Lancashire

Blackpool Council to fund £14m hotel in resort

People on the beach with Blackpool Tower in the background Image copyright Dave Thompson
Image caption Blackpool hopes to boost the local economy by attracting more visitors

Blackpool Council has said it will pay £14m for the construction of a four-star hotel as part of plans to attract visitors to the resort.

The council hopes to borrow £11.3m for a new 130-room hotel in the Talbot Gateway area and expects future profits to cover the cost.

Holiday Inn is the preferred chain although a deal is yet to be signed.

The town's hoteliers criticised the move, claiming there is enough four-star accommodation already available.

A third-party company will provide accommodation services for the hotel, which will be owned by Blackpool Council.

'No quality hotel'

Deputy council leader Fred Jackson, said the hotel development would help to attract more conference business to the town.

"All the delegates for conferences won't stay in the four-star hotel, so the other hotels in Blackpool will benefit from this development as well."

He added: "One of the criticisms we've had in the past has been that the conferences no longer want to come because there is no quality hotel in the town centre."

Claire Smith, president of the hoteliers' organisation StayBlackpool, disagreed.

"The conference accommodation offer has never been criticised, it always was the conference facilities that they were going on about.

"Had it been a five-star hotel, that would add to Blackpool and we would have been in favour of it."

If planning permission is granted, the hotel is expected to open in two years' time on the site of the East Topping Street car park.

The council said it had already raised £2.7m towards the cost of the hotel from the regeneration of the Talbot Gateway area.

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