|Manchester will host the UK's first Las Vegas-style supercasino, it was announced today. |
The Casino Advisory Panel's shock decision is a blow to Blackpool and the Millennium Dome, which were considered front-runners to win the licence.
Up to 1,250 unlimited jackpot gaming machines will be housed on a 5,000 square metre site.
Blackpool and the Millennium Dome were tipped as the two frontrunners among the seven shortlisted bidders.
'All the proposals shortlisted for the regional casino presented their own particular and compelling strengths” said Casino Advisory Panel chair Professor Stephen Crow. 'We were, however, particularly impressed by Manchester's proposal, which in our view offers great promise.”
Manchester bid organisers said it would regenerate a poor area of east Manchester, promising a £265 million investment and 2,700 direct and indirect jobs in one of the most deprived parts of the country.
The proposed regional casino site at Sportcity in the Beswick area of Manchester, will also contain an entertainment complex with a range of facilities such as a multi-purpose arena, a swimming pool, an urban sports venue, restaurants, bars, a nightclub and a hotel.
Doug Garrett, chief executive of ReBlackpool, the urban regeneration company that worked on the town's bid, said: 'I'm very disappointed indeed at the outcome, Blackpool's future was something built around our plan.
'We believe the case that we put forward was a compelling one. We certainly won't be taking this as an end result. We still want to see change here. I'm very surprised but anything is a possibility.”