Fundraisers walking from Bridlington to Blackpool for mental health amenity

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A group of fundraisers are walking 138 miles from Bridlington to Blackpool to raise money and awareness for a men’s mental health charity on the Fylde coast.

The group took the coach to Bridlington to begin the walk back to Blackpool

The group took the coach to Bridlington to begin the walk back to Blackpool

And the walkers are supporting a new project called Elliot’s Place, a support space for young men struggling with their mental health.

It will be based at the home of the Empowerment Charity, in Bispham Road, Bispham, and is being named in memory of Elliot Taylor (inset), who tragically took his own life after battling with his mental health.

The sponsored walk has been organised by South Shore man Joe Darnell, 24, who has raised funds for mental health projects previously, and Millie Taylor, Elliot’s sister.

The fundraisers on Bridlington beachThe fundraisers on Bridlington beach

Among those joining them in the walk, which will include several overnight stops, are Elliot’s mum Catherine and another relative, Lily Taylor.

The group set off by coach from Blackpool to the Yorkshire coast early on Wednesday morning and they and are due to arrive home on Saturday.

Catherine said: “I definitely wanted to go on the walk to show my support for it.

“If we can help another young man and help prevent another family suffering, every step will be worth it – and it’s a long way!”

Elliot Taylor took his own life and is the inspiration behind Elliot's Place in BisphamElliot Taylor took his own life and is the inspiration behind Elliot’s Place in Bispham

Millie said: “Elliot’s Place will be a safe space where men can feel comfortable to talk to each other about their thoughts, feelings and emotions without any stigmas attached.

“We’d just like to thank Birkhouse Bed & Breakfast (York), Hampsthwaite Memorial Hall (Harrogate) and Read & Simonstone Village Hall (Burnley) for giving us a place to stay each night.”

Joe said: “Mental health awareness is a big thing now and there are men taking their lives because they feel they have no one to talk to.

“We all want to see Elliot’s Place up and running.”

All funds raised will go towards the forthcoming project, which will offer onsite counselling, peer-support and group activities.

For more information about Elliot’s Place visit

To donate to the fund, visit, big thanks to Birkhouse Bed & Breakfast (York), Hampsthwaite Memorial Hall (Harrogate) and Read & Simonstone Village Hall (Burnley) for giving us a place to stay each night!

Nando’s closures: This is where you can still enjoy PERI-PERI chicken in Lancashire as chain closes 50 branches due to supply issues

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Nando’s has been forced to close around 50 restaurants across England, Scotland and Wales as the chain runs short on supplies of chicken.


Three of the four Lancashire stores in Blackpool, Preston and Blackburn will open as usual today (Wednesday, August 18, 2021).

However, since this article was originally publish, Nando’s in Preston Market Place has been forced to close.

A spokesman for Nando’s said: “The UK food industry has been experiencing disruption across its supply chain in recent weeks due to staff shortages and a number of our restaurants have been impacted.

Nando's restaurants in Blackpool, Preston and Blackburn are unaffected by the store closures.Nando’s restaurants in Blackpool, Preston and Blackburn are unaffected by the store closures.

“However, since Monday, a team of our brilliant Nandocas have been supporting our key suppliers onsite – working in partnership to help get things moving again, and this has already had a positive impact on affected restaurants.

“From this Saturday, as a result of the hard work behind the scenes, it is our intention that all of our restaurants will be open again, and all our customers can enjoy their favourite PERi-PERi chicken.”

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Responding to upset customers on Twitter, Nando’s described the situation as “a bit of a ‘mare’”.

The restaurant said: “The UK supply chain is having a bit of a ‘mare’ right now.

“This is having a knock-on effect with some of our restaurants across England, Scotland and Wales.

“We are doing everything we can to get the peri-peri back where it belongs – on your plates!”

In another tweet, the restaurant, which serves Afro-Portuguese inspired chicken dishes, apologised for the “disappointment” and said suppliers could not keep up with “demand for peri-peri”.

Nando’s said: “We’re sorry for any disappointment caused.

