Blackpool school shuts until next month after Covid outbreak

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Layton Primary School will shut after today and not reopen until July 6

 

A primary school has been forced to temporarily close after an outbreak of Covid-19 cases among pupils and staff.

Layton Primary School in Blackpool will shut after the end of today (June 28) and not reopen until next Tuesday (July 6).

Headteacher Jonathan Clucas said the decision has ‘not been taken lightly’ and follows a ‘considerable period of discussion’ with school leaders.

The building on Meyler Avenue will undergo a deep clean in preparation of next week’s return and e-vouchers will be provided for parents of children entitled to free school meals.

The latest Public Health England figures show Blackpool has recorded a further 57 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period.

In a letter to parents, Mr Clucas wrote: “I am writing to inform you that due to a number of Covid cases in school and the subsequent self-isolation of several members of staff and children, we have taken the decision to close Layton Primary School at the end of the school day today – Monday 28th June until Tuesday 6th July.

“School will undergo a deep clean whilst closed. Children will return to school on Tuesday 6th July.

“The decision to close has not been taken lightly and has been made after a considerable period of discussion with Paul Turner, Assistant Director – Education, SEND and Early Years.

“We will revert to home learning in the interim period. Children will be provided with work from class teachers via the usual means. Those families entitled to Free School Meals will receive an e-voucher.

“Schools are not immune to the rise in cases. We are taking as many precautions as we are able; however, there will inevitably be cases in school as restrictions in society ease and people mix, albeit in small numbers. This impacts on staffing levels and, in turn, health and safety.

“Operationally, on this occasion, with key staff isolating, it is currently not viable for the school to remain open. We all must remain cautious at this time.

“I do hope that you all understand that our highest priority is the safety of our children and that you are able to understand that whilst we are sure this decision may inconvenience all of us, it has been made for the correct reasons.

“Thank you for your understanding.”

James Nesbitt pictured filming new Netflix series in Blackpool (SPOILER ALERT)

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Films crews returned to Blackpool today (Wednesday, June 30) to shoot scenes for a new Netflix series starring James Nesbitt.

 

Taking centre stage on the beach near Central Pier was actor James Nesbitt, in the role ofa homicide detective, as 'armed police' surroundeda suspect with their guns drawnTaking centre stage on the beach near Central Pier was actor James Nesbitt, in the role ofa homicide detective, as ‘armed police’ surroundeda suspect with their guns drawn

The Cold Feet star was spotted filming climactic scenes for a new 8-part thriller, Stay Close, on the beach near Central Pier.

The series, based on Harlan Coben’s bestselling novel of the same name, previously visited the resort to shoot scenes on the Promenade in March.

This morning, bystanders watching from the Prom were gripped by the tense drama unfolding on the beach as cameras rolled.

Cold Feet star James Nesbitt was spotted filming climactic scenes for anew 8-part Netflix thriller,Stay Close, on the beach near Central Pier today (Wednesday, June 30)

Cold Feet star James Nesbitt was spotted filming climactic scenes for anew 8-part Netflix thriller,Stay Close, on the beach near Central Pier today (Wednesday, June 30)

(SPOILER ALERT)

Taking centre stage on the seafront was James Nesbitt, in the role of a homicide detective, as ‘armed police’ frantically surrounded a suspect with guns drawn.

As the tense stand-off unfolded, an actor playing what appears to be the series’ villain was detained by armed officers under orders from Detective Broome – played by Nesbitt – who has been investigating a missing person’s cold case.

Filming for the climactic scene has now wrapped up and the show’s Manchester-based production company has not said whether filming will resume in the resort after today.

Cast, crew and extras watchedfrom the steps on the beach near Central Pier as the tense drama unfolded and cameras rolledCast, crew and extras watchedfrom the steps on the beach near Central Pier as the tense drama unfolded and cameras rolled

What’s Stay Close about?

RED, the same production team behind Channel 4’s ‘It’s a Sin’ and Netflix hit ‘The Stranger’, has been commissioned by the streaming giant to create the new show.

Prior to filming commencing earlier this year, James Nesbitt said: “The team at RED are a northern powerhouse of world-class TV. They are a benchmark for quality drama, and I’m thrilled to be part of such a great production.

“The scripts drew me in from the get-go and I am looking forward to starting filming.”

As the tense scenesunfolded, an actor playing what appears to be the series' villainwas detained by armed officers under orders from Detective Broome - played by Nesbitt - who has been investigating a missing person's cold caseAs the tense scenesunfolded, an actor playing what appears to be the series’ villainwas detained by armed officers under orders from Detective Broome – played by Nesbitt – who has been investigating a missing person’s cold case

The series also stars Richard Armitage, who featured in last year’s Harlan Coben/Netflix adaptation The Stranger, as well as actress Cush Jumbo, best known for her starring role in the legal drama series The Good Wife.

Production company Red, said: “With trademark thrills, gripping suspense, and a crime to solve, Stay Close questions how much you really know someone. Three people living comfortable lives each conceal dark secrets that even the closest to them would never suspect.

“Megan (Jumbo), a working mother of three; Ray (Armitage), the once promising documentary photographer, now stuck in a dead-end job pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids, and Broome (Nesbitt), a detective who’s unable to let go of a missing person’s cold case.

“Lorraine (Parish), an old friend from Megan’s past, delivers some shocking news which will impact on all three characters.

Taking centre stage on the seafrontwas James Nesbitt, in the role ofa homicide detective, as 'armed police' frantically surroundeda suspectwith their guns drawnTaking centre stage on the seafrontwas James Nesbitt, in the role ofa homicide detective, as ‘armed police’ frantically surroundeda suspectwith their guns drawn

“As the past comes back to haunt them, threatening to ruin their lives and the lives of those around them, what will be their next move?”

Netflix and Red are yet to reveal further details but writer Coben has been sharing his excitement with fans for the show on Twitter.

He said: “I am so happy and excited to Stay Close (pun intended) with Danny Brocklehurst (producer), Nicola Shindler and Richard Fee — the same team that made The Stranger, Safe and The Five.

“And talk about a dream-come-true cast – Cush Jumbo, an incendiary and awesome talent; Jimmy Nesbitt, a legendary actor I always wanted to collaborate with; and wow, Richard Armitage back again.

“Netflix has been a wonderful home, and from what I’ve seen so far, Stay Close will be our most gripping and binge-able series yet.”

Stay Close is the latest Netflix project for Harlan Coben and part of his five-year deal with the streaming service to adapt 14 of his bestselling books into film and TV dramas.

