‘Tiny’ 13-year-old boy appears at court in connection with shooting in Morecambe

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A tiny 13-year-old boy who could hardly see over a court dock wall has appeared at court charged with attempted murder.


The youth from Morecambe, Lancashire is alleged to have been the third person involved in a alleyway shooting in November last year .

It was the boy’s first court appearance at Blackpool Youth Court where District Judge Jane Goodwin halted proceedings against him .

She told the Crown Prosecution Service to prepare what she called “a proper summary” of the case against the boy and if required review the charges he faces .

Blackpool Magistrates' Court.

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

The boy is alleged to have attempted to murder Scott McIver in an alley off Skipton Street, Morecambe in November 15.

McIver suffered life changing injuries when he was shot in the head with a homemade pipe gun.

The boy is further charged with possessing the gun with intent to endanger life and is also charged with a wounding offences.

Two co accused adults Joshua Giles (18) and Levi McCandlish (26) are due to appear before Preston Crown Court both charged with the attempted murder of McIver.

Defence lawyer John Greenwood told the Youth Court judge that he shared her misgivings about the Crown’s case .

Prosecutor Liz Hayton maintained it was a joint enterprise by all three defendants who were seen on CCTV.

The judge bail the 13-year-old until January 18 and gave the Crown until January 13 to case review .

She told the boy :” I am not happy about some information given to the court and have asked the prosecution to look at this .”



Next Blackpool match in doubt after Barnsley call off Stoke City clash

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Blackpool’s next Championship fixture at Barnsley on Saturday has been thrown into doubt.


It follows the South Yorkshire club’s announcement that a player shortage had forced them to postpone Wednesday’s home match against Stoke City.

A club statement issued this afternoon reads: “Barnsley Football Club’s upcoming fixture with the Potters has been postponed following a meeting with the EFL board this morning.

Barnsley have been hit by Covid cases and injuries

Barnsley have been hit by Covid cases and injuries

“The Reds’ planned Sky Bet Championship fixture with Stoke City here at Oakwell on Wednesday 12 January – previously rearranged after the original Boxing Day curtailment – has been postponed.

“The Club has worked hard to ensure that it has been able to fulfil the fixture.

“However, taking into account the number of injuries and positive COVID-19 cases within the squad, the Club does not have a sufficient number of players available in order to fulfil the fixture.

“We apologise for the inconvenience of this postponement, and details regarding the rearrangement of the fixture will be communicated to our supporters in due course.”

Blackpool FC tweeted: “The club is monitoring developments and will remain in discussions with both Barnsley FC and the EFL regarding any potential impact this may have on Saturday’s fixture.”

Blackpool won their last Championship fixture against Hull City on New Year’s Day but were anxious for a quick return to action after Saturday’s FA Cup exit at Hartlepool United.

The Seasiders have not called any game off due to a player shortage since the start of the pandemic.



Who has come out on top in the Lancashire council logo league?

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Lancashire’s councils have received a dressing down – over the design of their logos.


With a few notable exceptions, the county performed poorly in a nationwide countdown of council corporate imagery, compiled by graphic designer Robin Wilde.

Preston City Council’s emblem – featuring the city’s distinctive coat of arms, with its instantly recognisable lamb – was higher-placed than any of its county counterparts, emerging in 69th spot out of 403 UK local authorities.

Neighbouring Fylde came close to claiming the Lancashire council logo crown, with the district’s windmill design coming out just a few places short of Preston at number 74 in the niche league – which has proved a surprise viral hit.

The top four council logos in Lancashire according to a graphic designer's assessment - Preston City Council (#1), Fylde Council (#2), Wyre Council (#3) and Blackpool Council (#4)

The top four council logos in Lancashire according to a graphic designer’s assessment – Preston City Council (#1), Fylde Council (#2), Wyre Council (#3) and Blackpool Council (#4)

However, that is where the good news ends for the county as a whole. In spite of boasting 15 councils within its administrative borders – giving Lancashire plenty of representation in this most unlikely of local authority league tables – the majority of them have ended up in the lower half of the branding chart.

Three Lancashire councils – Hyndburn, South Ribble and Blackburn with Darwen – found themselves in the bottom 50. But even higher-ranked authorities were not spared the occasionally caustic commentary that accompanied the logo list, which Robin admits should not be taken “too literally”.

