Plans for first Hotel Indigo extended stay project revealed

Hotel Indigo to move into extended stay

An architect's image of how the finished hotel will look

UK: Plans have been submitted by Ashall Projects to repurpose a former Post Office and Sorting Office in Blackpool into a Hotel Indigo and Indigo Suites.

The site, close to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens and the new £28 million conference centre, will employ 215 people to work on the construction and around 70 staff once complete.

Currently, the Post Office and Sorting Office is separated by a large interior courtyard which will be transformed. Many of the buildings’ original features will be retained, including the frontage onto Abingdon Street which has a number of stained glass windows.

Mark Ashall, director of Ashall Projects, said: “This will be a Hotel Indigo with a difference. It will cater for both short-stay leisure and business visitors and it will also offer extended stay suites with additional facilities, such as kitchenettes, to provide the space and amenities for guests who want to stay longer.

“There are nearly 150 Indigo hotels across the globe but this will be the first time anywhere that Indigo will be offering extended stay rooms in addition to the classic Indigo rooms. We believe this will allow us to provide a wide range of accommodation options which will meet a variety of customer requirements.”

He added: “There’s a lot of work to do on this project, but we have the resources, knowledge and commitment. Instead of being neglected and in danger of becoming an eyesore, these buildings will enhance the town centre and provide the world’s first Indigo hotel of this type which will help attract all kinds of visitors to Blackpool.”

The hotel is being designed by Franklin Ellis Architects. The company has previously worked on the Indigo hotel in Chester City Centre, which was completed in 2019.

Matthew Branton, partner with Franklin Ellis Architects, said the project would “further assist the wider regeneration of the locality and its place at the heart of Blackpool’s Town Centre Conservation Area.”

It would provide “an oasis in the centre of town for visitors and guests, whilst enhancing Blackpool’s high end guest room offering alongside the provision of several options for events and meetings to improve the town’s corporate and conferencing offering.”

The project is one of three developments to be put forward in Blackpool’s Levelling Up Fund bid, which was submitted to central government on 2 July. Other projects include An Active Travel/Town Centre Access Scheme, and the creation of a new convention space with retail within the Olympia area of the Winter Gardens.

All three schemes meet the criteria of the Round One bidding process – transport, regeneration, and town centre/culture investment. They are ready to start delivery before the end of March 2022.

Speaking about the new Hotel Indigo, leader of Blackpool Council Cllr Lynn Williams said: “Blackpool Council fully supports the plans to bring this key historic property back to life. This upscale hotel development will attract extended stay business and leisure guests to the centre Blackpool all year round for the benefit of local businesses. We look forward to working with Ashall Projects on this exciting new project.”

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