the Tower in 1891. To name this new public space after him is a fitting way to immortalise the name for future generations.
Phase one construction work at Talbot Road Gateway was completed in 2014.
Talbot Gateway – what comes next?
Work has already begun on the next phase of the vision set out in the original master plan for this area of north Blackpool.
The tramway extension at Talbot Road is under construction at the time of writing (December 2018). When complete, it joins the promenade at North Pier with the railway station at Blackpool North.
Plans are also well underway for the relocation of Wilkinson’s to a new site at the Houndshill Shopping Centre. Demolition of the current store makes way for a transport interchange and new hotel accommodation.
The History of the Development of Talbot Gateway
It’s amazing how you forget how things once looked. So in this next section we’ve gathered together some information and photos from the very beginning of the Talbot Gateway project, and it’s construction phase.
In the beginning…
This is the information published before building work began at Talbot Gateway. See that the vision in the original master plan is now (2019) close to being realised. Take a look at the artists impression –
A special ground breaking ceremony took place in Blackpool to mark the start of construction on the Talbot Gateway Central Business District (CBD) scheme.
Muse Developments regional director, Mike Horner was joined by Cllr Gary Coleman, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development, Blackpool Council and John Wilson, managing director, Eric Wright Construction to break the first piece of ground for the new Council offices, which forms part of the first phase of the scheme.
Mike Horner said: “Today is the first step towards realising the transformation of this part of central Blackpool into a vibrant commercial district. This is the first phase of a comprehensive scheme which will revitalise this important gateway to the town’s Blackpool North Station.
“We are looking forward to working closely with our partners at Blackpool Council to bring about this much needed change for the benefit of all visitors but particularly local residents and businesses.”
A great boost for Blackpool!
Cllr Gary Coleman, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development, said: “We estimate that 400 people will be working on the construction of the Talbot Gateway. It’s a great boost for the economy of the town centre as well as creating local jobs for local people.
“I’m sure everybody agrees that this area needed a lift, today marks the start of the project that we’ve been talking about for so many years. It’s such an exciting time and I look forward to seeing the new landscape take shape.”
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has invested £7.5m in the scheme. Nick Jackson, Area Manager at the HCA said:
“Construction of the Talbot Gateway Central Business District is great news for Blackpool and highlights the commitment of partners to support economic development, improve job opportunities for local people and promote a thriving economy. The transformation of this important area will provide better facilities for residents and help to attract much needed inward investment.”
Work on the new council building, designed by Aedas Architects, built by Eric Wright Construction, was expected to complete in April 2014. The building will provide some 120,000 square feet of new office accommodation and meet the highest efficiency and environmental standards.
Planning consent for phase one, which includes the new council office building, remodelled multi-storey car park and Sainsbury’s store was granted in October 2011. Work on the multi-storey car park and store is targeted to commence later this autumn (2012).
Overall, the £220 million Talbot Gateway CBD scheme will create new retail, commercial and community space for Blackpool in addition to town centre parking and transport facilities.
The masterplan also includes a new public square, offices, restaurant and retail units, a new supermarket which has been pre-sold to Sainsbury’s and three hotels.
(Details from Blackpool Council)
Construction Photos from Talbot Gateway Phase One
These next photos were all taken by Live Blackpool. Starting with the view of the buildings at the traffic lights before work began, sequentially going through various phases of construction. Enjoy!
While you’re here…
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