As the biggest authority in the region, Lancashire County Council, at least managed to achieve a place in top half of the table, at number 182 – but its lettering was nevertheless lambasted as looking like it had been “made of gelatine and then sucked on for half an hour”.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), Robin acknowledges that Lancashire “doesn’t come off too well” in his rankings – and explains why the council imagery used by Preston and Fylde caught his eye.

Lancashire County Council (#5), Ribble Valley Borough Council (#6), Pendle Council (#7) and Lancaster City Council (#8)

Lancashire County Council (#5), Ribble Valley Borough Council (#6), Pendle Council (#7) and Lancaster City Council (#8)

“I think the connecting factor [that sees them] performing pretty well is that they’ve both taken fairly traditional imagery and put them through contemporary design principles – that is, they’ve worked hard to condense them down to their key features and, in doing so, have created a logo that can serve usefully in the full range of functions the council might need to use it for.

“That’s something traditional imagery can help you with, in that it gives you a starting point – but if you’re too cautious you can be held back by not wanting to change it. I like that they’ve been a bit bold,” said Robin, who is also a freelance writer.

He says that the Lancashire councils whose imagery ignited his ire have generally committed one of two opposing design sins.

“In most cases it’s either a lack of ingenuity – the logo is boring – or overambition – the logo tries to do too much.

Rossendale Borough Council (#9), Burnley Council (#10), West Lancashire Borough Council (11) and Chorley Council (#12)

Rossendale Borough Council (#9), Burnley Council (#10), West Lancashire Borough Council (11) and Chorley Council (#12)

“Most of the problems with the low-ranked logos come from a lack of confidence. It comes across sometimes as though councils aren’t sure people will ‘get it’ if they use something simple, so that’s where you get slogans and crests and extra text awkwardly jammed in, with the result that the effect is lost.

“If you look at the logos which did best, they have a bold and confident sense of themselves.

Some of this might be that the Lancashire identity is still a bit wounded from the 1974 reorganisation and the loss of Manchester and much of Merseyside, which has left the local authorities feeling a bit rootless.

“Compare them to Bedford, the best performing logo on the list, which has had a charter since 1166 and been a municipal borough since 1835, and consequently has a really strong sense of itself which it can proclaim quite boldly. York, which comes in second, is in a similar situation.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (#13), South Ribble Borough Council (#14) and Hyndburn Council (#15)

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (#13), South Ribble Borough Council (#14) and Hyndburn Council (#15)

“Of course, I wouldn’t take these rankings too literally – had I known 60,000 people would end up reading them, I might have put a bit more care into getting them in the right order rather than going for gags.

“I think it does try to get across an important point, though – which is that this is a bit of design we see very frequently from very early in life. Everyone grows up knowing the symbol on their wheelie bins or the libraries.

“But even though having a culture of design in local councils can be really helpful for making services work well, it’s something people don’t think about.

“The logos don’t matter really, they’re just the tip of the iceberg – but having the capacity to do good design can really affect people’s quality of life in a council area,” Robin added.

The LDRS asked all of Lancashire’s local authorities for their reaction to where they were placed in Robin’s rundown – here is his candid assessment and, where they responded, what the councils had to say about how their branding has been branded.

No. 384 (#15 in Lancs) – Hyndburn Borough Council

Robin: “I like the honesty of a sign that tells the truth about the emotions associated with a place and, on that measure, Hyndburn does not pass the test. I can imagine circumstances in which waking up in Accrington might be a blessed relief, but only if you’d previously had a bag put over your head and been knocked out with a cosh. I would also advise them on the necessity of punctuation. Hyndburn might be “the place to be an excellent council” but it’s suspiciously circumspect about the council they’ve already got. Also, mega-complicated crest plus modern fonts = no.

Council leader Miles Parkinson: “I did enjoy reading this article and applaud the extensive time and dedication it must have taken to compile. I would like to congratulate our Lancashire neighbours on their positions – it seems for us in Hyndburn, the only way is up! Commiserations to our ‘almost’ neighbours in Bury, they definitely did not deserve second-to-last place and overall, the North has certainly got a raw deal on this list.

“Whilst I would agree our logo is not the best in the land, I do disagree with the low position. We merge the old with the new, with a crest to represent our rich heritage. I would happily offer a tour of Hyndburn to the writer and show them first-hand why we are the place to be. Hyndburn includes many towns in addition to Accrington and hosts attractions such as the largest Tiffany glass collection in Europe and the highest number of green flag certified parks for any local authority in Lancashire.”

