Renovation of Blackpool Tower and Winter Gardens complex planned after attractions are bought by council

Blackpool Tower is set for a £10m makeover after being bought by Blackpool council.

The council has secured £39.8m of funds and is set to use part of it to buy Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens from current operator Leisure Parcs. Merlin Entertainments Group, which runs the London Eye, will be the new operator.

The remaining cash, around £10m, will be used to repair the tower in the hope of doubling visitor numbers to around 800,000 per year. The Winter Gardens will also be refurbished and upgraded to create a new conference venue. The first phase is due to be completed by summer 2011.

The funding has been provided by the Northwest European Regional Development Fund (£14 million), Northwest Regional Development Agency (£7.9 million), Blackpool Council (£10 million) and the Homes and Communities Agency (£7 million).

Deborah McLaughlin, regional director NW for the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “This will provide a robust platform to drive up the quality of the local housing market."