Plans for a multi-million pound transformation of Fleetwood’s Wyre Dock has been unveiled for the first time. It would change a run-down dock area into a high class attraction pulling in visitors all year round and transforming the town’s economy. A formal presentation of the Fleetwood Quays scheme, staged at Rossall School, has revealed details of the scheme for the first time. A start date of 2019 has been put forward, and the prospect of between 300 and 350 new full time jobs.
Frank Heald, the Fleetwood-born business who is a director of Wyre Dock Development Ltd, which is behind the scheme, officially launched it and said: “Fleetwood has some good things going for it but it has also suffered some major blows. “So it needs a lot more – we believe it’s future lies in the visitor economy, and with this 50 acre dockland site, this is how we can do it.”
Dockland owner Associated British Ports (ABP) is backing the plans and Carl Bevan, ABP’s divisional ports manager for the North West, told the meeting: “I have seen what has happened in other struggling dockside areas of the country, where they have been transformed into attractions with a vibrant day and night time economy. “That can happen here.”
The scheme – projected to cost between £130 million and £200 million – will include a botanical glasshouse element, on a Chinese theme, inspired by Cornwall’s famous Eden Project. There would be a display based on China’s acclaimed historic attraction, the Terracotta Army. Vintage Blackpool trams, already acquired, could ferry visitors around the huge site, which would also include a transport heritage centre. A top fish restaurant, a four star hotel and housing would be included.
Source: www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk, 17 November 2017