The stripy deckchairs that were part of Blackpool’s holiday memories

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The humble deckchair.

 

Their stripy, hammock style seat and the concentration needed to put one up, is as much a part of the seaside experience as fish and chips and buckets and spades.

Yet they were removed from the seafront in Blackpool several years ago.

At the time, the new, sleek promenade with its integrated Spanish-style steps were the preferred option for seating – meaning the iconic deckchairs were surplus to requirement.

But now they are set to make a come back. They will soon be seen blowing in the breeze before being snapped up for a nap in the sunshine, just like old times, as our photos show.

Ticket ballot still open for Blackpool Illuminations 2021 switch-on ceremony in Tower Ballroom

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Tower’s world-famous ballroom will host the Illuminations switch-on concert for the first time this year.

 

Following the success of last year’s virtually streamed ceremony, broadcast to more than 225,000 people, Switch On bosses said viewers far and wide will once again be able to tune in from home.

But for 2021, 1,000 tickets will also be made available, via a ballot, with registration open until Friday, July 30.

The resort’s tourism chief, Coun Gillian Campbell, said: “While we would love to be able to bring back a full-scale concert with thousands of people partying on the headland, there are still too many uncertainties over the logistics of being able to do that in a safe and controlled way.

Blackpool Tower's world-famous ballroom will host the Illuminations switch-on concert this year.Blackpool Tower’s world-famous ballroom will host the Illuminations switch-on concert this year.

“We are fortunate that we have a world class ballroom which is currently undergoing a £1m renovation and which will provide a truly fitting stage for the 2021 Switch-On concert.”

The Switch On will be held on Friday, September 3 and will launch four months of Lights, which will shine until Monday, January 3 – and, for the first time, over Christmas and the New Year.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach welcomes back Evolution of Magic for 2021 and it promis…

The line-up for the show, organised by tourism chiefs and MTV, has yet to be revealed, as has the traditional Switch On star.

Corona Heroes of last year's ceremony switching on the Lights.

Corona Heroes of last year’s ceremony switching on the Lights.

A group of ‘Corona Heroes’ were asked to pull the lever last year.

They included Dr Jason Cupitt, who runs Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Covid intensive care unit.

Blackpool-born singer Rae Morris, dance troupe Diversity, Fleur East, Becky Hill, ex Spice Girl Melanie C, Joey Curry, and Tom Grennan also provided ‘at home’ performances.

Kate Shane, who runs Merlin Entertainment’s resort venues, said: “The ballroom is currently undergoing a huge renovation programme that will bring the magnificent ceiling back to its former glory.

“We look forward to being able to unveil this to a live Switch On audience as well as a global live stream audience.”

To apply for four free tickets per person, click HERE.

Dolly delight as family chat inspires new Blackpool business

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool mum has launched her own business to let young princesses get totally dolled-up and pampered.

 

Desiree Khan has opened her USA-inspired business – K Dolls Boutique – an idea inspired by family chats during lockdown.

The new business in Clifton Street is aimed at children, young people and their families and is open from Thursday to Mondays.

It offers time to have some fun finding a new favourite doll in its shop, being pampered in its salon, as well afternoon tea in the K Dolls Café.

Desiree Khan with husband Shabas and children Riley and Keira at the new family business K Dolls Boutique in BlackpoolDesiree Khan with husband Shabas and children Riley and Keira at the new family business K Dolls Boutique in Blackpool

The idea came when Desiree and her family were talking about Blackpool during lockdown and were thinking about what type of business they would like to see start up in the town.

Desiree said: “There is so much to do in Blackpool and were chatting about all our great memories spending precious time as a family together.

“As a bit of fun we bounced around ideas about what type of business we could start that would be a bit different and would be popular. This idea popped to the front.

“I knew that there was something in the suggestion of this type of boutique for children and young people so I did some research.

“There are similar businesses in the USA but I struggled to find anything in the UK and certainly nothing of its kind locally. That got me thinking if it already worked elsewhere it could definitely work in Blackpool.”

Having worked in the childcare industry over 15 years running a childminding business in Blackpool Desiree is now looking forward to running her own business in the town.

She added: “It’s brilliant, that from a bit of family chit- chat that the K Dolls Café concept has turned into a real business and we are all so excited.”

Desiree was supported in her business journey by Blackpool Council’s Get Started team at the Enterprise Centre, Lytham Road.

The Get Started team helped Desiree with advice about taking on premises, lease terms and business location, along with general tips about starting a business.

Coun Mark Smith, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Job Creation, said: “The team were delighted to support Desiree and wish her well.

“Our Get Started team are at hand for anyone else who might have a seed of an idea for a business and new venture that they need help to develop.”

 

Blackpool couple are going ahead with their wedding despite Covid restrictions

Home | Blackpool GazetteA Blackpool couple will tie the knot today despite a number of Covid-19 restrictions still being in place for weddings.

The happy couple, Julianna So, 34, and Mike Stubbs, 35, will go ahead with their big day which has been set in stone prior to the first lockdown last year, and the pair said nothing will stop their wedding from going ahead.

The pair, who live on Oakleaf Way in Mereside, said they will be exchanging their vows, although they have postponed their reception and evening function until August.

They will both say ‘I do’ today at Staining Golf Club with 60 guests watching them.

Mike Stubbs and Julianna So will tie the knot todayMike Stubbs and Julianna So will tie the knot today

The date and place was their first choice and they had set the date the weekend before Boris Johnson announced the first lockdown on March 23 last year.

Julianna, who is originally from Hong Kong but has lived in the UK for 25 years, said: “We just want to get on it with and have no disruption at all. We are both looking forward to our big day as are all our guests.

“We put the deposit down for the wedding the Saturday before the Prime Minister made his lockdown announcement and while we were aware of the coronavirus, we didn’t think anything of it in regards to it disrupting our plans 15 months later.

“We count ourselves very lucky that we can still tie the knot on our chosen day. We have had friends who have had to postpone and I know four people who were due to get married last year and they have had to reschedule three or four times now.
A reception party and evening meal have been postponed until August for the couple
A reception party and evening meal have been postponed until August for the couple

“However we both knew throughout all of this that no matter if there was going to be restrictions or not, whether we were going to get married at the golf club or at the registry office, we were still going to tie the knot on that date.”

The couple met in 2016 when Julianna started her new job as an administrator at Simpsons Skoda in Preston, where Mike was a IT manager.

Mike, who has lived in an around Blackpool all his life, has now started his own IT business but Julianna still works at the car dealership.

