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Blackpool illuminated: Merlin Entertainments to launch biggest portfolio of attractions in one town anywhere in the world


We’re on schedule…40 Days to go until… The iconic Blackpool Tower re-launches on Thursday 1st September 2011…

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What happens on Thursday 1st September …

Culmination of a shared vision of Blackpool Council and Merlin Entertainments supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the Homes Communities Agency (HCA) to transform Blackpool Tower into a fantastic family attraction fit for the 21st Century

  • ‘Launch’ of Merlin’s biggest portfolio of attractions in one town anywhere in the world – the Power of Eight!  In the Tower: The Blackpool Tower Eye; The Blackpool Tower Dungeon; The Blackpool Tower Ballroom; The Blackpool Tower Circus; Jungle Jims.   On the Promenade:  Madame Tussauds, Blackpool; SEA LIFE; Pirate Adventure Golf
  • Re-launch of The Blackpool Tower showcasing  two of these exciting new global attractions for the very first time; a new family restaurant; and the results of massive maintenance and restoration programme
  • Entry to The Blackpool Tower will be free – the chance to spend time in this iconic attraction anytime – to enjoy its architecture and grandeur / to have coffee or a meal with friends and family or to pay to go to any of the exciting attractions inside – as many times – and whenever – you want
  • Tower Top reopens as Blackpool Tower Eye, completely refurbished, with  exciting new observation platform and 4D pre-show
  • New The Blackpool Tower Dungeon opens – an exciting new family attraction which the teens particularly will love
  • Opening of exciting new family restaurant
  • Major restoration to exterior of building itself completes – metalwork, new windows…a huge undertaking
  • The beginning of the planned programme of interior restoration including on infrastructure such as the lifts  – a continuing programme
  • The beautiful new Blackpool Tower Ballroom roof is also already clearly visible from the promenade, Victoria Street, and Bank Hey Street. It has been lovingly replaced in Welsh slate with some expert craftsmen including local workers undertaking the task.   As part of this restoration the amazing retractable glass ‘roof’ in the centre of the Ballroom is being fully restored- and visitors in future will be able to dance under the stars.
  • Work to relight The Blackpool Tower with 3, 500 new LED lights on the exterior giving a colour pallete of more than 16 million options in time for this year’s Blackpool Illuminations 
  • Launch of exciting range of ticket offers giving Blackpool residents and visitors every reason to visit the Tower and the other Merlin attractions time and time again

More to come…

•    The completion of first major phase of external restoration works including final works to the legs of The Blackpool Tower; restoration of front brickwork and stained glass; the addition of wonderful new front entrance/canopy
•    Continuation of seven year clean and paint project that will see every piece of the steel structure repainted to its former red glory
•    Ongoing major internal restoration programme including in The Blackpool Tower Ballroom; The Blackpool Tower Circus and main public areas…
•    New family friendly restaurant and retail outlets
•    The continued commercial success of The Blackpool Tower will be an important source of future funding

The Next Few Days…

•    Exciting and new The Blackpool Tower Dungeon main build will complete by end of first week of  August
•    The ‘covers’ come off /Bank Hey entrance completed by mid August / scaffolding already coming down…

Some things discovered along the way

•    The Council discovered a retractable glass roof in the Ballroom – restoration due to be complete by end of August. 
•    Art deco mirrors and tiles found in perfect condition around the building
•    Stained glass panels in arched windows on front of building
•    Lots more art deco features for you to come and see
What a team….

Great credit to the team involved to have achieved so much in such a short time and to such high standards.      Thanks to:
Blackpool Council’s vision see the huge importance of the Tower project in the wider renaissance of Blackpool as Britain’s best loved seaside resort
The funders who made it possible – The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)

  • Merlin Entertainments’ belief in and committment to the future vision for a Blackpool as one of Europe’s No 1 family holiday and short break destinations
  • The project team, designers and specialist construction teams
  • The Blackpool Tower operating team who have kept it all going and the attraction open throughout..

Meet the Merlin Entertainments team in Blackpool – the Power of Eight

Iain Hawkins, Head of Blackpool Cluster 

Sarah Lundy and her marketing team
4 General Managers and their teams –
Kate Shane in the Tower
Gary Blackadder in the Tower Dungeon
Matthew Titherington, Madame Tussauds, Blackpool
Jenn Newton in SEA LIFE and Pirate Adventure Golf

•    Meet Alan Cavill,   Assistant Director Tourism and Economy, who has been involved with the project from the outset

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