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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 January, 2005, 17:49 GMT
Hilton unveils Blackpool vision
Artists impression of Hilton's proposed super casino complex in Blackpool
The complex would create 1,000 jobs, the Hilton Group says
Hotel giant Hilton hopes to take advantage of planned gambling law changes by building a 600m super casino and retail complex in Blackpool.

Earmarked for the old Blackpool Central rail station, it would feature bars, shops and a conference centre.

About 1,000 new jobs are forecast as a result of the scheme, which also includes bookmaker Ladbrokes.

It depends on Blackpool being granted a super casino licence by the government and the council backing Hilton's plan.

Regeneration boost

Eight super-casino licences are expected to be awarded under the government's new Gambling Bill, if it becomes law.

The bill is central to Blackpool Council's regeneration plan, unveiled in its Masterplan in 2003, which aimed to turn the faded seaside resort into a Las Vegas of the North.

A spokeswoman for Hilton said: "The benefit to Blackpool would be the regeneration of the Central Station area.

"We are committed to training and using local suppliers and hope it would arrest longer term decline."

An entertainment lounge is also mooted for the complex, which would have 30 shops and 2,500 car parking spaces.

Reg Haslam, acting head of ReBlackpool, Blackpool's regeneration company, said it would consider bids from other potential operators.

He said: "We welcome their [Hilton Group's] interest and they are clearly serious contenders for a licence if they succeed in securing the support of the council and its partners.

"However, we are still waiting to assess the other applications and we will judge Hilton's proposals in a fair and transparent way together with those of other operators."




SEE ALSO:
Gamblers' brains addiction clue
10 Jan 05 |  Health
Blackpool welcomes casino plans
17 Dec 04 |  Lancashire
Q&A: Gambling Bill
01 Nov 04 |  Politics
Hilton considers 200m UK casino
01 Nov 04 |  Business
Jowell rejects 'Las Vegas' jibe
30 Oct 04 |  Politics
'My life in slot machine slavery'
19 Oct 04 |  Lancashire


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