Julianna revealed how Mike never really properly proposed to her.

The pair said they wanted to marry no matter what the restrictions were

The pair said they wanted to marry no matter what the restrictions were

She said: “He bought me an engagement ring as my birthday present last January and just gave it to me as a present.

“He gave it to me in a box but the month beforehand Mike’s nan and grandad did let slip at the Christmas meal about how lovely my random piece of jewellery, which was my ring that I was just wearing.

“So they kind of gave the game away that they knew Mike was getting an engagement ring for me.”

With the wedding going ahead today, with the 60 guests socially distance, the pair have rescheduled their reception and evening function to August 21.

Mike said: “We’ve planned a lovely meal and a massive party in the evening but the most important thing we have always said was exchanging our vows and actually being married.

“So the party and everything else is a celebration afterwards and we could have that at anytime.

“ We did have to plan everything as if there was no restrictions and it was only up to the June 14, when it was announced that June 21 restrictions were not getting lifted, we just have to move the party and everything else to another date.

Julianna added: “The venue was saying to us that as there was no restrictions in place, they were saying we can’t reschedule at the moment even though it is a week before the announcement. We had to kind of plan it as if we were going to go ahead with it.

“It was very stressful, because we have to ring all the different suppliers and trying to find a date that everyone was able to accommodate.

“Luckily enough we got our rescheduled date but we’re having to pay extra costs.

“For example the caterers can do the meal for us but because they have other bookings already they don’t have all the equipment and crockery available so they’re having to hire extra ones from elsewhere and we’re having to pay for it.”

Mike said that another aspect about pushing ahead with their arranged date was getting all the guests together for the first time in 18 months.

He said: “It will be the first time in so long that grandparents are going to get to see the majority of their families together and it will also be the first time that my nieces and nephews will meet each other and my grandparents the first time they will see all their great grandchildren together so everyone is excited about it.”

Julianna explained how some of her relatives from Hong Kong are not able to make the wedding due to travel restrictions but she will have her mum there for the ceremony.

Afterwards, the couple are planning a weekend together at Ream Hills Holiday Park in Weeton before making plans for a proper honeymoon abroad in the future.

What are the guidelines for weddings?

Delays to “Freedom Day” on June 21 meant weddings must continue to follow social distancing rules, with minor changes – so what will ceremonies look like now for people like Julianna and Mike?

What are the main changes in a nutshell?

The 30-people cap on weddings was lifted on June 21, but venues are now being asked to limit numbers based on space and to enforce social distancing measures.

What are the new rules on numbers?

Guestlist limits will be determined by “how many people a venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place”, according to the Government website.

Venue staff, bands, photographers and anyone else involved in the wedding must be included in the headcount, as well as guests of all ages. Organisers are required to complete a risk assessment or face up to a £10,000 fine.

The risk assessment should be carried out by the organiser and someone who can carry out the practical steps needed to enforce social distancing rules, which could include the couple themselves, according to the guidance.

What about weddings held in your own home or garden?

Weddings held inside private homes or “enclosed spaces” which are not formal venues are limited to six people or two households.

Only “deathbed weddings” – cases where one partner is seriously ill and not expected to recover – are exempt from this rule, and can host up to 30 people.

The Government has suggested that ceremonies held in private gardens may be able to host more people than those inside homes.

People planning to host their own weddings must complete a risk assessment to determine the number of attendees and follow Government guidance, which will be provided in the coming days.

What is still not allowed at weddings?

Communal singing, dancing and stand-up drinks receptions.

Dancing is advised against due to the increased risk of transmission, except the couple’s ‘first dance’.

What does this mean for post-wedding parties and evening events?

The Government guidance is for “wedding ceremonies” and “receptions”, so it is unclear what the rules are for after parties and related events.

 

 

Urgent warning over batch of super high purity pills in Blackpool

The pill contains higher amounts of MDMA than other versions

 

Blue 'Punisher' pills previously discovered at a music festival
Blue ‘Punisher’ pills previously discovered at a music festival (Image: Parklife)

A warning has been issued by police after reports of a batch of high strength ecstasy pills in Blackpool.

Police received information that high-strength pills known as ‘Punishers’ could now be in circulation.

The pill usually contains higher amounts of MDMA than other types of pills and can cause severe side effects.

A spokesperson for police said: “While no deaths have been reported linked to the drug, in recent years the tablet has led to a number of people falling ill and requiring hospital treatment.

“Our advice would be for users to seek immediate medical attention if they notice any different symptoms or start to feel unwell following taking these tablets.

“Lancashire Constabulary takes a proactive response into tackling the issue of drugs in the county. If you have information about this drug, or any drug-related activity, please come forward and contact us on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Young Inspectors checking up on Blackpool children’s homes

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Young people who have grown up in care are helping ensure the next generation get the best experience from the places they call home.

 

Supported living accommodation in Blackpool is being visited by young people who have experienced the care system themselves as part of an innovative Young Inspectors scheme to monitor quality.

So far four volunteers have been recruited to the council-run programme, with another five waiting to join.

They are all aged over 16 and have experienced living in care themselves.

Young Inspectors are visiting children's homes on behalf of the councilYoung Inspectors are visiting children’s homes on behalf of the council

Their role is to visit children’s homes and speak to the young people living there as well as the staff, using their own experiences to help them assess the quality.

Two of the young inspectors joined a meeting of the council’s Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Committee to tell them how the scheme was working.

Councillors heard this included visiting homes, chatting to the children and the staff and following up any problems that were raised.

The committee was told: “What it shows is, it’s possible to do well in life and being a young person growing up in care doesn’t stop you doing anything you want.”

A report to the committee added: “A Young Inspector is a volunteer aged 16 plus who has experienced living in supported accommodation and has been or is one of our children.

“Young Inspectors support the quality monitoring of accommodation by visiting the homes where our children live , speaking to young people living there and assessing how safe and how well cared for our children are.

“They get a feel for how welcoming and homely the homes are and used their own experiences to help them assess the quality.”

All the young inspectors are fully trained in consultation skills, questioning skills , confidentiality and basic safeguarding, and are supported by the council’s commissioning team.

Mum disgusted after being given parking ticket while her son went into shock in Blackpool

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Gemma said she was only away from her car for minutes, looking after her diabetic son when she was given the penalty charge.

 

Gemma and her husband took their boys to Sandcastle Waterpark in Blackpool and parked at on site car park
Gemma and her husband took their boys to Sandcastle Waterpark in Blackpool and parked at on site car park

A mum has been left ‘disgusted’ after she was reportedly issued with a penalty charge notice as her disabled child fell suddenly ill.

