NWDA announces findings of Casinos Demand Study - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), North West Regional Assembly (NWRA) and Government Office for the North West (GONW), are pleased to announce the completion of a joint study to assess the economic potential of casino development in the Northwest.

The study provides an independent assessment of both the demand and capacity for regional casinos in the Northwest. It will inform planning policy within the region and assist the NWRA in the development of a casinos policy in the emerging Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) that is aligned with the draft Regional Economic Strategy (RES).

The study assessed the economic benefits of regional casinos and collated information on known casino development interests in the region, as well as examining the economic, tourism and regeneration benefits of casino development within these generic locations. On this basis, the study concluded that Blackpool is likely to reap the greatest overall economic, tourism and regeneration benefits.

The NWDA Board, in considering this report and the key issues emerging in the draft RES therefore resolved to support Blackpool as the preferred candidate location for the single regional casino pilot scheduled to be announced by the Government in 2006.

The NWDA Board also decided that development of a regional casino in Blackpool will complement the work being undertaken by Blackpool Urban Regeneration Company (URC) and the wider implementation of the Blackpool Masterplan. In addition, the Board agreed to keep the situation under review and consider supporting other Northwest candidate locations should the Government increase the number of regional casino pilots.

Steven Broomhead, NWDA Chief Executive, said:

“This study was vital in enabling us to determine the economic impact that gambling deregulation will have on the region and the benefits that can be achieved. The Agency now looks forward to working with partners in supporting Blackpool as the Northwest’s preferred location for the pilot, helping to ensure that the town, and the Northwest as a whole, capitalises on the economic, tourism and regenerative benefits by securing Blackpool’s status as a UK premier tourism destination.?

Cllr John Joyce, NWRA Chair, said:

“The North West is in a strong position to secure the single regional casino pilot. This study provides a sound basis for putting forward a regionally agreed position. It is important that the North West puts the best case to government to ensure that the promised regeneration benefits and economic rewards are delivered. The Assembly will continue to work with its regional and sub-regional partners to develop policies in the Regional Spatial Strategy which support sustainable economic development for North West communities.?

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