Skip to main content

New retail and leisure

IMAX signing at Houndshill-1 - resized websiteIMAX signs to new cinema complex at Houndshill!

Blackpool’s new cinema complex will feature one of the largest IMAX screens in the country.

IMAX has signed up to deliver state-of-the-art, immersive movie experiences at the new multi-screen development which will be known as the Backlot Cinema.

The IMAX screen will stand at 10.8m by 19.8m - bigger than two and wider than six double decker buses!

The Backlot Cinema will comprise 9 screens and a total of 850 luxury seats and will be the anchor tenant of the Phase 2 extension Houndshill Shopping Centre in the heart of Blackpool town centre. The Backlot Diner will open with a classic yet contemporary menu including great shakes and craft cocktails.

With a total investment of £20m the Houndshill development will also feature a new 22,500 sq ft Wilko store. Once complete, this will make a huge difference to the local shopping and leisure experience for Blackpool residents to enjoy. 

Work on site is progressing and on schedule with steelworks taking shape to build the structure that will feature groundbreaking IMAX with Laser technology, as well as IMAX's 12-channel sound technology.

Read the full story.

Getting building for a better Blackpool 

£8.6m in funding was secured from the government's COVID-19 Getting Building Fund for two key town centre projects to boost the town's economic recovery and create jobs for the local community.

The funding, which was approved by Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in October 2020, has kick-started the development at Houndshill Shopping Centre and the regeneration of Abingdon Street Market.  

Glass entrance with canopy to market hallAbingdon Street Market 

£3.6m has been used to buy the market and carry out a full internal refurbishment, securing its long term future in the heart of the town centre. Work on site is currently ongoing.

The renovated market will be a bright, modern space, with new glazed doors and windows, including:

  • A new 250 seating area for socialising and enjoying food and beverages purchased in the market
  • Stalls for food produce, food and beverage, artisan stalls and flexible retail units
  • Coffee stall and bar area

Whilst the works are ongoing you’ll still be able to find your market favourites in the town centre:

Stallholders trading from 18-22 Victoria Street (former Topshop):

  • Cards for You - cards and gifts 
  • Casandra Hoisery - nightwear, hats, gloves, scarves, handkerchiefs 
  • Pam's Hair - hair accessories, dyes, fascinators 
  • Little Gem - fancy dress and accessories 
  • Cosmetic World - cosmetics, toiletries, scarves
  • Duty Free  - cosmetics, toiletries, scarves
  • The Bag Stall - luggage, trollies 
  • Mr Smart - gents fashion and accessories 
  • Glad Rags Gents  - gents fashion sizes small to 5XL
  • Glad Rags Ladies  - ladies fashion sizes 8 to 40 
  • Sam's Handbags - day, evening, party handbags
  • Tippy Toes - laides, gents, childrens, workwear shoes and accessories 
  • The Book Shack - jigsaws, books, stationery 

 Some stallholders in other Council properties: 

  • McRoberts Butcher – 6-8 Abingdon Street
  • Trellis Cafe – 61 Victoria Street (former Café Fresh)
  • Sea Breeze Cafe - 29 Victoria Street (former Starbucks)
  • Joe Barlow's Vape shop -  37 Corporation Street
  • Lost Ark Jewellery shop – Unit K1 Houndshill Shopping Centre 

Others have made their own arrangements with private landlords for accommodation in the town. 

Houndshill Shopping Centre - Phase two development  


Members of the Devt Team at Houndshill Phase 2 - resized for websiteVIPs and members of the Houndshill development team met back in September to break ground at Tower Street Car Park at Houndshill Shopping Centre to mark the start of the main contract for Phase Two works on site. 

In a style only fitting for the iconic seaside resort of Blackpool, the occasion was marked with a ceremonial first (bucket) and spade in the ground!

Three key deals were signed in February 2021 that enabled the scheme to commence: the council’s purchase of Tower Street Car Park, a lease agreement for a new 22,500 sq ft wilko store and a deal with MMC Cinemas for a nine screen, 850 seat, 40,500 sq ft multi-media cinema complex, including the biggest immersive screen in Lancashire.

GRAHAM has been appointed as the lead contractor and CBRE the project manager and cost consultant for the scheme. The first phase enabling works is ongoing and involves utilities diversion works and preparation of site for the main building works to follow. This first phase of the project will be complete by Winter 2022.

The completed scheme will deliver:

  • Over 100 jobs created both directly through the scheme and locally
  • 0.5 acres of brownfield land developed
  • 76,500 sq. ft. of new commercial floorspace
  • Approx. over 260 construction jobs created over the build period  
  • Increase of 1.2m shoppers and visitors to the Houndshill Shopping Centre

Traffic management – from September 2021

There are currently some temporary changes to the road layout around Houndshill Car Park work on the development continues. Anyone using the car park or accessing nearby areas (including the M&S collection point and Winter Gardens staff entrance) may experience increased congestion, especially when events are on in and around the town centre, so please plan ahead. 

Keep up to date and read in full by checking our Road Closures page.

About the Getting Building Fund

On 4 August 2020, the government confirmed the list of over 300 successful projects which will receive a share of £900 million from the Getting Building Fund.

The full list of projects is available on GOV.UK.

The Getting Building Fund is investing in shovel-ready infrastructure projects to create jobs and support economic recovery across the country.  Projects funded include:

  • Regeneration of town and city centres
  • Green infrastructure and clean energy
  • Transport and digital connectivity improvements
  • Unlocking of housing and business sites
  • Support for SMEs and learners

The successful projects (over 300) are expected to deliver up to 85,000 jobs, over 1,500,000 sqm of commercial floor space, unlocking 45,000 homes, almost 1,000,000 sqm of public realm or green space improved or created, over 50,000 new learners assisted, and 65 million kgs of CO² emissions saved.

All projects have been selected by Local Enterprise Partnerships and Mayoral Combined Authorities in each area and endorsed by the Housing Secretary.

Lancashire received an allocation of £34.1m for 10 projects which will create jobs and invest in much needed infrastructure improvements, helping the county recover and bounce back quicker from the pandemic.

All of the successful ten schemes have demonstrated they have the ability to accelerate growth and create employment, and are a good mix of projects which will have an impact across the whole of the county. 

The schemes range from regeneration projects in some of Lancashire's towns which have been adversely impacted by COVID-19, to high-end research and development facilities which will contribute to the government's clean growth agenda.