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Blackpool submits ambitious regeneration plans to government

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Blackpool has submitted ambitious regeneration plans to the government following the collapse of its casino-led plans.

The new proposals, submitted by the Blackpool Task Force, will look to lever £2 billion in private sector investment, and provide 2,000 new homes while creating 11,000 new jobs.

The Task Force was formed after Blackpool missed out on the government's ill-fated supercasino plans. The city hoped to use the casino to totally regenerate the ailing area, even employing global architectural heavyweight Gensler to draw up proposals.

Led by the Northwest Regional Development Agency, as well as Blackpool Council and urban regeneration company ReBlackpool, the new plans aim to 'develop sustainable communities' while 'revitalising business and enterprise'.

The project has been welcomed by communities secretary Hazel Blears, who said: 'We have seen a renaissance in many of our northern towns and cities in the past decade and we want all our towns to become stronger and more vibrant.'

Blackpool council leader Peter Callow added: 'Our disappointment in the casino decision has been translated into a very positive plan which would substantially add to the regeneration already taking place in Blackpool.'

by Richard Vaughan

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