Muse Developments and Blackpool Council have signed a development agreement for a £220m business district in the town centre.

The scheme, known as Talbot Gateway, totals 24.7 acres around Blackpool North station and Talbot Road.

Muse is planning to build 1.7m sq ft of new office and business space on the site, as well as a new supermarket, hotels, shops, cafes and restaurants.

Sir Howard Bernstein, chairman of ReBlackpool, which has been working on the scheme since 2006, said: ‘This agreement marks the culmination of three years of hard work and marks a significant milestone in the regeneration of Blackpool and its transformation into a year-round resort.

'This project will transform a neglected and under-utilised area of the town into a welcoming family-friendly gateway, encouraging more people to visit, providing better services for local people and encouraging inward investment.’

Blackpool Council has already signed up to relocate its offices to a building in the development, which will also include parking and could expand to include replacement courts, police buildings, a health centre and a new library.

Muse Developments was selected as preferred developer in 2007. It will now submit outline planning permission and expects to go on site in around two years.

Muse regional director, Mike Horner, said: ‘Talbot Gateway is an exciting scheme for Blackpool - it is much needed and will provide the town with a vibrant new civic focus. It is a scheme to help revitalise the town centre and help establish Blackpool once again as the principle commercial centre of the Fylde sub-region.

‘Even in these difficult economic times we are confident of our investment in Blackpool and we now look forward to working alongside the Council and the North West Development Agency to bring about change on the ground at the earliest possible opportunity.’