Nearly £800,000 has been set aside to hire architects to design a proposed new conference centre in Blackpool.
In July, Blackpool Council revealed plans to construct an exhibition centre onto the side of the Winter Gardens.
Councillor Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, has now allocated £225,000 to engage with a firm of architects.
When they meet on September 12, members of the executive will be asked to earmark a further £555,000 towards the design stage.
The council is bidding for £18 million from the Government’s Growth Deal fund and the Coastal Communities Fund.
Councillor Blackburn said that the council is fully committed to creating large-scale business, tourism and conferencing facilities for the town.
He added: “In order to successfully bid for funding our plans need to be well-developed, and any funders will be looking for us to have detailed designs, and planning permission in place, so it is vitally important that we put ourselves in the best possible position to secure external funding.
“I am confident that our bid to the Growth Deal Fund will be successful, as I have worked very hard to ensure that this scheme is rightly seen as a high priority for the Lancashire Economic Partnership, and Lancashire as a whole.”
It is hoped that the £225,000 already earmarked will be repaid to the council out of capital grants if the application for funding succeeds, or else it will have to come out of reserves.
A firm of architects are already being lined up to draw up detailed plans after a tendering process.
It is proposed to construct a contemporary structure to link directly into the existing buildings which make up the Victorian Grade II listed Winter Gardens.
The land opens onto Leopold Grove and was formerly occupied by a multi storey car park which was demolished earlier in the year.