Haven’s Carla Gran holiday park in Fleetwood granted extension to open until end of November

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The Haven Cala Gran Holiday Park in Fleetwood will be able to stay open until the end of November this year.


The holiday park of Fleetwood Road, a brand of Bourne Leisure Group, submitted proposals in June for it to extend the holiday season.

Normally the park would close at the latest on November 8, a decision that was made by town hall officials back in 1988.

However bosses for the holiday park company said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a need to open the park to ‘benefit the local community.

Cala Gran Holiday Park in FleetwoodCala Gran Holiday Park in Fleetwood

In the application sent to Wyre Council officials, it says: “This application seeks to facilitate the opening of the park until November 30 this year. The mandated closure of tourism, retail and leisure businesses across the UK has had a stark impact, particularly upon communities that are heavily reliant on visitors to support the local economy.

“Provided that the necessary restriction are lifted, Bourne would like to open Cala Gran Holiday Park to guests for longer this year.

“This extension to the holiday season will have direct and important benefits for the local economy through the provision of jobs for the local community and through spending in Wyre.”

The plans were approved by Fylde Council and a temporary relaxation of the regulations are now in place, however the closing date will return to November 8 for next year.

How you can see the Red Arrows this Saturday in Blackpool

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The world famous Red Arrows will be paying a flying visit to the Fylde coast this weekend.


The RAF’s aerobatic display team will be using Blackpool Airport as a stopping off point for their scheduled appearance at the Isle of Man bank holiday airshow.

The Reds, regular visitors to Squires Gate over the years, will be gracing the skies of the Fylde coast on Saturday, August 28.

Airport bosses are encouraging fans to come a long a get a close view by using its new park and ride carpark, which costs £15, and then spending the day in Blackpool enjoying the attractions.

The Red Arrows will be in Blackpool on Saturday

The Red Arrows will be in Blackpool on Saturday

Here are the times the Red Arrows will be in town:

Morning arrival time: 11.30 am.

Morning departure time: 14:12 pm.

Afternoon arrival time: 15.00 pm.

The Red Arrows will not be displaying in Blackpool this year, but they will be at the airportThe Red Arrows will not be displaying in Blackpool this year, but they will be at the airport

Afternoon departure time: 17.30 pm.

The Red Arrows will fly over Douglas bay at 2.30pm on what is being called the Super Manx bank holiday weekend, created for the second year by moving the TT’s senior race day.

Their annual appearance at the Blackpool Airshow will have to wait however, since the Blackpool Airshow was cancelled for 2021 due to ongoing uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic and the gathering of large crowds.

Next year, the event is back on the schedule and pencilled in for August 6 and 7.

The aircraft will stop over at Squires Gate on their way to the Isle of Man

The aircraft will stop over at Squires Gate on their way to the Isle of Man

Blackpool’s youngest politician shares vision of brighter future as he takes up Council job

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Blackpool’s youngest elected leader, who bravely ventured into the world of politics when he was just 15, has shared his vision of a brighter future for the resort’s struggling youths.

MYP Andrew Speight filming for the Make Your Mark vote on Blackpool Promenade

MYP Andrew Speight filming for the Make Your Mark vote on Blackpool Promenade

As Member of Youth Parliament for Blackpool, and the chair of the town’s Youth Council, 18-year-old Andrew Speight has championed the rights and opinions of young Sandgrownuns, pushing for better children’s mental healthcare, reforms to high-stakes GCSE exams and SATS, and the abolition of university tuition fees.

Now he hopes to tackle the ever-present problem of unemployment as he takes on the role of youth advisor at Blackpool Council, with a special focus on creating strategies to reduce the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the resort.

He said: “I hope to prevent young people from becoming NEET in the first place by chaning the education system and various other factors that contribute to young people becoming NEET. I want to see options for young people are NEET at the moment, and introduce a strategy so that young people, when they are in education, employment or training, they are kept there.

Andrew at Westminster

Andrew at Westminster

“The numbers nationally for young people who are NEET is about 728,000, which is far too high.

