Preparations are now well under way for the filming of a Hollywood movie stunt at Blackpool Tower.
Convoys of trucks and trailers have been seen driving into town and setting up around the famous Golden Mile landmark.
Next week will see much of Central Promenade and the Festival Headland closed as top director – and Blackpool fan – Tim Burton shoots the latest scenes in new project Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children .
The stunt is to be shot at The Tower, on the Prom and on North Pier.
The film’s cast is a Hollywood A-list – featuring Samuel L Jackson, Dame Judi Dench, Eva Green, Chris O’Dowd, Terrence Stamp and Rupert Everett.
Samuel L Jackson, last night, posted a picture of himself looking out from a hotel balcony stating “First look at Blackpool!”
Alan Cavill, Blackpool Council’s director of place, said the presence of the crew and cast in the resort will provide an economic boost worth more than £1m – in terms of money spent on the crew’s accommodation and in businesses in the town.
He said: “The decision to allow closures of part of the Promenade have not been taken lightly.
“We understand that, as well as being an attractive area for people and tourists to flock to, it is also an important commuter route and a key road for local people.
“We also appreciate that many people use the trams and bus routes on the Promenade and will have to use alternatives or diversions for a short period.
“However, we believe the benefits by far outweigh the negatives.
“The positive association with what, it is hoped, will be a blockbuster Hollywood feature film, will bring exposure and publicity to the town that money simply cannot buy.
“This could help us to attract significant investment.
“Meanwhile, the presence of a huge crew and cast will provide an economic boost worth more than a million pounds over the next few weeks making it an amazing opportunity for the town that we simply could not refuse. We appreciate the closure will cause difficulties for a short period for some people in terms of transportation and commuting and we apologise for the inconvenience.”
The film is an adaptation of children’s book Mrs Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs, with a screenplay by Jane Goldman – wife of chat show host Jonathan Ross.
The ‘unforgettable, thrilling and haunting’ tale follows 17-year-old Jacobas clues take him to a mysterious island, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
He discovers its former occupants were far more than ‘peculiar’, but that they ‘possessed incredible powers. And they may still be alive’.
Road closures, diversions and changes to public transport
• The Promenade will be closed between 9.30am on Tuesday until 8am on Saturday (May 8) between Church Street and Adelaide Street West.
Sections of the Promenade between Chapel Street to Adelaide Street West, and Talbot Road to Church Street, will also be restricted to buses and taxis only.
• Northbound traffic will be diverted from the Promenade, along Chapel Street, Central Drive, Albert Road, Regent Road, Cookson Street, Talbot Road, and then back onto the Promenade.
• Southbound traffic will be diverted from the Promenade, Pleasant Street, Dickson Road, Springfield Road, High Street, Talbot Road, Buchanan Street, George Street, Grosvenor Street, Church Street, Park Road, Reads Avenue, Central Drive, Chapel Street, and then back onto the Promenade.
• As part of the filming, technical vehicles will park inside special compounds within the set area as well as on Adelaide Street West, Victoria Street and Foxhall Village coach and car park while taxi ranks in front of the Tower are suspended.
• Police, fire and ambulance crews will still have access to the Prom.
• If the weather does not allow completion of the project, a further road closure, with the same specifications, could run into the following week with backup filming days scheduled between 9.30am on Monday, May 11 and 8am on Saturday, May 16.
• There will also be two further Promenade closures on Sunday, May 10.
The Promenade will close between Gynn Square and Burlington Road West between 8am and 1pm for the annual Beaverbrooks 10K fun run.
After this event, the road will also remain closed from 1pm to 4pm between Talbot Road and Watson Road for the fire service to carry out an operational test.
• There will be changes to the tramway from Wednesday, May 6 until Friday, May 8.
• The first two trams from Starr Gate at 5am and 5.30am will operate to Fleetwood.
• From 6am to 3pm, the service will split into North and South services with the North service operating between North Pier and Fleetwood and the South service operating between Starr Gate and Rigby Road.
• Services will resume normal schedules in the afternoon with the first tram from Fleetwood to Starr Gate leaving Fleetwood at 2.27pm while the first tram the opposite way will set off from Starr Gate at 3pm.
• Tuesday, May 5 to Saturday, May 9 (subject to filming being completed).
• All buses will continue to serve the main town centre stops in Market Street, Clifton Street and Abingdon Street using diversions.
• A temporary stop will be sited outside Argos for Northbound services.
• There will be bus diversions to some services so check with Blackpool Transport for more details.