“Our suppliers are struggling to keep up with demand for peri-peri. Meaning that some of our restaurants have had to temporarily close to restock.”

Customers can get the most up-to-date information on restaurant closures via the local Nando’s restaurant via the Nando’s website.


Spy-themed bar to open in £30m Blackpool Sands Resort hotel

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It will be a taste of things to come when a spy-themed bar is launched later this month at Blackpool’s £30m Sands Venue Resort Hotel being built on the Promenade.


The £600,000 Spyglass Bar on the ground floor of the hotel on Central Promenade is set to welcome its first customers on August 26.

The businessman behind the Sands Hotel taking shape on Blackpool Promenade is co…

While guests will have to wait another year before they can check into rooms at what aims to be Blackpool’s first five star hotel, developer Peter Swann says the bar will showcase the luxury the whole venue will eventually offer.

An artist's impression of the inside of the Spyglass BarAn artist’s impression of the inside of the Spyglass Bar

The main hotel is still just a frame – but a tour of the upper floors reveals the stunning views bedrooms will boast.

Peter has pledged his investment will rival anything London can offer, with floor to ceiling windows providing panoramic vistas over the Irish Sea.

The 91-room hotel will not open until Autumn 2022, but is ready for fitting out to start in September or October, which will take around 52 weeks.

But people will be able to step into the Spyglass Bar from August 26 – where no doubt a martini, shaken but not stirred, will quickly become a favourite tipple.

Developer Peter Swann at what will be one of the bedroom windows overlooking the sea

Developer Peter Swann at what will be one of the bedroom windows overlooking the sea

Peter said: “This will be the first five star hotel in Blackpool and we want quality. I think it will rival anything London can offer.”

The total investment of £30m includes £8.6m from Blackpool Council’s business loans fund.

Customers at the Spyglass Bar will be greeted by high ceilings, a feature wall displaying espionage gadgetry and spy films rolling in the background.

Blackpool-based designer Amy Murray said the inspiration ranges from James Bond movies to The Kingsman Secret Service.

Inside the framwork of the Sands Hotel

Inside the framwork of the Sands Hotel

She said: “It’s a great theme to work with as you can go anywhere with it.

“I wanted to bring in the luxury aspect, with marble floors and using velvet and faux leather for the furniture.

“Hopefully it’s where you might imagine a spy would come on their night off!”

Peter added: “The Spyglass Bar will offer cocktails and tapas and be spy-themed. It will be family orientated during the day, and be a quality destination venue into the evening.

“It was going to be a hotel bar, but we decided to open it a year early. We felt we needed a quality bar to go along with everything else we are doing.

“This mirrors everything we are doing in the hotel which is five star.”

There will be capacity for up to 100 people seated inside, and it is hoped to secure a pavement licence for 40 seats outside.

It is next door to the Wild West Diner, which opened in 2017 and also represents investment of around £600,000.

While the interior of the hotel is still a shell – from a first look round its potential is clear.

Guests will arrive via a vast lobby with some bedrooms arranged around an inner atrium and larger rooms and suites overlooking the seafront.

The space is unrecognisable from the old Palace nightclub and Sands cabaret venue which once operated there.

Other elements of the Sands Hotel, which will be managed by the same company running the five star Lowery Hotel in Salford, will be a luxury spa, bistro and penthouse suite.

The inner atrium will boast a tree extending towards the ceiling onto which will be projected images of the sky – including the stars after dark, and clouds and sun during the day.

The building will also house the £13m Blackpool Museum, a council-led project, which had been due to open this summer, but is now not expected to launch until spring 2023.

Meanwhile the extensive glazing, whose black colour came in for criticism when it was first unveiled, has been designed to offer privacy to guests.

Peter said: “The colour is reflected black so when the sun is out it reflects the blue sky. It provides privacy for the bedrooms and for the bars and public areas in a place where we have millions of people passing by each day.

“It’s all marine grade paint, and cleaning the building will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.”

However measures will be taken to keep seagulls away in a bid to reduce potential mess from the birds – with inquiries ongoing into a laser system to harmlessly scare them off.

