£7.5m project will transform listed building into new business hub

Members of the development team on site

Work has started on a £7.5m project to transform one of Blackpool’s locally listed buildings into a thriving business hub.

Located in the town centre, Stanley Buildings will be converted into a modern, vibrant business hub for start-ups and growing small businesses.

The historic 1930’s art deco building will be converted into 44 offices and state-of-the-art meeting facilities on the upper floors, alongside extensive ground floor co-working space offering a choice of flexible and dedicated hot desks and member benefits.

CGI of completed project

Situated on a triangular plot between Caunce Street, Church Street and Cookson Street, the heritage building was built in 1935. It was designed by the renowned Borough architect, John Charles Robinson, famous for a wide range of civic buildings such as Derby Baths and South Shore Open Air Baths, many libraries, offices and leisure amenities.

During the renovation works, the footpath on the Stanley Building side of Caunce Street will be closed to enable access to the compound area.

Restoration and repair works will focus on critical areas including roof replacement, installation of new windows to all upper floors, brick repair and render, and restoration and cleaning of exterior faience and mosaic tiles.

Initially, eight shopfronts will be fully replaced with the aim to restore all shopfronts when funding is available.

The project is being developed in line with Blackpool Council’s net zero objective with both air source heat pumps and solar panels installed to power the office spaces.

The scheme is led by the council and supported by Cassidy + Ashton architects. Local construction company, F Parkinson, has been appointed the main contractor with works set to complete by spring 2025.

More than 50% of the contract value will be spent with local suppliers, and other social value will benefit the local community.

The development is part of wider plans to make the town centre more attractive to residents, businesses and investors, and making Blackpool better for everyone.

Cllr Mark Smith, Cabinet Member for Levelling Up (Place) at Blackpool Council, said: “The project will enable us to achieve our aspiration to create a first-class home for growing small businesses as well as transform a prominent locally listed building.”

Ray Eyre, Managing Director of F Parkinsons, said: “This 60-week restoration and refurbishment project goes beyond bricks and mortar. We’re committed to showcasing our social core values, supporting local contractors, charities, and training providers. It’s about building up the community as much as it is about building the structure.”

Chartered architect, Lawrence McBurney, a director at Cassidy + Ashton, said: “A lot of work has taken place to get to this milestone moment, and we are looking forward to works commencing on site.”

The project is being funded by a combination of £4.5m from the Town Deal, £2.8m from the council and £200,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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