No. 360 (#14 in Lancs) – South Ribble Borough Council

Robin: “The new South Ribble logo was introduced in November last year and apparently has been embroiled in a “too modern” row, which tells you all you need to know about Northerners. It’s a nice attempt at reworking the crest and text cliché into something serviceable, but suffers from too many colours and the shoehorned Lancashire rose. However, it’s a damn sight better than the old one, so press ahead, I reckon.”

Speaking to the LDRS, Robin later added that a second glance was making him look upon the borough’s revamped imagery – which was designed in-house by the council and put out to public consultation in 2020 – “a bit more fondly”

He added: “Its main problem is that it’s stuck halfway between old fashioned and modern – and needs to commit either way to make sense as a visual identity.”

Council leader Paul Foster: “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion but we’re really happy with our new logo. At least we’re all agreed it’s a major improvement on our old one. The previous logo had been in use for a long time and wasn’t fit for purpose, as our logo is now used across all sorts of different platforms – particularly with the growth of digital technology.

“We asked our residents what they wanted to see in a new design and, as well as creating something fresh for the future, it was also important to us to recognise our past and our rich heritage. We’ve kept elements from the old borough coat of arms and given them a modern twist, while we’ve included the Lancashire rose as an unmistakable symbol of the county we’re proudly at the heart of.

“The new brand has completely transformed how the council is presented and this matches with our ambitious programme to deliver major improvements for the people of South Ribble – including a £25 million revamp of Leyland town centre, the creation of affordable housing for local people, and major events such as next summer’s Music in the Park.

“We’re also glad it’s got people talking and we’re delighted to have had some fantastic feedback – even if there is no accounting for some people’s tastes!”

No. 352 (#13 in Lancs) – Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Robin: “This is an awkward council name to begin with, so why draw attention to it with that handwritten “with”? Blue and green, again, but at least in dark enough shades they don’t clash too horribly. Meh.”

No. 347 (#12 in Lancs) – Chorley Council

Robin: “I once applied to work for Chorley council and they never returned my application email, so marks off for that. I joke, but this is still very unremarkable but for the molten lava bubble in the middle.”

Council leader Alistair Bradley: “It was fun to see how all the councils fared, but it’s not a popularity contest – the logo is there to ensure our residents can see what the council is doing for them in their community and reflects our solid core values.

“A brand is much more than the logo on its own – it is how you are perceived and valued in your community and what residents tell us is that the council is a community leader and is very proactive in making Chorley a great place to live, work and visit.

“It was interesting to hear Robin admit he is a bit biased given that he applied for a job with Chorley Council and didn’t get it. It just shows that everyone wants to be part of what we do here in the borough and perhaps he can apply again with some great new ideas for us in the future.”

No. 316 (#11 in Lancs) – West Lancashire Borough Council

Robin: “Get in the landfill with the rest.”

Council spokesperson: “We are very proud of our council crest, which appears on our publications, signs, and vehicles and features references to the borough’s heritage. The motto is ‘Salus Populi Suprema Lex’ which translates as ‘the health of the people is the highest law’, demonstrating that we are here to serve the people of West Lancashire and they are our top priority.”

No. 308 (#10 in Lancs) – Burnley Council

Robin: “Solid work adapting the crest here, which works well as a low-detail vector. Shame about the random teal top level domain info rammed on the end, which I’d excuse as not really part of the logo but I can’t find a version without it.”

No. 290 (#9 in Lancs) – Rossendale Borough Council

Robin: “Another designer trying to avoid my opprobrium by giving me absolutely nothing to work with.”

No. 244 (#8 in Lancs) – Lancaster City Council

Robin: “Friends of mine will know I have a visceral and slightly irrational hatred of Lancaster, formed by having to make the excruciating train journey up there to visit an ex-girlfriend several times. It has the hills of Sheffield, the grimy Victorian architecture of Leeds, and the rain of Manchester. I’m reliably informed that they used to have two Wetherspoons until one of them flooded. But I can’t bring myself to hate this logo. It’s just bland, like chewing on a piece of paper. It won’t nourish you, but it won’t poison you to death either.”

Council spokesperson: “Mr Wilde is to be commended for his enjoyable commentary on council logos, although the results could have been more in our favour. While obviously disappointed at not ranking higher, our logo has served us well for many years and is a reminder to all that the Lancaster district enjoys a vibrant mix of city, coast and countryside.”