Gemma Leary, 36, from Liverpool, brought her family for a two-night-stay in Blackpool at the end of May where she and husband John Leary, 39 took their 10-year-old twin boys to Sandcastle Water Park.

The twins, Lewis and Ryan, both have autism and Ryan also has type one diabetes meaning he has to wear a pump on his stomach that connects to a cannula providing insulin.

When arriving at the park, the parents said they decided to pay for a full day knowing that his pump would usually have to be replaced multiple times when going swimming.

Throughout the day, Gemma drove Ryan back and forth from the water park to their hotel to change his pump but on their last trip back, when the family were getting ready to leave, Ryan started feeling low due to low blood sugar levels.

Gemma said: “I would normally have walked (to the hotel) but because he’s diabetic, if he walks, he drops really fast.

“I thought it would be easier to have a base for the day and go back and forth hence why i paid for the full day instead of taking the three hours free disabled parking.”

During her rush to help Ryan during a hypoglycaemic shock, Gemma parked back in the disabled bay she had been in the whole day but said she had not been able to pick up her blue badge which fell into the foot well of her car.

Within minutes of leaving the car, a traffic warden arrived and issued Gemma with a PCN despite Gemma reportedly explaining her situation and showing the warden her badge.

Gemma said: “I said sorry my son’s just been having a hypo, I’ll get it for you so I got it for her and showed her, she checked it and checked if the right person was on it.

“She said to me I’ll take a picture of it and note it but I’ve already issued it so you’re going to have to challenge it.”

After speaking with the warden, Gemma said she was sure that challenging this penalty wouldn’t be an issue, but in doing so, claims she has found it to be the complete opposite.

“It was hard work and no one gets back to you at all,” she said “I eventually got an email saying they know that the lady has seen the valid badge but they’re not willing to overturn it which I think is disgusting, absolutely disgusting.

“I understand that you’ve got to put your blue badge on display which I had done throughout the day because I’m sure that the wardens would have been around all day, it was just unfortunate that it fell.”

When providing evidence towards appealing the PCN, Gemma had included images of her ticket for the day, her blue badge and images from her son’s glucose tracker, proving he had suffered a hypoglycemic shock.

Despite this the council then contacted Gemma to ask her to repay the reduced fine of £35 from £70.

A letter from the council, seen by LancsLive, says: “I am writing to confirm that I have received your challenge in relation to the above Penalty Charge Notice. After careful consideration of the circumstances, unfortunately it has been decided the reasons given are not grounds for the cancellation of the charge.

“In this instance, the PCN was correctly issued. The civil enforcement officer observed your vehicle parking in a designated disabled bay without a disabled blue badge and time clock clearly displayed in the vehicle.

“Disabled bays are for the sole use of disabled badge holders to enable easy access to local facilities. For the disabled concession to apply, it is essential (and a legal requirement) that the badge is displayed so that all the details on the front of the badge (the side with the hologram) and the time clock set to display the time of arrival (if required), are clearly visible from the outside of the vehicle in accordance with the blue badge scheme handbook.

“Although you showed the disabled badge to the officer who has confirmed that the badge holder was present, unless the badge is displayed at the time of parking a concession cannot be given.”

A Blackpool Council spokesperson said: “Although the penalty charge notice was issued correctly at the time we understand that circumstances led to the valid blue badge not being on display and the notice will be cancelled.”

Blackpool Houndshill Shopping Centre talks with retailer over Debenhams store takeover at ‘advanced stage’

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Negotiations are at an “advanced stage” with a retailer interested in taking over the former Debenhams department store in Blackpool town centre’s Houndshill Shopping Centre.

 

Last month, The Gazette revealed how council bosses were in talks with a major brand to takeover the department store, which closed its doors on May 8.

Officials are remaining tight-lipped on what firm it may be, but one council source said it’s a “big name”.

Following the closure of Debenhams a council spokesman said: “We have obviously been aware of the impending closure of the Debenhams store within the Houndshill for some time.

The Debenhams store closed in MayThe Debenhams store closed in May

“During that period, we have been working closely with our agents to identify suitable alternative anchor tenants for the unit.

“We are currently in negotiations with a retailer to take the whole unit and we hope to be able to make an announcement in the near future.”

Following a request from The Gazette, an authority spokesman said on Thursday that talks with the retailer are “at an advanced stage” but no further update or fixed timescale for an announcement were provided.

Debenhams opened in 2008 and was the flagship store for the Houndshill.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Marks and Spencer (M&S) confirmed that it was planning 30 further store closures as part of a shake-up of 110 of its shops, with the majority of sites set for relocation.

M&S said the impact of the pandemic has provided it with an opportunity to purchase new locations, with the group currently targeting six new stores in former Debenhams units.

It didn’t reveal if one of the stores it is targeting is the former Debenhams unit.

Police investigate Snapchat account accused of sharing naked pictures of 13-year-old Blackpool girl

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Snapchat account linked to the resort is accused of sharing naked pictures of a 13-year-old girl from South Shore.

 

She’s not thought to be the only victim – with parents and teachers reacting with shock and horror.

A Snapchat account which urges schoolchildren across Blackpool to embarrass each other is being investigated by police after allegedly posting pictures of a 13-year-old girl getting changed.

The group, which The Gazette is not naming, is said to encourage youngsters in Blackpool to out-do each other by sending in shots of their compromised pals – such as girls wearing no make-up. But it was accused of veering into the illegal after images of the girl in a state of undress – said to be screenshots taken from a video call with a friend – appeared over the weekend, leaving the young teen distraught and her mum furious.

Police are investigating a Snapchat account which allegedly encourages the sharing of embarrassing shots of resort children – and is accused of posting naked images of a 13-year-old girlPolice are investigating a Snapchat account which allegedly encourages the sharing of embarrassing shots of resort children – and is accused of posting naked images of a 13-year-old girl

Her mum said: “I feel absolutely disgusted. Nobody wants to see their children treated like this. I want to make sure it doesn’t happen.

“She was upset, obviously. It has ruined her friendship. She was worried about going to school. There have been boys shouting things at her in the corridor.”

Another mum said “rude” pictures of her daughter, also 13, were posted on the same account and warned: “My daughter isn’t the only one.

“Some of these are naked pictures found on the internet that have been put up with children’s names attached, shaming them. My daughter went to school this morning and she didn’t even get through the gate before she started getting bullied.

