Massive Blackpool Winter Gardens hotel plans get the go-ahead and could spark much-wanted return

Hotel Adelaide
-Credit: (Image: Studio Moren)


Developers have pledged to get started ‘as soon as possible’ after plans to build a five-storey hotel next to the Winter Gardens in Blackpool were approved unanimously.

The 266-bedroom property is set to be built on land between Alfred Street, Adelaide Street and Leopold Grove currently used as a car park, and could pave the way for the return of the main party political conferences. Members of the council’s Planning Committee gave the go-ahead to a variation to an existing permission for a 160-room hotel on the site, which includes the additional rooms.

Harry Spawton, of Gerald Eve LLP, who addressed the committee on behalf of applicants C1 Capital Partners Ltd and Mottrom Estates, said four previous sets of plans for a hotel on the site had not been delivered. But he said the current applicant “has secured a global hotel brand for this site” and intended to deliver “a landmark destination” for the site “potentially facilitating the return of much-needed party political conferences in Blackpool.”

READ MORE:

Blackpool has not hosted major party conferences since 2007, with the lack of hotel facilities attached to the Winter Gardens blamed. Tougher security regimes now require a ‘ring of steel’ to be set up around conference venues. A £30m investment saw the opening of the new Conference and Exhibition Centre at the Winter Gardens in February 2022, creating a total capacity in the building of around 7,000 delegates.

Mr Spawton added: “These proposals maximise the efficiency of this brownfield site by providing a high quality, fit for purpose hotel which is mostly aimed at visitors to the Winter Gardens Conference Centre.”

It is proposed to operate the hotel under two brands with 108 suites aimed at business guests looking for longer stays, and 158 rooms aimed at the traditional holiday market.

Mr Spawton told councillors the next step would be to submit an application for reserved matters setting out finer design details, but if this could be processed within two or three months the aim was for work “to start as soon as possible”.

Ian White, from hoteliers group StayBlackpool, told the meeting there were concerns the new hotel could adversely impact trade of existing hotels near the Winter Gardens. He said he would have preferred the smaller 160-room scheme to have gone ahead, which could then have been extended if demand was found for more rooms.

The brands which would operate the hotel have not been revealed, but C1 Capital’s current brands include Hilton London Olympia and a Mercure hotel in Northampton. The council, which owns the site, has been working with C1 Capital Partners Ltd and Mottram Estates for around 18 months towards bringing the scheme forward.

The development will mean the loss of 118 car parking spaces but a new 600-space multi-storey car park is proposed on the site of the former Syndicate nightclub on nearby Church Street.

Susan Parker, head of development management at the council, said although only 10 parking spaces would be provided, it was “a highly accessible location”.

She said: “The scheme represents a major investment in the conference and exhibition sector.”