Sounds like something from a James Bond movie!


Outline planning permission was granted for the Sands hotel redevelopment in 2015, with reserved matters approved in 2016.

A revised planning application, submitted at the end of 2018, reduced the height of the building with the number of bedrooms changing from 96 to 91.

There was controversy in 2019 when the colour of the hotel was altered from bronze to black, with town hall planners eventually agreeing to the new scheme.

At least 11 new mobile phone masts planned for Blackpool – as residents protest against 18m pole in conservation area

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Plans to install an 18 metre tall mobile phone mast in a Blackpool conservation area have angered residents – with one labelling the equipment ‘street furniture from hell’.


The bid to place the pole on Whitegate Drive is one of 11 applications submitted to Blackpool Council since June for new mobile phone masts.

Phone mast would block views of Blackpool Tower

The masts will range from 12 metres to 20 metres in height with cabinets housing equipment at their base, and are part of a national government drive to boost advanced 5G mobile phone and internet coverage.

Residents and councillors protesting at the proposed site for a mast on Whitegate DriveResidents and councillors protesting at the proposed site for a mast on Whitegate Drive

But community groups claim the Whitegate Drive proposal will be an eyesore, and are warning other residents in the town about the spread of the new masts.

Dave Blacker, chairman of the Talbot ward PACT (police and community together), said: “It is street furniture from hell – it is ugly.

“The residents and PACT members are up in arms and horrified this could be put up in a conservation area. We’re not saying we don’t want these masts in Blackpool, but they have to think about where they are putting them.”

If it gets the go ahead, the mast will be right outside the Dinners Ready diner owned by Jennifer Duffy.

She said: “I’ve been here 25 years. This is a conservation area which meant I wasn’t allowed by the council to put shutters up – but this mast and the boxes with it will be a real eyesore.

“I’m also worried about it for health reasons, and because it will affect my business as it is right next to where I put my outdoor seating.”

Talbot ward councillors Mark Smith and Jane Hugo are also calling for a rethink.

Coun Smith said: “The cabinets and boxes are huge and it’s just not in keeping with the area. We think it should be sited in a more discreet location that will not impact directly on residents.

“We’re not against progress, but not at this location.”

The Whitegate Drive application is one of a number of sites CK Hutchison has applied for permission to use for its company Three UK, based in Reading, which is the fourth-largest mobile network operator in the UK.

A Three spokesperson said: “Access to 5G has a vital role to play in boosting local economies, helping residents and businesses get faster and more reliable network coverage.

“This is why we’re working with the local council in Blackpool to roll out the UK’s fastest 5G network so that we can keep everyone connected both now and in the future.

“While we try to keep mast sites as unobtrusive as possible, they do need to be situated near to where people will be using the service and, in many cases, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage.

“We carry out extensive searches and surveys to evaluate all the options. We then choose the option most likely to gain planning approval from the local council.

“This will include showing we have minimised the impact on residents and the locality.”

Earlier this year the council won a planning battle with Hutchison after it had sought to put a 15 metre tall phone mast in King Street, close to the Town Centre Conservation Area.

The council refused planning permission, which was upheld on appeal, because the mast would have harmed views of Blackpool Tower.

Some new masts have already been installed, including near B&M Bargains on Whitegate Drive.

But masts do not always need full planning permission as applicants may only need to seek ‘telecommunications prior approval’. This means the application is covered by national policy because it is deemed to be part of vital infrastructure.

With 11 submissions in the pipeline, Mr Blacker warned other communities could see masts “landing on their doorsteps”.

The applications, submitted mainly by either Hutchison or Preston based IX Wireless Ltd, for masts and cabinets since June are for:

Pathway to the side of 476 Lytham Road and Broadway

Pathway on Dinmore Avenue, opposite Progress Court

Side of 20 Huntley Avenue and Wilford Street

Side of 113 Powell Avenue and Pickmere Avenue

Side of 479 Central Drive

Pavement adjacent to 31 Whitegate Drive

Adjacent to Layton Library, Talbot Road

Site at 182 Park Road

Path opposite 81 and 83 Shaftsbury Avenue

Site opposite 230 to 250 Bristol Avenue

Site opposite front of 78 Westfield Road

In addition, Planning permission has been approved for an 18 metre mast on land next to the Number 4 and Free Masons Hotel on Layton Road.

