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New dawn for Blackpool: Raft of design contests promised

A wealth of new competitions is on the cards for Blackpool and the Fylde coast following the creation of a new umbrella development agency

In the coming weeks the Lancashire resort‘s five-year-old urban regeneration company (URC) ReBlackpool will close and become part of the new Fylde Coast economic development company (FCEDC) covering a much wider area.

The quango, which was set up following a cross-boundary funding deal agreed between Blackpool Council, Fylde Borough Council, Wyre Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, is expected is to be up and running early next year.

Speaking to the AJ, Doug Garrett, who is currently chief executive of ReBlackpool and is expected to take on a leading role in the new development company, said the move would throw up opportunities for architects as the FCEDC looked at moving key sites forward.

He said: ‘Architects should be keeping an eye out a series of projects coming through and there will be a number or design projects

‘The big competitions will unveiled be early next year.’

It is unclear at this time what role Howard Bernstein, ReBlackpool’s chair and Manchester City Council’s chief executive, will have in the new organisation.

However Garrett praised him for his work to date, claiming he had brought ‘a new clarity of thought’ to the resort’s regeneration proposals – as well as a ‘massive contacts book’.

Postscript

Only half of the 22 urban regeneration companies, set up following recommendations in the Urban Task Force Report in 1999/2000, still exist.

 

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