“From what I saw there has been over 50 pictures posted. I’m lucky my kids can come and tell me things but there are going to be kids out there who this is happening to and they can’t do anything about it.

“It makes me feel physically sick.”

Gill Smith, a safeguarding expert at Montgomery Academy, a secondary school in All Hallows Road, Bispham, said she became aware of pictures and a list of names being distributed on Facebook. She said: “Straight away I alerted the staff to this list and to contact the families straight away and make them aware. We have offered our support to the family and the pupil and we have informed them that the police are involved.

“Any bullying that goes on at all in school we take very seriously. As a school, our pupils do lessons about online safety and we do assemblies in which we talk about inappropriate and appropriate behaviour online, online safety, and the seriousness of sharing images. We go into a lot of detail about that because we want our pupils to be safe online and to educate them.”

John Topping from the Fylde Coast Academy Trust, which runs several schools across the Fylde coast, said he understood parents’ concerns – and said: “What [children] access with mobile phones and other devices in the privacy of their own homes over the weekend will ultimately overspill into life in school on Monday morning as a result of poor choices made.”

He added: “Schools are working with the relevant safeguarding authorities including the police to assist in taking down these sites as quickly as possible.

We have strong and powerful lines of communication with parents to nip incidents in the bud hopefully before friendships between children are damaged by their actions.

“All staff have more training in these areas than in past years and The Fylde Coast Academy Trust schools are currently looking at how we can further support students with their learning about relationships, particularly as they grow up in a digital world.

“Parents and carers certainly need to be vigilant at home and to work with the police, the schools and other agencies in guiding young minds towards making better choices in their use of new technologies.”

A police spokesman said: “We are aware of the report and an investigation is underway.”

Snapchat, which allows users to post images and videos which delete themselves – unless they are screenshotted and saved – after a matter of seconds did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

Blackpool schools opt out of ‘One Britain One Nation’ singing amid Covid guidance confusion

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool school leaders have said their resort pupils won’t be joining in with the Government’s call for children to sing a patriotic song tomorrow, because singing “still isn’t allowed” in schools.

The Government is encouraging school children to sing a patriotic song which celebrates a “strong Britain great nation.”

The move is part of One Britain One Nation Day on Friday, June 25 – which is a government-backed campaign that aims to instil pride in Britain.

In a post on social media, the Department for Education said: “We’re encouraging schools across the UK to celebrate One Britain One Nation Day on 25 June, when children can learn about our shared values of tolerance, kindness, pride and respect.”

The OBON website describes its vision as to “create a strong, fair, harmonious and a proud British Nation, celebrating patriotism and respect for all our people”.

But leaders in schools across the resort said their pupils will not be participating in the event, largely due to guidance set out by the Government itself about singing.

A spokesman for Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT), one of the resort’s biggest trusts which runs schools including Montgomery Academy, Gateway Academy and Westcliff Primary Academy, said: “The answer is going to be no, largely because [they’ve] only just heard about it, and the other thing is, singing still isn’t allowed in schools.

“Assemblies haven’t been held for ages, so it’s not been approved as yet.”

One Britain One Nation 2021: Blackpool school leaders say they won't be participating in OBON Day tomorrow - because they were not told about it soon enough by the Department of Education, and singing restrictions still aren't lifted in schools. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)One Britain One Nation 2021: Blackpool school leaders say they won’t be participating in OBON Day tomorrow – because they were not told about it soon enough by the Department of Education, and singing restrictions still aren’t lifted in schools. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Government guidance around singing in schools during the pandemic outlines the “additional risk” of singing in schools – but allows for music lessons to continue to take place.

It says: “There may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing, chanting, playing wind or brass instruments, dance or drama takes place. Singing, wind and brass playing should not take place in larger groups such as choirs and ensembles, or assemblies unless significant space, natural airflow and strict social distancing and mitigation can be maintained.

“You should take particular care in music, dance and drama lessons to observe social distancing where possible. Additionally, you should keep any background or accompanying music to levels which do not encourage teachers or other performers to raise their voices unduly.”

A spokesman for the Department of Education said: “The department has not asked people to sing songs or endorsed any specific materials for One Britain One Nation day.”

But on June 3, it shared a Twitter post from One Britain One Nation, which said: “Inspiring a generation. Urging all schools to join us on 25th June for #OBONDAY2021 campaign supported by @educationgovuk to spread the message of #Pride #Unity #Love #Respect for all through a song composed by @StJohnsCE.”

The Musicians Union also advises music teachers to “avoiding singing, wind and brass playing in larger groups unless there is sufficient space and ventilation, or the activity can take place outdoors.”

Despite this, a promotional video for OBON Day showed children waving flags and singing the lyrics: “We are Britain and we have one dream, to unite all people in one great team.

“Our nation survived through many storms and many wars.”

The campaign was founded by retired police inspector Kash Singh, who said the concept was “born from my dream as a police officer” after coming to the UK as a six-year-old boy who “couldn’t speak a word of English”.

He said he set up the campaign in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in 2013 after retiring from the police force in 2012.

But Anchorsholme Academy headteacher Graeme Dow said although the One Britain One Nation song was a “jolly little tune,” he was not aware of the campaign being promoted locally.

He added that despite calls for singing nationally, the Government still had not fully permitted the activity in schools.

Mr Dow said: “It has certainly not been promoted to schools locally, not that I am aware of. It is a jolly little tune and it is always lovely to hear children singing.

“As this is the first I have really heard about it, that would not be enough time for us to prepare the children to sing it. As such, we would not be able to take part, even if we were asked to do so (and nobody has asked us).

“I’m not sure how the government is expecting schools to sing when they haven’t as yet fully lifted the restrictions that have been placed on singing in schools.”

Blackpool makes new £20m funding bid to government

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool is bidding for £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for schemes including investment in the Winter Gardens and former Abingdon Street Post Office.

 

A third element of the bid is for town centre road improvements including to ease congestion and improve the public realm between the Winter Gardens, the Houndshill extension and the Blackpool Central leisure development.

Boutique hotel hope for former Blackpool post office could be part of new fundin…

But hopes of including a scheme to regenerate the Bond Street/Waterloo Road area of South Shore were dashed because plans could not be worked up in time for the deadline.

The former Post OfficeThe former Post Office

However the council has said it hopes to include the neighbourhood in a future bid for funding.

Blackpool South MP Scott Benton welcomed the £20m bid but called for priorities to include areas other than the town centre.

He said: “As far as I’m concerned, the obvious place in need of capital spending on regeneration is South Shore, and specifically Bond Street/Waterloo Road.

