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First-ever multi-storey car park faces the wrecking ball

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The threat of demolition is hanging over Britain's first-ever multi-storey car park - the Talbot Road car park in Blackpool.

Completed in 1939 just before the outbreak of the Second World War, the four storey building has space for around 750 cars and has high enough ceilings for double-decker buses on the ground floor.

Unfortunately for lovers of the steel-and-concrete brute, Blackpool Council has earmarked the car-park site for redevelopment as part of the 'vital' Talbot Gateway regeneration programme.

Despite various attempts, moves to have the building listed have fallen on deaf ears and the car park, which was designed by council architect G.W. Stead, appears to be doomed.

However Eddy Rhead, a member of the Twentieth Century Society, thinks the car park deserves to be saved from the bulldozers. He said: 'Underneath the more recent cladding is a very charming-looking building - not pretty by any stretch - but certainly a period piece and certainly historically important.'

It is understood a shortlist of three preferred developers to handle the overhaul the area is already with the council for consideration.

by Richard Waite

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