Leisure investor Trevor Hemmings has sold the Blackpool Tower to the local council as part of a £40m regeneration scheme aimed at transforming the prospects of the Lancashire tourist town. The council has in-turn appointed Merlin Entertainments to manage the redevelopment of the tower and surrounding buildings. Merlin currently operates a Sealife Centre in Blackpool but will also introduce a (London) Dungeon attraction and London Eye inspired observation platform in the tower itself, as well as the second UK Madame Tussauds nearby (opening Spring 2011) in what is currently the Louis Tussauds wax attraction. All works should be completed by early 2012 and Blackpool Council believes the investment could bring an extra 800,000 visitors to the town each year, generating an additional £55m of spending in the town.