“I live not far from this area and regularly use the shops and facilities there. The decline in the area over many decades has been noticeable and it’s in urgent need of investment.
Blackpool South MP Scott Benton
Blackpool South MP Scott Benton

He said it was “incredibly disappointing” there was not enough time to prepare a bid for South Shore before the June deadline.

Mr Benton added: “However, to ensure we can put forward the area in any future bids for capital investment, the council are bidding for Government money so they can draw up comprehensive proposals for regenerating the area and consult with residents on this.

“This will ensure that a ready-made scheme can be worked up and discussed with local residents and traders, and that money could be brought in to deliver this scheme in the future.”

Blackpool Council said schemes for the first round of the Levelling Up fund had to be ready to start by next March, and be linked to the themes of transport, regeneration and town centre investment, and culture investment.

A spokesperson added: “We are delighted Scott Benton has supported the bid and we fully understand his concerns about the limitations of the fund criteria.

“Having said that, we have included in our submission for the Community Renewal Fund a bid to prepare a masterplan/feasibility study for the Waterloo area to support the regeneration of the Waterloo ward, determining local needs, the priorities for intervention and potential solutions to support commercial and residential development, as well as creating green and safe community spaces.

“If successful, the project will fund a consultancy team, a website, pop-up events and a ‘week of action’ to engage with the community about the plans for the area.

“Together with the Revoe and Claremont Masterplans which are already in place, we will aim to seek funding through future opportunities that we hope will be presented by a second Levelling Up Fund bid and the Shared Prosperity Fund, the criteria for which we anticipate will be published by the Government later this year.”

The three schemes included in the initial Levelling Up Fund bid are

* The refurbishment and conversion of the Post Office for a branded boutique hotel, which missed out on support from the Future High Streets Fund.

* Redevelopment work and creation of a new convention space with retail within the Olympia area of the Winter Gardens, including facade improvements directly opposite the £21 m Houndshill extension.

* An active travel/town centre access scheme to reduce congestion on the approaches into town centre while reducing carbon emissions. The scheme also includes Adelaide Street public transport improvements, new public realm from Adelaide Street to Hull Road to support an enhanced entrance from the forthcoming Blackpool Central development. Also public realm works along Coronation Street down to Albert Road, with provision of new cycle ways whilst framing the Houndshill extension and the Winter Gardens.

Promenade closed by police at Bispham

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A section of the upper promenade at Bispham has been cordoned off during Sunday, with police officers including Crime Scene Investigation teams seen at the scene.

 

The prom has been closed to pedestrians between Wolverton Avenue and Duchess Drive with uniformed officers at either end of the cordon.

It is not known at this stage what has prompted the police presence and closure.

The Force Incident Manager told the Gazette on Sunday afternoon he had no knowledge of any incident in that area.

Police at the scene on the promenade at Bispham on Sunday afternoonPolice at the scene on the promenade at Bispham on Sunday afternoon

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.

The police cordonThe police cordon

Moor Park Primary School pupils fundraising for special garden in memory of school worker

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Pupils and staff at a Bispham primary school are fundraising to create a memorial garden for a teaching support worker who lost her life to Covid.

 

Moor Park Primary School in Moor Park Avenue hopes to raise at least £4,000 for a new school garden in tribute to Cath Strangwood.

Mrs Strangwood, who was a one-to-one support worker and teaching assistant at Moor Park, died on November 28 last year at the age of 57, in Blackpool Victoria Hospital after a battle with coronavirus.

Her family described her as a “loving and devoted wife, mother and grandma who lit up the room with her contagious laugh.”

Moor Park Primary School in Bispham is raising money for a memorial garden in tribute to Cath Strangwood, who died of Covid last year.Moor Park Primary School in Bispham is raising money for a memorial garden in tribute to Cath Strangwood, who died of Covid last year.

Pupils are set to take part in a sponsored fun-run next week, to raise money for a new garden and outdoor reading area in Cath’s name.

Joanne Magson, headteacher at the school, said: “We’ve identified an area in our junior garden which we’d like to transform into a memorial garden for Mrs Strangwood.

“We got a few donations on the day of her funeral, so we’re going to put any money we received towards the garden.

“The children are currently working on designs for the garden, and we’re going to include Cath’s favourite plants and flowers.
Moor Park Primary School teaching assistant and support worker Cath Strangwood died after contracting Covid last year. Pupils hope to raise money to transform a section of their playground into a memorial garden in tribute to her.Moor Park Primary School teaching assistant and support worker Cath Strangwood died after contracting Covid last year. Pupils hope to raise money to transform a section of their playground into a memorial garden in tribute to her.

“One of the pupils came up with the idea of incorporating an outdoor reading area, and we’d like to put different plants in to attract insects as well.

“We’d like to get a garden designer involved with the process, and we’re hoping it can all be finished by next spring.”

The school is looking for someone to help them with the design of the garden – email them if you can help.Around £1200 has been raised through internal school funding so far – but you can donate towards the school’s next target of £1,000 here.

First look at Blackpool’s new £28m Winter Gardens conference centre

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The countdown is on towards the completion of Blackpool’s £28m new conference and exhibition centre which is due to be handed over to the council in November.

 

Workers are now on the final stretch of the contract to deliver state-of-the art facilities designed to put the Grade II* listed Winter Gardens back on the conferencing map.

Contractors McLaughlin & Harvey have around 106 people working on site as the deadline for completion approaches.

Pictured is Michael WilliamsPictured is Michael Williams

While it is still a construction site, the scale and detail of what will be delivered to delegates across two main floors plus mezzanine areas is clear.

Visitors arriving through a dedicated entrance on Leopold Grove will be swept upstairs on escalators to vast spaces which can be divided into different sized meeting or exhibition areas.

But an exposed brick wall reminds visitors they are just a step away from the rest of the Victorian Winter Gardens complex.Work is ongoing at the siteWork is ongoing at the site

And it is this aspect of the building – combining Blackpool’s heritage with its desire for progress – that will offer delegates a unique experience and hopefully put the conferencing offer ahead of rivals around the country.

Architects have designed the centre to seamlessly connect with its older neighbour, with access on a single level right through from Leopold Grove to the Empress Ballroom and the Floral Hall, as well as connections to the Opera House.

There will be ground floor capacity for around 430 delegates and first floor capacity for 1,200, bringing the total for the whole Winter Gardens complex to 7,000.

The main meeting space on the first floor can be split into four rooms using fully acoustic sliding walls boasting sound block boards to prevent noise slippage between partitions.

