Nikal has entered into an exclusive agreement with Blackpool Council and Media Invest Entertainment to deliver a dynamic new £300m mixed-use scheme on Blackpool’s historic Central Station site.
Called ‘Blackpool Central’, the new leisure-led development will bring world-class visitor attractions to a landmark 17-acre site on the town’s world-famous Golden Mile, just 200 metres from Blackpool Tower.
It is estimated that the new development will attract 600,000 additional visitors a year with an estimated combined annual spend of £75m. It will also create around 1,000 new jobs, whilst safeguarding employment within existing businesses located on the site.
Nikal has been working for the last 18 months on the project with internationally renowned architects, designers and planners, Gensler. Nikal’s experienced team has developed a concept ‘masterplan’ that includes leisure uses, artisan food hall, restaurants, new hotels and residential apartments set around a versatile public square designed to stage open air live events, such as concerts, road shows, fashion shows, sports events and themed Christmas markets.
The project’s anchor tenant will be a unique state-of-the-art Chariots of The Gods Entertainment Park, an indoor theme and adventure park inspired by the 1968 bestselling book, The Chariots of The Gods, to which partner, Media Invest Entertainment, owns and controls the global media rights.
Adopting the books core themes of ‘alien encounters’ and the ‘unsolved mysteries of ancient civilisations’, The Chariots of The Gods Entertainment Park will incorporate five key attractions, including the UK’s first ‘flying theatre’; a fully immersive experience that will provide an unparalleled flying sensation with on-board special effects including wind, fog, water and scents, with state-of-the-art projection and surround sound. Each attraction will utilise industry leading technology and virtual reality special effects to deliver an immersive and thrilling ‘Edutainment’ experience unlike any other in the world.
Nikal plans to deliver the development in several phases over an eight-year period, with construction forecast to commence in 2020, after detailed consultations and planning.
Formed in 2003, Nikal is a privately held limited company that specialises in large-scale mixed-use regeneration schemes on strategically placed brownfield sites across the North West and West Midlands. Its largest project forms part of the HS2 Curzon Birmingham masterplan where the company is halfway thorough the construction of its £500m Exchange Square project.
Alan Murphy, co-founder of Nikal, praised Blackpool City Council’s ‘admirable’ commitment to the town. He says, “I, like many others, have many happy memories of family trips to Blackpool; first with my parents, and then with my own children in later years.
“This fondness for the town, coupled with Blackpool City Council’s commitment to its regeneration and the considerable public and private investment that has already been injected were just some of the factors that encouraged us to partner on this exciting project,” he added.
Says Nikal Development Director, Darren Jones; “Blackpool Central is a hugely important project for the town and the region and it’s an honour to be on board. Place making and regeneration are the DNA of our business and we thrive on creating dynamic new spaces that inspire, excite and engage.
“It’s taken almost two years and a lot of hard work to get to this point. We know that the masterplan fully maximises the site’s potential and will deliver a unique and ground-breaking, entertainment destination with global appeal that will revitalise and underpin Blackpool’s growth and regeneration,” he added.