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Designers sought for 'people's playground' in Blackpool

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An international design competition has been launched to create a new 'people's playground' along Blackpool's Central Promenade.

The resort's urban regeneration company ReBlackpool wants design teams to come up with ideas for what should go on the six new seafront headlands, which are currently under construction.

It is hoped the project will transform 3.2km of Blackpool's coastline into a 'year-round urban park where local residents can mix with visitors' and 'create a mythical playground for children and adults that has universal appeal'.

Backed by Blackpool Council, the contest has been launched in a bid to attract 'a professional design team which can demonstrate a proven track record in creative place-making.'

ReBlackpool chief executive Doug Garrett said: 'This is a once-in-100-years opportunity for the people of Blackpool to show that they have the will and the imagination to transform the seafront and create a 21st-century visitor experience.'

Estimated to come in at around £21 million, the project has already been handed a £250,000 development grant by the Big Lottery Fund's Living Landmarks committee.

The closing date for entries is 30 October.

Shortlisted firms will subsequently be invited to submit concept proposals for all six headlands, including a more detailed proposal for a headland of their choice and detailed fee proposals. These finalists will receive an honorarium of 10,000 EUR (£6,800).

More information can be found at www.ted.europa.eu, number 2006/S 184-195819.

by Richard Waite

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