£7.5m renovation project designed by Cassidy + Ashton starts on Stanley Buildings

Work has officially started to transform one of Blackpool’s locally listed buildings into a thriving business hub.

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Located in the town centre, Stanley Buildings will be converted into a modern, vibrant business hub for start-ups and growing small businesses. The project is being developed in line with Blackpool Council’s net-zero objective with both air source heat pumps and solar panels installed to power the office spaces.

The scheme is led by the Council and supported by Cassidy + Ashton, which has been appointed the lead architects and town planners on the project. Local construction company, F Parkinson Ltd, has been appointed the main contractor with works set to complete by spring 2025.

The £7.5m project will see the historic 1930’s art deco building converted into 44 offices and state-of-the-art meeting facilities on the upper floors, alongside extensive ground floor co-working space offering a choice of flexible and dedicated hot desks and member benefits.

Chartered architect Lawrence McBurney, a director at Cassidy + Ashton, said: “A lot of work has taken place to get to this milestone moment, and we are looking forward to work commencing on-site. The proposals balance the need to protect and restore the heritage aspects of the building complex while modernising and breathing new life into the internal spaces to transform them into an attractive working environment.

“Cassidy + Ashton has many years’ experience working with heritage buildings and we are very proud to continue to make a valuable contribution to the regeneration of Blackpool.”

Restoration and repair works will focus on areas including roof replacement, the installation of new windows to all upper floors, brick repair and render as well as restoration and cleaning of exterior faience and mosaic tiles.

Initially, eight shopfronts will be fully replaced with the aim to restore all shopfronts when funding is available.

The development is part of wider plans to make the town centre more attractive to residents, businesses and investors.

Cllr Mark Smith, cabinet member for Levelling Up (Place) at Blackpool Council, said: “This project will enable us to achieve our aspiration to create a first-class home for growing small businesses as well as transform a prominent locally listed building.

“The scheme provides an ideal opportunity to expand the quality and range of flexible managed workspace within the town centre by delivering high-quality, affordable commercial floor space.

“Refurbishing the building and bringing the unused floor spaces back into use will have social and economic benefits in terms of creating skilled job opportunities in growing business sectors and in encouraging more people into the town centre.”

Ray Eyre, managing director of F Parkinsons, said: “This 60-week restoration and refurbishment project goes beyond bricks and mortar. It’s about building up the community as much as it is about building the structure.

“Our dedication to sustainable waste management is central to who we are. We prioritise reducing, recycling, reusing, and recovering materials, with disposal as a last resort.

“We build structures, but we also build a stronger Blackpool, one project and one partnership at a time.”

The Stanley Buildings project is being funded by a combination of £4.5m from the Town Deal, £2.8m from Blackpool Council and £200k from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

  • Royal Institute of British Architects - RIBA
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - RICS
  • Royal Town Planning Institute - RTPI
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