No. 240 (#7 in Lancs) – Pendle Council

Robin: Pendle is notorious for having been a hotbed of BNP (British National Party) activity back in the day – and I believe was the last place to elect a BNP councillor. Anyway, that isn’t reflected in its logo, which is a chunky and almost cartoony arrangement let down by the squished text of the council name and the slightly odd border/line arrangement around the Illustration.”

No. 238 (#6 in Lancs) – Ribble Valley Borough Council

Robin: “Inoffensive on almost every level, and unremarkable as a result.”

No. 182 (#5 in Lancs) – Lancashire County Council

Robin: “I’m not sure what’s going on with the wordmark here. It looks like it was made of gelatine and then sucked on for half an hour. It’s not an awful look, but jars badly with the very angular rose and supporting text.”

Council spokesperson: “We’re really proud of our logo. It says exactly who we are and is instantly recognisable because of our county red rose – just what a good logo should be.

This ranking is a bit of fun and has given us something to smile about. Of course we disagree with our ranking – by proudly showing off the historic red rose of Lancashire, we’re pretty sure our logo is the best in the country.”

No. 175 (#4 in Lancs) – Blackpool Council

Robin: “This is actually quite nice and a good combination of colours with a hint of contrast. The tower of people is a nice bit of illustration which the council seems frustratingly reticent to use, losing it some points on no fault of the designer’s. The stripes are a bit 2003 as well, hence why this strong concept doesn’t rank higher.”

The LDRS understands that the ‘tower of people’ element of the Blackpool Council logo was officially discontinued several years ago, but may still appear on some older council-branded material in the town.

No. 131 (#3 in Lancs) – Wyre Council

Robin: “I maintain it would be very funny if this corner of North Lancashire just ripped off the Wired Magazine logo (let’s be honest nobody has read it in years anyway) but this isn’t a bad stab at a wordmark with some nice satisfying kerning between the letters. It’s also pleasing to see they don’t feel the lack of confidence that drives so many councils towards ALL CAPS.”

No. 74 (#2 in Lancs) – Fylde Council

Robin: “The negative space windmill is a clever use of the concept but does rule this out from use against non-white backgrounds where the negative space won’t develop.”

Council Performance and Improvement Manager Alex Scrivens: “I’m surprised and delighted to see how highly the logo placed, as it’s a design we made in-house. It was a joint effort between myself and Ross McKelvie, now our ICT manager, that we came up with about seven years ago.

The previous design, which we’d been using for years, was fine but could become difficult to read when resized. The brief for the redesign was firstly to retain the windmill, and secondly to stay with green as the council colour.

“We fished around for pitches from graphic designers in the area, but nothing really seemed to fit the bill, until Ross had the idea of stripping the old logo down into its essential lines and blocks, making a clear, more minimalist and modern design.”

No. 69 (#1 in Lancs) – Preston City Council

Robin: “Probably the most overtly religious logo in the mix here, impressive considering there’s at least two places named after saints. One suspects the city’s name might be a modernisation of Priest Town, and in common with much of the North West, the city does have a fairly impressive Catholic cathedral. In any case, it’s nicely drawn with a good colour contrast.”

Council chief executive Adrian Phillips: “We’re pleased that the Preston City Council logo has been rated so highly on this list and appreciate the writer’s comments. He is correct that the name Preston is derived from Old English, meaning ‘Priest’s settlement’ or ‘Priest’s Town’. Preston is rightly proud of its ancient heritage and especially its historic Guild, which is dated back to 1179 when the then town received its first Royal Charter.

“The ‘Preston lamb’, which is significant in the logo, comes from the civic coat of arms and is very important to the city, reflecting its ancient and proud history and heritage. The current design has been in use since 2014 and was created by Prestonian and leading designer, Ben Casey, at no cost to the council.”


Robin’s full logo list can be seen here.



William Regal: Blackpool wrestling favourite in shock WWE exit as Becky Lynch and Edge pay tribute

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Blackpool wrestling favourite William Regal has surprisingly left WWE.


Since retiring from the ring in 2013, the real life Darren Matthews, 53, has been credited with help bring through some of the US sports entertainment giant’s top up-and-coming superstars as part of their NXT show.

Regal had been an on-screen ‘General Manager’ for the brand for seven years, only stopping the role recently, while behind the scenes he was the WWE’s Director of Talent Development and Head of Global Recruiting.

