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Blackpool sets aside £780k for new conference centre plans

Council earmarks funds to engage architects to design new-build centre

Pictured: An artist impression of how Blackpool's planned conference centre could look

Blackpool Council has earmarked £780k to pay for designs of the town's proposed 7,000 capacity conference centre.

The council says it is "100 per cent committed" to the new centre, which is hoped will bring back more business tourism. Blackpool was once the UK's leading destination for national political conferences, but it has not hosted one in almost nine years.

About £225k has been set aside to engage an architect firm and council will be asked to earmark a further £555k towards the design phase when they meet next week. Blackpool Council is also bidding for £18 million from the Government's Growth Deal fund to build the centre. If plans go ahead, the venue is expected to open in late 2019, with a main plenary hall for up to 2,000 delegates.

Councillor Simon Blackburn said: "We are 100 per cent committed to creating large-scale business, tourism and conferencing facilities for the town. In order to successfully bid for funding our plans need to be well-developed, and any funders will be looking for us to have detailed designs, and planning permission in place, so it is vitally important that we put ourselves in the best possible position to secure external funding."

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