movemanSKG partnered with Blackpool firm Tyson Construction to install two movemanSKG Prestige platform lifts and one Supreme lift in the newly revamped Blackpool Tower. The units ensure visitors with disabilities have full access to its facilities.
Thanks to the multi-million pound refurbishment Blackpool Tower, which rises to 518 feet and is one of the town’s biggest tourist attractions, now boasts two new attractions The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, a walk through some of the North West’s most horrible history, and the Blackpool Tower Eye that incorporates a 4D cinema.
Tyson Construction refitted Blackpool Tower’s main foyer area and ground floors, removing retail units to create a walkway all round the base of the building. There are two entrances, one leading in directly off the street and another off the freshly revamped promenade.
The Supreme, an internal two-stop short-rise lift that rises 1250mm is located in the new dungeon area. It allows wheelchair users to overcome a single flight of stairs.
Dan Causer, Quantity Surveyor at Tyson Construction, explains some of the challenges faced by his team: "In order to fit Supreme in the allotted space we had to take out the existing street level staircase and build a new one out of concrete. Also, the floor was not strong enough to support the lift so we had to mount it in a pit and add steelwork foundation."
The first Prestige is in the 4D cinema and means less able visitors can access the back tier of the auditorium by travelling over 4 metres between the two elevations. The second Prestige serves a gift shop. Again, the floor was not strong enough to support the lifts, meaning Tyson Construction had to remove a section of the existing concrete floor to add steelwork foundation.
Both Prestige units are on one the tower’s upper levels and access is limited. There isn’t enough space to manoeuvre large components up the inside of the tower so Tyson Construction had to set up a mechanical hoist fixed to a scaffold. It worked closely with movemanSKG’s installation team to lift Prestige’s components up the outside of the building. "It was probably the biggest challenge of the project - truly exhausting!" remarks Dan.
Because Blackpool Tower is a listed building, laws restrict or prohibit changes to certain physical features. This meant that throughout the project, Tyson Construction had to liaise with a conservation officer and sometimes consult structural engineers to avoid compromising the tower’s historical integrity and of course keep the refurbished areas safe.
All three lifts operate reliably, carry up to 400kg and have large platforms that accommodate a wheelchair user plus an attendant. They ensure Blackpool Tower complies with the government’s Equality Act, which applies to all publicly accessible buildings. Prestige and Supreme have modern contemporary appearances, which mean the lifts look great in the newly refurbished surroundings.
Dan notes that one of the keys to making such a success of this project was Tyson Construction’s special relationship with movemanSKG. "The complexities of renovating a listed building meant there was an enormous amount of information to share and drawings to be approved or amended if necessary. However, movemanSKG was efficient, friendly and professional, which made communications easy. This helped us finish the project within the time constraints."
Prestige is movemanSKG’s flagship platform lift. It features simple push button controls located at a convenient height for wheelchair users and a range of safety features, such as doors that lock automatically to prevent people entering the shaft when the platform is in motion. Supreme is also a product of outstanding quality.