It has been confirmed that the Wilkinson’s store in Blackpool will close in March 2020, paving the way for work to commence on its demolition ahead of the start of work to complete the tramway extension.
We’ve reported many times about “Wilkinson’s being in the way” of further work on the North Station extension with the site where it is located due to be used for more development and the eventual tramway terminus. The Council confirmed earlier this year that Wilkinson’s were due to be evicted from the site in spring 2020 and now it has been announced the store will close and will not, as had been expected, be relocating to a new site after all.
Unfortunately the fact that Wilkinson’s will not be relocating will mean that staff who work at the store will be made redundant on 31st March 2020. A number of alternative sites were looked at but finally it was decided they were not suitable. Wilkinson’s may return to Blackpool in the future, possibly at the extension of the Houndshill Shopping Centre (the site where they had been expected to go anyway), although this has yet to be constructed.
Demolition work is expected to take place once all fixtures and fittings from Wilkinson’s are removed to allow the work on the hotel and temporary terminus to take place. The latest Council plan was for services to start on the extension to a temporary terminus which will be around where the entrance to Wilkinson’s is now in 2021 with a more permanent terminus completed in 2022.