“This can lead to poor mental health, poor sleep, and poor physical health. It’s also an economic problem as we have more people who are dependent on benefits to get by.

“I have learned a lot about how young people in Blackpool feel about how the education system sets them up to fail in some respects. In a conference in July, what young people told us was that education has a skills deficit. They are only taught to pass exams, and not skills that will help them in the workplace, so when they leave education and go looking for work and are asked what skills they have, they have none. This puts them at a disadvantage.

“One proposed solution is the establishment of courses colleges in deprived areas where schools can book half days for children to gain experience in key sectors, such as hospitality, beauty, and farming.”

MYP Andrew Speight at a meeting with Kier Starmer and MP Cat Smith

MYP Andrew Speight at a meeting with Kier Starmer and MP Cat Smith

Andrew, who lives in South Shore, was elected MYP in February 2019 with the aim of reducing terrible exam stress wreaking havoc on children’s mental health.

Since then, he has taken on all sorts of issues, from supporting local homeless charities to calling out academic corruption to diversifying the town’s economy – all while studying for A-levels in modern world history, psychology and sociology at Blackpool Sixth Form.

He said: “My biggest passion was tackling exam stress, which ties into mental health, which is such a big thing for people in Blackpool.

“Growing up in Blackpool, and speaking to young people from Blackpool, I think has given me the experience I need to help people going forward. But originally, what inspired me to take action was national factors that you would likely be experiencing anywhere in the country. It all started when my brother was taking his Y6 SATS in 2016, the new system had been introduced and there were major problems on the first day and children were in tears in the classrooms. I just thought ‘this is wrong’, and that’s what caused me to get into politics in the first place.

Andrew has spoken publically about the importance of supporting children's mental health

Andrew has spoken publically about the importance of supporting children’s mental health

“It really branched out from there, but that’s where it all started.”

As MYP, Andrew’s prerogative was to be the voice of Blackpool’s youth on the political stage, both locally and nationally.

He was guided by the results of the annual Make Your Mark campaign, which asks children aged 11 to 18 to vote on the issues they would like Britain’s Youth Parliament to focus on in the upcoming year.

Mental health was given top priority by Blackpool young people three years running, from 2017 to 2019. Protecting the environment, cracking down on crime, ending child poverty, and providing a curriculum that teaches life skills in schools also ranked highly in the town.

Speaking at an MYP conference at the University of Leeds

Speaking at an MYP conference at the University of Leeds

Andrew spoke passionately in the House of Commons about the ‘immoral’ lack of funding for mental healthcare in December 2019, saying: “In my constituency we have the highest rate of boderline personlity disorders in the country, yet have the fewest BPD specialists in the country. We also receive the lowest levels of funding for our mental health provision. This is an explicit and an immoral injustice. In my constituency and undoubfully elsewhere there is a desperate plea that politicians lend their support to our mental health services, which are subject to radically unfair neglect.”

He liased with Blackpool MPs Paul Maynard and Scott Benton about the various challenges faced by young people, and wrote to the PM. Since then, the resort has seen an increase in its funding for its children’s and young people’s mental health services, with Blackpool Council recently pledging a £10m investment in children’s and adult social care for 2021/22.

Andrew also met Labour leader Kier Starmer and Fleetwood MP Cat Smith to discuss young people’s role in the future of British politics.

He was helped in his journey by youth outreach group Urpotential, on Central Drive, with funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, a charity which supports strong communities and social development.

He said: “(Becoming an MYP) has been the best decision I’ve ever taken in my life. I have very much enjoyed doing it. Sometimes it hasn’t been easy; before I was elected I wasn’t sure how national conferences worked and when I spoke against a motion I ended up with other MYPs standing up and shouting against me. But although it has been tough, it has given me a sense of purpose in life and has helped me make a difference for local young people, and young people nationally.

“I’m looking forward to helpint to make changes for young people. That’s what I’m really passionate about – making changes, making a difference – and I feel like that’s something I am going to achieve in this job.”