Worker on the siteWorker on the site

But pull back the walls, bring out the tables and chairs stored in rooms behind, and the same space can be transformed for a gala dinner with on-site kitchens.

A smaller convention area on the ground floor can be similairly divided, while break-out rooms offer a glazed outlook for when delegates need to switch-off.

But just as vital as space, is technology and engineers are busy fitting out reams of cable into the specialist IT room where there will also be a control centre for broadcasters.

Broadband fibre connections will be the best available along with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.

The conference centre at Blackpool's Winter GardensThe conference centre at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

Behind the scenes, a heavy duty air conditioning system has been installed, while toilets, cloakrooms, kitchens and staff quarters are also taking shape.

An undercover loading bay has been built with capacity for two articulated trucks to enable exhibits and scenery to be unloaded straight into the conference centre or onto the back of the Opera House stage.

Meanwhile a vehicle lift can carry a four tonne fully loaded transit van to the upper floors to unload.

Michael Williams, managing director of the Winter Gardens, says the investment is already attracting conference organisers back to Blackpool.

He said: “We’re on track for November and the finishing trades are now in fitting out things like the cabling.

“It’s an exciting part of the development seeing all the equipment starting to arrive right down to the big ovens and chillers for the kitchen. We’ve also just ordered the 1,700 chairs which will be needed.

“Connectivity with the rest of the Winter Gardens has been key throughout the design and building process.

“That’s why we have left in a feature brick wall to the Empress Ballroom balcony, which has been restored and repointed.

“The idea is people can relate to where they are, to the Empress Ballroom and to that 120-year tradition which is just behind the wall.

“That will be part of the unique selling point for our conference centre.

“We are going to have a 21st century conference centre with all the modern facilities and technology available, but people can walk through to the Empress Ballroom or the other rooms in the Winter Gardens and see the link to that heritage as well.”

Building work began in 2018 and has been disrupted by the Covid pandemic, although lockdown meant gatherings were off limits anyway.

A fresh appetite for conferences, as people have missed meeting, up is expected but lessons have also been learned from the restrictions put in place.

Mr Williams said: “We will be set up to hold hybrid conferences so some delegates could attend remotely from anywhere in the world.

“One thing Covid has taught us is that we have to be able to do things differently.

“If some international guests cannot travel, they can still attend the conference due to the technology we have put in.”

Proposals are also already in place for more investment which could further enhance the setting of the conference centre.

Planning permission was granted in June for a five storey, 160 bedroom hotel on Leopold Grove including an enclosed bridge linking the second floor of the hotel with the new development.

Meanwhile Blackpool Council’s £20m bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund includes new convention space with retail within the Olympia area of the Winter Gardens.

The Conservative Party will host its Spring Forum in the conference centre in 2022, which will be one of the first big events and will be the first time the Conservative Party has hosted a major conference in Blackpool since 2007.

Funding has included £15m from the government’s Growth Deal, £7m from Blackpool Council, and £2.9m from the Coastal Communities Fund (also government funding).

East Pines Park playground gets makeover thanks to £4,000 Swallowdale Children’s Trust and Gazette grant

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A playground was given a colourful makeover thanks to a £4,000 grant from Swallowdale Children’s Trust and The Gazette’s community competition last year.

 

Samantha and Riley-Jay Hindmarch, Paul Galley and Michelle Backhouse with some of the artwork installed in East Pines Park

Samantha and Riley-Jay Hindmarch, Paul Galley and Michelle Backhouse with some of the artwork installed in East Pines Park

The Friends of East Pines Park in Anchorsholme have resurfaced the park playground with educational pictures after scooping the cash in the giveaway.

Friends secretary Michelle Backhouse said the group was grateful to The Gazette and the Swallowdale Trust for the funds .

She said: “It has transformed our playground and we know this will help educate and inspire young minds for many years to come.

It was funded through a £4,000 grant from Swallowdales giveaway with the Gazette

It was funded through a £4,000 grant from Swallowdales giveaway with the Gazette

“The work includes a world map with global coastal cities on it ranging from Cape Town to Vancouver with Blackpool proudly displayed, along with a solar system featuring all the planets an A to Z caterpillar and a snakes and ladders game.”

Anchorsholme councillor and group chairman Paul Galley said: “Our vision has always been to inspire young people about themselves and Blackpool and we are so grateful to The Gazette and Swallowdale for backing us in our vision.

“As well as inspiring young minds, I was delighted the work was carried out by an Anchorsholme firm as I firmly believe that green spaces can support the Fylde economy.”

Jay Hindmarch, managing director of Arrowline Limited, which did the work, said both he and his wife grew up playing on the playground.
Samantha Hindmarch used the park growing up and son and Riley-Jay plays in it everyday
Samantha Hindmarch used the park growing up and son and Riley-Jay plays in it everyday

He said: “Our family use it every day and best of all our son Riley-Jay helped choose the solar system which has always been a major point of interest for him, so it’s something my fellow director and wife Samantha and the whole family are really proud of.”

The Gazette’s 2021 £25,000 community giveaway with Swallowdale Children’s Trust is running up to June 30 to give more people the chance to grab a slice of the cash.

The closing date for the competition has been moved to the end of June and schools, community groups, sports clubs, charities and societies are being called on to enter for a chance to win cash for a special cause.

The giveaway helps people under the age of 25 across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

Riley-Jay with the new snakes and ladders

Riley-Jay with the new snakes and ladders

It is now in its ninth year and the prize pot this time round will see the total handed out climb to more than £135,000.

To enter, email competitions@blackpoolgazette.co.uk with Swallowdale in the subject field, or write to Swallowdale Children’s Trust Community Giveaway, The Gazette, 15 Olympic Court, Boardmans Way, Whitehills Business Park, Blackpool, FY4 5GU.

Tell us how much grant you are applying for and how you would spend the money if successful. Add your name, address, name of organisation (if applicable), and a contact telephone number.

The closing date is Wednesday, June 30.

The Lancashire town where sunshine costs £10.35 an hour

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

With cheap hotels and plenty of sunshine it’s no wonder crowds flock to this area

 

Blackpool's beach is warmed in the sunshine
Blackpool’s beach is warmed in the sunshine (Image: Getty Images)

Summer staycations will be on the calendar for most of us this year but have you ever wondered where you can get the cheapest amount of sun from without having to go abroad?

Out of 63 seaside towns in the UK, Blackpool has been found to have the second cheapest cost per hour of sun at only £10.35, just missing the top spot by 80p according to a survey by vouchercloud.