Universal Credit cuts will affect thousands of Blackpool and Fylde coast children

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Thousands of Blackpool and Fylde coast children will be affected by the cut to Universal Credit (UC) payments from next month, figures suggest.


There were more than 1.8 million households containing around 3.4 million children claiming the benefit as of May 2021, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

In Blackpool there are up to 9,000 claimants, 10 per cent of the working population and the third highest in England and Wales.

A temporary £20 a week uplift, introduced to help claimants weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic and described as a “lifeline”, is to be phased out from late September.

Thousands of children will be affected by Universal Credit cutsThousands of children will be affected by Universal Credit cuts

Olivia, from South Shore, is a part-time working single mum to two-year-old Alfie and four-year-old Kacey, and she said that prior to the £20-a-week increase, she was finding it ‘increasingly difficulty’ to make her money stretch to cover her bills.

She said: “Even though £20 does and may not seem a lot to other people, it was such a huge help for me and the children.

“It really is a lifeline and the £20 means I can provide Alifie and Kacey with food for the week.

“Some people probably think that everyone on Universal Credit is not working or it’s just free money to people who don’t deserve it, but I work part-time to earn a living while also looking after my children.

“Everyone’s circumstances are different and to scrap this £20 uplift from people such as me, won’t just hurt me but also Alfie and Kacey. I do fear that I will be once again be scrabbling with pennies to make sure I can provide for my children while also working.

“There is always that fear of heading into debt and borrowing constantly while also being charged massive interest. I’m sure loan companies are very happy that this uplift will be getting scrapped.

Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood said the Government need to ‘see sense’ and scrap the plans. She said: “This cut to Universal Credit will hurt families in Fleetwood and right across the Blackpool and Fylde Coast area. It will push more families into poverty.

“Taking £1,000 a year from millions of struggling families, inflicting the biggest overnight cut to social security in modern times, is economically and morally the wrong decision. Yet again this Government have shown they aren’t on the side of working people.

“Conservative MPs continue to miss the point time and again. With record levels of in-work poverty, they are completely ignorant when they say this is a choice between work and social security.

“The Government must see sense, back struggling families and cancel this devastating cut. Labour will do everything possible to fight this cut and replace Universal Credit with a fairer social security system.”

The Conservative MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, Paul Maynard, said the uplift should remain in place.

He said: “I understand the challenges many individuals and families in Blackpool North and Cleveleys face and how important the Universal Credit uplift has been to them. I have previously made clear to Ministers my view the uplift should remain to support families impacted by the pandemic.

“At the same time, however, I realise the uplift does not work for everyone, particularly those on legacy benefits which is why I have encouraged the Government to explore alternative mechanisms to support the financial resilience of local people.

“This includes the broader use of Local Welfare Assistance Schemes, on which I put forward a 10 Minute Rule Bill and long-term funding for the hugely important holiday activity and food programme.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said it was crucial the Government got its finances back under control.

He said: “From the outset this payment was among an unprecedented number of measures taken by the Government to help people and business through the pandemic and lockdowns.

“As life returns to normal and the issues we faced in the pandemic end, it is crucial the Government gets its finances back into some semblance of order.

“Thankfully the predictions of huge amount of joblessness have been averted by those measures put in place and we are now seeing record levels of vacancies in the jobs market; hopefully a lot of people impacted by Covid and lockdowns will now be able to return to employment.”

Figures published on Tuesday, for the first time show the number of children in households claiming UC in Britain.

Overall, households without children accounted for around 56 percent of households claiming UC in May 2021. Of the households with children, three-quarters contained a youngest child of primary school age or younger.

Almost half (46 percent) had a child under the age of five (850,000 families) and 570,000 families had a youngest child aged 5-10.

Around four in five households had two children or fewer.

