Blackpool Council is planning to building new education facilities for £65m as part of the £350m Talbot Gateway regeneration of the area around Blackpool North train station. These would then be leased to Blackpool & the Fylde College.
The outline planning application shows a five-storey building on the corner of Cookson Street and George Street, which could have capacity for 3,000 staff and students.
Future phases would see development across the southern end of the site by Milbourne Street and Grosvenor Street.
The plans would deliver up to 32,600 sqm of education and commercial space across several phases.
The development would allow Blackpool & the Fylde College to relocate from its current from out of town facilities to the town centre.
The college project was awarded £40m as part of the government’s Levelling Up funding in January 2023 as part of the total project cost of £65m.
The town is calling the college a ‘multiversity’ on the basis that it will offer both further education and higher education in its new home.
Council leader Lynn Williams said: “The multiversity will be a game changing addition to Blackpool town centre and this is another exciting step forward. The Talbot Gateway is designed to support our plans to make Blackpool better, by bringing thousands of workers and students into the town centre, and creating an environment for local businesses to benefit from that huge increase in footfall, creating more jobs and opportunities for local people.
“The Multiversity will also help improve the town’s skills base so that our local people can learn work-ready skills and gain university level qualifications without leaving the town, while also offering a world class education campus that will help attract people to study, live and work in Blackpool.”
College principal Alun Francis said he wanted it to be “the country’s first carbon neutral higher education campus”.