Blackpool is set to begin the first phase of a 20-year plan to transform housing in its inner areas, focusing on the regeneration of deprived neighbourhoods behind the resort’s famous Golden Mile. Councillors will meet to agree on the initial steps of the extensive scheme, which follows the announcement of £90 million in government Levelling Up funding in March.

The first area to undergo redevelopment is bounded by Chapel Street, Central Drive, Rigby Road, and the Promenade. This Central Intervention Area includes the historic Foxhall Village, York Street, and Coop Street, as well as streets off Erdington Road. It lies between the £300 million Blackpool Central Leisure development and Blackpool Football Club’s Bloomfield Road stadium, where a new spectator stand and sports village are planned.

The council’s executive report identifies the area for its deprivation, poor quality housing, and lack of public open space. The report states: “Blackpool’s most acute deprivation statistics are intrinsically linked to private housing failure in this inner urban area. Partners acknowledge that it is now time to bring forward regeneration and investment at scale to reverse the cycle of worsening outcomes.”

Blackpool will have a large presence next week at The UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) in Leeds, holding several sessions that focus on the areas huge potential for development and investment.

Housing improvements could include selective clearance, refurbishment, enforcement action, and investment in energy efficiency upgrades. The council plans to start public consultation later this year, with 1,860 households affected. Compulsory purchase orders may be sought to facilitate redevelopment and demolition where necessary.

Council leader Coun Lynn Williams described the project as a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” saying: “Housing-led regeneration across the whole of Blackpool’s inner area is the long-term ambition with this first phase of regeneration seen as the starting point for transformational change.

“We want to provide homes that are modern, comfortable, desirable and meets the needs of local people in Blackpool, both those that live here now but also those that may want to move here in the future.”

Williams highlighted the economic, environmental, and social benefits, including job creation, energy-efficient housing, new public open spaces, improved health outcomes, and reduced crime and homelessness. She emphasised the importance of community involvement, stating, “We need to work with them throughout this whole process from the beginning to the end. This represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enable systematic and transformational change in both the fabric of Blackpool and most importantly in the quality and mix of housing in this part of the inner area of Blackpool.”