Renovation work starts on Blackpool Stanley Buildings to create business hub

Work has officially started 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 £7.5m project will see the historic 1930’s art deco building 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.

Situated on a triangular plot situated 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 Ltd, 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: “I am delighted that work has finally started on site and is to be delivered by a Blackpool-based construction company. 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.

“The scheme provides an ideal opportunity to expand the quality and range of flexible managed workspace within the town centre by delivering high-quality, affordable commercial floor space.

“Refurbishing the building and bringing the unused floor spaces back into use will have social and economic benefits in terms of creating skilled job opportunities in growing business sectors and in encouraging more people into the town centre.

“The works will secure the long-term optimum viable use of the building and safeguard it for future generations.”

Ray Eyre, Managing Director of F Parkinsons, said: “F Parkinson, a homegrown Blackpool construction company with almost 90 years of experience, is proud to be involved in the historic Stanley Building's restoration.

“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.

“Our dedication to sustainable waste management is central to who we are. We prioritise reducing, recycling, reusing, and recovering materials, with disposal as a last resort.

“We believe in contributing beyond the project site. Our ongoing commitment to the ‘Sleep out to Help Out’ initiative combats homelessness, and our generous foodbank donations provide support during challenging times.

“We build structures, but we also build a stronger Blackpool, one project and one partnership at a time.”

Chartered architect Lawrence McBurney, a director at Cassidy + Ashton, added: “A lot of work has taken place to get to this milestone moment, and we are looking forward to works commencing on site. The proposals balance the need to protect and restore the heritage aspects of the building complex while modernising and breathing new life into the internal spaces to transform them into an attractive working environment.

“Cassidy + Ashton has many years’ experience working with heritage buildings and we are very proud to continue to make a valuable contribution to the regeneration of Blackpool.”

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

 

For further information on the project and more details on regeneration plans in Blackpool, visit www.blackpool.gov.uk/betterblackpool

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