Coun Jim Hobson, Blackpool Council cabinet member for children’s social care and schools, said: “Blackpool Council has been working for some time to support vulnerable young people who are at risk of ending up not in education, employment or training (NEET). The council recognises the importance of tackling NEET and in response to this a town wide strategy is in development which proposes to focus on three key themes – preventing young people becoming NEET, targeting further support for young people who are NEET and helping young people to stay in education, training or employment when they do start college or a job. A key part of this approach is to co-produce initiatives by working with young people. We are delighted that Andrew Speight is one of the youth workers employed by HeadStart to make this happen. There will be a consultation on tackling NEET in the Autumn with young people at the centre of this.”

Colonial Hotel on Blackpool Prom set for upgrade

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A Blackpool seafront hotel is in line for an upgrade after a blueprint for investment got the go ahead from town hall planners.


Applicant Rafael Suski has been granted planning permission to make alterations to the Colonial Hotel on the Promenade, near Rawcliffe Street in South Shore.

Work will including installing decking and an outdoor seating area, adding balconies to the third floor and extending the fourth floor including with the addition of a roof terrace.

But proposals for a nightclub on the ground floor were dropped and replaced with a more traditional hotel entertainment area instead.

Colonial Hotel - picture from Google

Colonial Hotel – picture from Google

In approving the scheme, planners said the changes would improve the quality of the hotel.

A report setting out the decision said: “The scheme would result in the reduction in the number of rooms at the hotel from 45 to 38 and the creation of a roof space would increase the amount of facilities for the reduced number of guests.

“However, it is evident from the existing and proposed floor plans that this change in room numbers is to facilitate the upgrading of the remaining rooms which would increase the quality and visitor amenity, which would further be enhanced by the creation of a modern roof terrace if designed appropriately.

“As such, the proposed alterations are considered acceptable in principle, however condition will be imposed on any approval requiring the entertainment spaces to remain ancillary to the hotel in use and character.”

Here’s what is happening at Blackpool’s former Hop Inn pub

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Work is underway to convert part of the Hop Inn pub in Blackpool into a dental surgery at a cost of £3.5m – but the historic frontage of the former hostelry is being retained.


The scheme is part of a bigger £100m investment to build a seven storey office block on land between East Topping Street, Cookson Street, King Street and Deansgate.

It is hoped to begin construction of the offices in March or April next year as part of the third phase of the Talbot Gateway.

The King Street dental practice is among buildings earmarked for demolition to make way for the redevelopment, and will be relocated to the Hop Inn.

Work underway at the Hop Inn

Work underway at the Hop Inn

Town hall chiefs have appointed the Blackpool Local Education Partnership, set up to handle real estate, as its strategic partnership contractor to undertake the detailed design and construction required to convert the Hop Inn.

Arrangements are also being made to provide a temporary relocation site for the dental practice if necessary while work is underway.

A council report says: “In order to secure the Talbot Gateway phase three development it is imperative that the council has vacant possession of the land as detailed in the planning application.”

It added the dental surgery “must be relocated in the next eight months in order to deliver the new office building in sufficient time to meet the prospective tenant’s lease expiry deadlines.”

The report says it “is anticipated that the work on the new office block will start in March /April 2022”.

It adds: “The total estimated cost to undertake the enabling work, detailed design and construction work required to convert part of the old Hop Inn into a dental surgery is £3.5m.”

Planning permission was granted in March for the conversion of the locally listed Hop Inn.

The front facade of the building in its three storey form will be retained as a focal point for the public realm areas between it and the new offices.

A two to three storey extension will be built on the back of the building, with other parts of the back of the former pub demolished to make way for a surface-level car park.

Manchester mum in coma for two weeks after Blackpool Promenade horror fall

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A reveller on a night out in Blackpool was left in a coma after mysteriously plummeting 40 feet off the Promenade moments after trying to call her friend.


Mum-of-one Amy Rowarth, 25, from Tameside, is now awake after the horror fall earlier this month – but remains in Royal Preston Hospital where she is being treated for serious head wounds.