Felixstowe is the cheapest spot at £9.55, while Fleetwood came in at number seven on the list with the cost per hour of sunshine coming in at £11.96.

Another North West seaside location also made the list, with Southport coming in at number 18 at £13.13 per hour of sun.

vouchercloud used Google Hotels and historic Met Office data to calculate the best value hour of sunshine in the UK.

Research showed that the average price of a hotel in Blackpool for one night is £60.75 – with an average of five hours and 56 minutes of sunshine on a typical summers day – working out at £10.35 an hour.

With fantastic attractions day and night, there may be more chances of visiting this seaside town this year as Covid restrictions continue to ease.

People enjoy the sunshine at Blackpool beach,
People enjoy the sunshine at Blackpool beach (Image: PA)

In Blackpool, there’s a huge variety of things to do to keep all ages entertained.

For family days out, or trips with friends, you can enjoy the Sea Life Centre, the Blackpool Circus and Dungeons of course the Pleasure Beach.

But if you’re sticking to a budget this summer, a day on the beach and a walk up the promenade is more than enough to satisfy your sun needs – just remember your sun cream!

And a trip to the seaside isn’t complete without some traditional food.

Pick up some fish and chips, find a huge range of Blackpool rock stalls, grab some freshly made doughnuts and treat yourself to an ice cream to cool you down. But beware of the notorious seagulls.

Whilst visiting Blackpool, a day of sun might not be enough for you so here are five of the cheapest hotels in Blackpool to extend your stay there:

Las Palmas hotel by the sea

This three and a half star TripAdvisor rated hotel is only a three minute walk away from the main promenade so when you’ve had your fill of sun for the day, it won’t take you long to get back to your hotel.

Rooms here start at £20 per night with free internet and a bar.

Stockton Grange hotel

Rated three stars on TripAdvisor. Pet friendly hotel on a budget that bring the best of Blackpool to your doorstep pets

Rooms at this hotel start at £20 per night.

Peek a Booze hotel

Adult only hotel with a cabaret themed bar and nightclub rated four stars on TripAdvisor.

Rooms here cost between £25-£30 each night.

The Marine Hotel

This three star rated hotel is a family friendly small hotel that provides free breakfast and is only a six minute walk from the beach.

Rooms start at £27 per night.

Travelodge Blackpool South Shore

For a cheap night in Blackpool, this Travelodge is rated four stars and provides a mix of value, comfort and convenience, all within a budget friendly setting.

Rooms here start at £28 per night.

Two drunk people found in the water at 7am in Blackpool

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The two were found in the water around Central Pier early this morning

 

The scene at Blackpool this morning
The scene at Blackpool this morning (Image: HM Coastguard)

The coastguard has issued a warning after two ‘intoxicated’ people were found in the water around Central Pier in Blackpool this morning (June 26).

There was an emergency call out at around 7.30am after a member of the public reported a person in the water and possibly experiencing difficulty.

The coastguard arrived at the scene and discovered two intoxicated people who were then spoken to.

They reminded them and the general public to stay away from water if you have had a drink. The two people involved were passed over to Lancashire Constabulary and the North West Ambulance Service.

A spokesperson for HM Coastguard Lytham said: “We arrived on scene and established there were two intoxicated people in the water.

“RNLI Blackpool launched one lifeboat to assist the casualties, after talking with them, they eventually made their way out of the water and were passed into the care of Blackpool Police & North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Blackpool’s £20m investment bid as South Shore misses out on money

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Hopes of including a scheme to regenerate the Bond Street/Waterloo Road area of South Shore were dashed

 

A general view of Blackpool from above
A general view of Blackpool from above (Image: Getty)

Blackpool is bidding for £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for schemes including investment in the Winter Gardens and former Abingdon Street Post Office.

A third element of the bid is for town centre road improvements including to ease congestion and improve the public realm between the Winter Gardens, the Houndshill extension and the Blackpool Central leisure development.

But hopes of including a scheme to regenerate the Bond Street/Waterloo Road area of South Shore were dashed because plans could not be worked up in time for the deadline.

However, the council has said it hopes to include the neighbourhood in a future bid for funding.

Blackpool South MP Scott Benton welcomed the bid but called for priorities to include areas other than the town centre.

He said: “As far as I’m concerned, the obvious place in need of capital spending on regeneration is South Shore, and specifically Bond Street/Waterloo Road.

“I live not far from this area and regularly use the shops and facilities there. The decline in the area over many decades has been noticeable and it’s in urgent need of investment.”

He said it was “incredibly disappointing” there was not enough time to prepare a bid for South Shore before the June deadline.

Mr Benton added: “However, to ensure we can put forward the area in any future bids for capital investment, the council are bidding for Government money so they can draw up comprehensive proposals for regenerating the area and consult with residents on this.

“This will ensure that a ready-made scheme can be worked up and discussed with local residents and traders, and that money could be brought in to deliver this scheme in the future.”

Blackpool Council said schemes for the first round of the Levelling Up fund had to be ready to start by next March, and be linked to the themes of transport, regeneration and town centre investment, and culture investment.

A spokesperson added: “We are delighted Scott Benton has supported the bid and we fully understand his concerns about the limitations of the fund criteria.

“Having said that, we have included in our submission for the Community Renewal Fund a bid to prepare a masterplan/feasibility study for the Waterloo area to support the regeneration of the Waterloo ward, determining local needs, the priorities for intervention and potential solutions to support commercial and residential development, as well as creating green and safe community spaces.

“If successful, the project will fund a consultancy team, a website, pop-up events and a ‘week of action’ to engage with the community about the plans for the area.

“Together with the Revoe and Claremont Masterplans which are already in place, we will aim to seek funding through future opportunities that we hope will be presented by a second Levelling Up Fund bid and the Shared Prosperity Fund, the criteria for which we anticipate will be published by the Government later this year.”

The three schemes included in the initial Levelling Up Fund bid are:

The refurbishment and conversion of the Post Office for a branded boutique hotel, which missed out on support from the Future High Streets Fund.

Redevelopment work and creation of a new convention space with retail within the Olympia area of the Winter Gardens, including facade improvements directly opposite the £21 m Houndshill extension.

An active travel/town centre access scheme to reduce congestion on the approaches into town centre while reducing carbon emissions. The scheme also includes Adelaide Street public transport improvements, new public realm from Adelaide Street to Hull Road to support an enhanced entrance from the forthcoming Blackpool Central development. Also public realm works along Coronation Street down to Albert Road, with provision of new cycle ways whilst framing the Houndshill extension and the Winter Gardens.