Walkabout, Blackpool

Client: iNTERTAIN Limited

Interior designers:  Play Design Consultants Limited

Contractor: Buildzone UK

Value: £2.5 million

The Australian-themed sports bar, Walkabout, is a local landmark in the heart of Blackpool.

In June 2013, a catastrophic fire started by an electrical fault demolished the top two floors of the building and caused severe smoke damage to the other two floors. The roof was completely destroyed, together with the staff accommodation on the second floor and the bar area on the first floor.

Thomasons was appointed as project manager for the restoration of the pub. This involved overseeing and co-ordinating a full design team that included quantity surveyors, interior designers and M&E engineers. We also provided structural engineering, building surveying, CDM coordinator and contract administrator services.

The reinstatement work included a new roof and floors, as well as complete re-wiring and re-plumbing. Staff accommodation had to refitted, and the bar updated and rebuilt. At the client’s request, the layout of the building was changed to add new bars, a terrace area at the front of the building and a new mezzanine floor to provide a large dance floor on the first floor.

Insurers had anticipated a 12-month works programme costing in excess of £4.5 million. This was substantially reduced thanks to our engineers’ ambitious programme, flexible approach to procurement and constant presence on site.

The new Walkabout pub opened less than five months after the fire and cost around £2 million less than originally estimated.

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