The Holiday Inn Blackpool has opened its doors to its first guests on Wednesday (May 1) - and Coronation Street star Jack P Shepherd was the first to walk in.

Jack, who has been coming to Blackpool since he was a child and says the town will always have a very special place in his heart, was there to cut the official ribbon to signal the opening of Holiday Inn Blackpool. 

He said: “It was a real honour to meet everybody and open the new Holiday Inn.

"Who doesn’t love Blackpool? It is a very special place and such a fun place.”

Jack, who plays David Platt on the ITV soap, joined staff from the hotel in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, including general manager, Mark Winter. 

Mark said: "What a day it's been opening our doors to all our new guests, with help from Corrie legend Jack P Shepherd who has added a real sense of occasion to the day.  

Lancashire Telegraph: Jack P. Shepherd at Holiday Inn in BlackpoolJack P. Shepherd at Holiday Inn in Blackpool (Image: Holiday Inn)

“The 144 hotel rooms and Marco's New York Italian restaurant look fantastic - there's a cool bar vibe where you really can feel like you're in Ibiza!

“We can’t wait to welcome families, business travellers, and food fanatics too – there really is something for everyone.

“Here’s hoping for a wonderful summer season in Blackpool."

The hotel and restaurant received almost 4,000 applications for the 70 roles available, and the team has given 97 per cent of all posts to local people in Blackpool.

The Holiday Inn Blackpool, managed by RBH Hospitality Management, is council-owned and is part of the city’s wider regeneration project, Talbot Gateway, developed by Muse Places in partnership with Blackpool Council.

The development is conveniently placed off the side of the train station, offering a central hub for both business and leisure guests arriving in Blackpool.

Alan McBride, technical director at Muse, said: “The opening of Blackpool’s Holiday Inn realises a significant component of the Talbot Gateway scheme to the town and its wider regeneration.

“Alongside the new Marco Pierre White New York Italian restaurant, and situated next to Blackpool North train station, the hotel forms a critical part of our shared vision to deliver an even brighter Blackpool, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on the town’s economy over the coming years.”