It comes as polling for Save the Children found that almost half (47%) of UC claimants do not think they will be able to get by with a budget that is £20 lower a week.

Single parents were the most worried, with 52 percent saying they do not think they can get by on £20 less, the survey of 1,008 UK adults by Opinium found.

Dan Paskins, director of UK Impact at Save the Children, said: “These figures confirm that the Government’s scheduled cut to Universal Credit will affect nearly three-and-a-half million children.

“The £20 increase has been a lifeline for many families. Parents we work with tell us that they’re relying on the extra £20 per week to buy essentials like food and clothes for their children. Without it, we know that many more families will be pushed into the red.

“This is especially worrying since three-quarters of families with children on Universal Credit have a child under ten, and we know that living in poverty as a young child has lifelong impacts.”

Wes Streeting, Labour’s shadow child poverty secretary, said the cut will hit the “lowest paid hardest” and hinder economic recovery. He said: “There is near universal opposition to this cut, which will push more children into poverty.

“Time is running out for the Prime Minister to see sense, back struggling families and cancel his cut to Universal Credit.

“Labour would maintain the uplift until we can replace Universal Credit with a fairer social security system.”


Are dogs allowed on the beach? These are the rules for beaches in Blackpool, Cleveleys, St Annes and Fleetwood

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A walk along one the beaches in the Fylde coast is a great way to take in some sea air, stretch your legs and enjoy some of the finest scenery in Lancashire.


But there are strict rules for walkers who want to bring their four-legged companion with them.

From restrictions at certain times of the year to the sections of coastline where dogs are welcome all year round, these are the rules for all the beaches in the Fylde coast:

What are the beach exclusion periods for dog walkers in Blackpool?

There are strict rules on when and where you can walk you dog along beaches in the Fylde coast.There are strict rules on when and where you can walk you dog along beaches in the Fylde coast.

Blackpool Council don’t allow dogs to be exercised on the beach between North Pier and the Mirror Ball opposite the Solaris Centre between May 1 and September 30 each year.

However, dogs are welcome all-year-round along the beach either side of the exclusion zone.

The two areas where dogs can be exercised throughout the year are along the south section of the beach between the Mirror Ball and Squires Gate and further north between North Pier and Anchorsholme.

Owners are also advised to keep dogs on a lead, only to be unleashed if the owner has full control and a reliable recall.

The dog walking exclusion zone in St Annes.The dog walking exclusion zone in St Annes.

Dogs must also be kept on a lead at all times along the Promenade between North and South Piers and where there is no barrier between roads and tram tracks.

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Does St Annes beach also have an exclusion period for dogs?

St Annes beach carries a similar exclusion period as Blackpool during the summer months, with dogs banned on the amenity beach between Good Friday and September 30 each year.

Dog walkers also need to be aware that there is a seasonal dogs-on-leads restriction for the Promenade and Promenade Gardens between Fairlawns and North Promenade car parks for the same period.

However, owners can freely exercise their dogs without any restrictions along the beach stretching towards Squires Gate one way and Lytham Quays in the other direction.

Where can I take my dog in Cleveleys and Fleetwood?

In Cleveleys dogs are not allowed between Café Cove and the boundary with Blackpool, while in Fleetwood there are restrictions along Marine beach.

As in Blackpool, these restrictions are only in force between May 1 and September 30 each year.

In Cleveleys, dog walkers are free to take their pets on the beach from Rossall to The Venue and the stepped sea defences.

Dog walkers in Fleetwood are free to exercise their pets from the Ferry and RNLI to the former Fleetwood Pier site and from the Kite Club to Rossall Beach at Cleveleys.

Why are dogs banned from beaches?

Areas classed as a bathing beach are regularly tested to ensure the quality of the sea water, with samples taken at regular intervals throughout the season.

Dogs are banned from these stretched of beach as dog waste can cause the sea water to become polluted and fail bathing water tests.

Can you be fined for breaking dog exclusion rules?

In short, yes, any owners who take their dogs into exclusion areas could receive an on-the-spot fine of up to £100, rising to £1,000 if fined in court.