The team behind Blackpool Winter Gardens’ Conference and Exhibition Centre yesterday had an outline planning application approved for a new hotel which would be immediately adjacent to the new £28m venue.
London-based architects Bisset Adams, who were commissioned to design the 6,150 square metre conference extension to the Winter Gardens last year, submitted plans to Blackpool Council earlier this year.
They included details for a proposed 203-room hotel over six floors featuring accommodation on the upper levels and leisure facilities, such as a cafe, bar, restaurant and spa, on the lower floors.
Aesthetically influenced by Blackpool’s celebrated art deco heritage and its famous illuminations, the plans also proposed underground parking provision for up to 59 vehicles.
As well as being conveniently situated to accommodate visitors to the Winter Gardens and Blackpool’s town centre, the architects’ plans further included proposals to create a physical link between the new hotel and the new conference centre.
The proposed enclosed walkway would link from the hotel’s second floor to the first -floor concourse of the new venue. This would mean delegates could easily access the Winter Gardens’ 12 integrated meeting and exhibition spaces, in addition to the new conference and exhibition facilities, without being exposed to the elements.
The new hotel would also only be a few minutes’ walk from the town’s new tramway. The line, which will link Blackpool North train station to tram services which serve the length of Blackpool’s promenade, is due for completion in 2019.
Commenting on the plans, Michael Williams from Blackpool’s Winter Gardens said: “When the design of our new Conference & Exhibition Centre was first conceived we included plans for a hotel immediately adjacent to the site. It’s therefore great news that this idea has moved one step closer to becoming a reality. Further, with the architects Bisset Adams also behind these proposals, the proposed hotel would be closely aligned to the wider Winter Gardens scheme.
“In addition, the designs for a covered walkway linking the hotel to the Winter Gardens completely chimes with our philosophy of giving visitors a seamless experience when they attend an event or conference.”
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This proposed development will help deliver a real step change in conference facilities in Blackpool. Its proximity to the new Winter Gardens conference and exhibition centre will create a fully integrated facility that can only add to the overall appeal of our rejuvenated business tourism offer.”
Blackpool Council’s planning committee approving an outline planning application now paves the way for more detailed plans to be submitted.
If these are approved, and the scheme gets the green light to be built, the development would become the latest in a series of new hotels across Blackpool which are set to add over 900 premium rooms to the town’s existing stock.