Her pal Jodie Grayson, 31, said “nobody knows” what happened – although police quizzed a Cheshire man, 35, on suspicion of assault.

The Hyde man, who is known to Amy, has been released under investigation as detectives appeal to The Gazette’s readers for clues that could solve the mystery.

Manchester woman Amy Rowarth reportedly "fell 40 feet" near the Beach House in the early hours of Sunday, August 8 - and was in a coma for two weeks with serious head injuries. Pic: Daniel Martino for JPI Media

Manchester woman Amy Rowarth reportedly “fell 40 feet” near the Beach House in the early hours of Sunday, August 8 – and was in a coma for two weeks with serious head injuries. Pic: Daniel Martino for JPI Media

Jodie said: “Amy rang me at 8.07pm and said she was in a bar in Blackpool having a drink. She said she was staying over.

“The next thing I knew, I’d woken up to missed calls from her during the early hours and the next morning I was told she was in hospital in a coma.

“I was told she’d fallen from a 40-foot drop but I don’t understand what’s happened.

“I don’t know what to think. I’m trying to find out what’s happened.”

Amy is believed to have fallen on Lower Promenade, and Lancashire Police are appealing for witnesses. Pic: Daniel Martino for JPI Media

Amy is believed to have fallen on Lower Promenade, and Lancashire Police are appealing for witnesses. Pic: Daniel Martino for JPI Media

Amy suffered horrific injuries in the plunge, including a broken leg, bleeding and swelling on the brain, and fractures to her face.

After the fall, which saw paramedics called to the seafront near to the Beach House Bistro at around 1.55am on Sunday, August 8, Amy was in a coma for two weeks. She woke up a “couple of days ago” with no memory of what happened, Jodie said.

“An investigation into the circumstances around the incident is ongoing and, following enquiries, a man was later arrested,” Lancashire Police said.

“We are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to please contact 101 with the log reference 0162 of August 8.”

A 35-year-old man from Hyde was arrested on suspicion of assault, but was later released under investigation. Pic: Daniel Martino for JPI Media

A 35-year-old man from Hyde was arrested on suspicion of assault, but was later released under investigation. Pic: Daniel Martino for JPI Media

A spokesman for the North West Ambulance Service said Amy, who has a four-year-old son at home, was taken to hospital with “severe injuries.”

Blackpool woman, 24, took fatal drugs overdose after mental health struggle

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A young Blackpool woman with a history of mental illness died two days after taking a deadly cocktail of prescription drugs.

Blackpool town hall

Blackpool town hall

Chloe Ashworth, 24, was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital in an unconscious state on December 6 last year. A coroner’s court heard it was believed she had taken a large amount of medication beforehand.

Her condition deteriorated and she died on December 8.

A post mortem carried out by Blackpool Vic doctor Mark Sissons found she died of multi-organ failure caused by an overdose of a number of different drugs.

Her stepfather Ian Brown said: “The most important thing, in my wife’s mind, is Newbarn itself, because Newbarn actually neglected Chloe. Newbarn was supposed to give her two nights of support a week. Then it went down to one, and then it went down to no support overnight. Within Newbarn Chloe should have been given her tablets at 10pm. We got a phonecall (from Chloe) at 12.30am saying they had not come with her tablets yet.”

Coroner Alan Wilson said Newbarn Supported Housing had not been approached in the course of the investigation, however, as Miss Ashworth’s residence there dated back several months before her death, which was beyond the scope that would usually be examined at an inquest.

He agreed to write to the service with the option of attending the inquest, which was scheduled for December 16 and 17.

He said: “There may be criticisms to be made by (Miss Ashworth’s) parents in relation to her care at that point, but not criticisms that go into how she actually died. The inquest is to really focus on how Miss Ashworth died. There are times her family may have had issues about how she was looked after previously, but the time that has passed between that time and the time she has arrived in Blackpool has been too long.”

Mr Brown said: “I think Newbarn has got a lot of questions to be asked.”