Sited on King Street in Blackpool Town centre, a new £100m state of the art building will soon take shape to accommodate 3,000 civil servants from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). This will make a major and welcome beneficial change to the Blackpool skyline.
As part of a strategic plan to centralise civil service jobs in the heart of Blackpool, workers from the Warbreck House and Ryscar House complexes will occupy the building when it opens in the autumn of 2024. This will provide a welcome boost to and diversify the town centre economy and will be a template for sustainable development.
Blackpool Council’s leader, Councillor Lynn Williams said:
“With our partners Muse we have been working to introduce a new Fylde Coast Civil Service Hub for several years. We are thrilled that DWP share our vision and are committed to this long term investment. The relocation of just over 3,000 DWP employees will bring considerably more footfall into the area, with a massive boost to local businesses, retailers, restaurants, cafes and leisure facilities, also bringing new, high quality job opportunities for local residents. Talbot Gateway, Blackpool’s Central Business District, is the ideal location for this development, being highly accessible, well located and supported by excellent transport links.”
The planned c.215,000 sq ft (GIA) seven storey office on a 2.4 acre site on King Street, is the Talbot Gateway regeneration scheme’s third phase. Its design and environmental credentials are impressive. This will provide a design template for the ongoing town centre regeneration process, significantly improving the built fabric and public realm.
Located in a new leafy town centre square with new cycle and pedestrian access, with storage for over one hundred bicycles to encourage cycling to work, the building will be within walking distance of a new tram interchange at Blackpool North Station, served by Northern Railway’s state of the art trains and the Avanti direct London services. The town centre is the most bus served location in Blackpool with routes radiating in from all Blackpool areas (Blackpool Transport Services) and the Fylde Coast (Stagecoach). Coastliner Bus and Coastal Coaches provide additional services. These all reduce the need to drive to work, in line with the council’s climate emergency objective to reduce transport related emissions.
The design of the building by London-based Make Architects, will draw on Blackpool’s rich Art Deco architectural heritage and will create a statement building. It will replace much obsolete property of a poor visual appearance and environmental standard. The BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building has been designed to be ultra-low energy and as energy efficient as possible, with high levels of insulation, low-carbon heating and cooling, and demand driven ventilation, helping to reduce the building’s overall carbon footprint again in line with the council’s environmental objectives.
This building is going to make a big difference and alongside the existing Bickerstaffe House/supermarket development, conference centre and the hotel, restaurant and tram station taking shape on the former Wilko store site, shows that Blackpool is regenerating and facing the 21st century’s challenge of regenerating and diversifying an economy and providing jobs for residents in a sustainable way and with high design standards. More of this please!
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