Blackpool Council are looking to secure funding to implement the first delivery stage of the approved masterplan for Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

On 18 June the council presented the report to the Blackpool Executive Committee, seeking approval for an initial three year allocation of capital funding of £28.8m to deliver essential infrastructure and support for the Enterprise Zone masterplan. The council will use their ability to borrow at preferential rates.

The council said the funding will be essential to “help secure early investment in the site, kick start development, build momentum and reinforce market confidence.”

Approved in February 2018, the masterplan sets out the potential of the 25 year lifespan of the Blackpool Airport’s Enterprise Zone status, which includes 270,000 sq. metres new floorspace, an estimated 5,000 new jobs and £300m private sector investment. It will also deliver over 280 new businesses on site and up to £2 billion of GVA (gross value added) to the local economy over the 25 year lifespan.

The funding sought is for the implementation of phase one of the masterplan (the first three years of delivery) which will seek to achieve as much revenue as possible in the early years.

Securing the appropriate level of funding for the first three years (to 2021) will facilitate developments which include the reconfiguration of Blackpool Airport infrastructure, as well as new airport hangars and new airport navigational aids and control tower to support ongoing operations and the provision of new aviation facilities for phase two of the Enterprise Zone.

Councillor Mark Smith, cabinet member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Economic Development said: “The Enterprise Zone has the potential to dramatically change the economic landscape of the Fylde Coast and Blackpool Council are committed to delivering a premier business location within the north west that will sustain long term economic growth and investment.

“The goal of the Enterprise Zone is to be the driving force of the local economy, unlocking key development sites, consolidating and building new infrastructure, attracting new business, investment and jobs, and providing a skilled, highly trained future workforce that the Fylde Coast can be proud of. Blackpool Council is sending a strong signal by its firm commitment to prudential borrowing to deliver and secure a sound economic future for the citizens of the Fylde Coast.”

He continued: “Development within the Enterprise Zone will be undertaken as a series of individual projects throughout the course of its life. The Council as the accountable body will explore various options for securing additional private sector investment to help deliver the overall Masterplan objectives.”

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