His exit on Wednesday was met with shock in the wrestling community, given the success of his work in turning rough diamonds into some of the top stars in the industry.

Irish star Becky Lynch, a current women’s champion on the flagship Raw programme, tweeted: “Eternally grateful that Regal gave me a chance when I was nothing. I owe so much to him.”

Edge, another top superstar, said: “@RealKingRegal is a man I hold the utmost respect for. A dear friend who always, without fail, makes me smile, and what better gift? He also made me a better, tougher performer and pulled me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to new heights. He’s a real man(s) man.”

While born in Staffordshire, Regal is considered an honorary Blackpudlian.

He made his wrestling debut at Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Horseshoe Show bar aged 15 before going on to achieve worldwide fame across the pond, being announced as hailing from the town.

William Regal's departure from WWE has been met with shock in the wrestling world

William Regal’s departure from WWE has been met with shock in the wrestling world

The ring technician brought the NXT show to Blackpool on more than one occasion and tweeted last month: “6 years ago today @WWENXT did a show at @WGBpl Winter Gardens, Blackpool. It was the greatest night of my 38 year career. The setting, atmosphere, incredible competitors and the indescribably fantastic fans were superb. Thank you all.”

In a 2020 interview with Metro on his love for Blackpool, he said: “‘Everything that is good in my life, has come from this town. And that means the start of my wrestling career at the Pleasure Beach, to meeting my wife when I was 17 – who I’m still with. My two eldest sons were born at Victoria Hospital here.

‘All the entertainers that I knew who lived or worked here, I used to study them. When I wasn’t wrestling, I was always at the circus or at a show watching all these people – “how do they make their stuff work for their audience?” That used to fascinate me as a child.”

Four-time European Champion, two-time Intercontinental champion and four-time World Tag Team champion Regal was one of several people cut from the NXT part of the WWE operation.

Regal working out with boxer-turned-wrestler RP Davies on a visit to Blackpool

Regal working out with boxer-turned-wrestler RP Davies on a visit to Blackpool

A statement read: “With the continued evolution of NXT 2.0, we’ve decided to part ways with some of the staff based in our Performance Centre. We thank them for their many contributions throughout the years and wish them the best.”



Blackpool complete signing of Rochdale forward Jake Beesley

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Blackpool FC have completed the signing of forward Jake Beesley from Rochdale for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year-old has agreed a three-and-a-half year contract at Bloomfield Road, with the club also holding the option to extend it by a further year.

Beesley has scored 12 goals in 26 games this season, including a brace in Dale’s last two matches which helped him to win December’s Sky Bet League Two player of the month award.

Jake Beesley signs his Blackpool contract which runs until the summer of 2025

Jake Beesley signs his Blackpool contract which runs until the summer of 2025

Beesley told the club’s official website: “I’m delighted to be here. It’s a great fit for myself and I can’t wait to get started.

“This season has been a good goalscoring one for me and I feel like I’m ready to make the step up and help the team.

“Players that have worked under the gaffer have improved and gone on to do really well. When you’re making a decision like this, it’s something you take into account.”

Head coach Neil Critchley said: “We’re always identifying players who will improve us, and Jake is somebody that we have tracked for a while.

“He has impressed with his performances for Rochdale over the last two seasons and fits the mould of the players we want here. He’s hungry, ambitious and wants to improve.

“He’s a player who likes to press from the front and he suits the way we play.

“He adds to the attacking options we have at the club, and we’re really looking forward to working with him and helping him to develop his game further.”

Beesley had been strongly linked with Blackpool in recent days and expectations of a deal grew when he was left out of the squad ahead of Dale’s postponed match at Colchester United on Saturday, when manager Robbie Stockdale revealed “good bids” had been accepted for players.

Beesley scored seven goals in 30 games when Dale were in League One last season, having signed in the summer of 2020.

He had previously been with National League club Solihull Moors after two-and-a-half years with Salford City.

His father Paul Beesley spent a season (1999-2000) as a defender with Blackpool.


Lancashire’s vast new coastal holiday park with 495 lodges, a golf course and four-storey hotel

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Plans have finally been approved by Fylde Council


A golf, hotel, leisure and holiday development is coming to Larbreck
A golf, hotel, leisure and holiday development is coming to Larbreck

A £35m development with a hotel, golf course and hundreds of holiday lodges is coming to Fylde.

The major development will also feature a leisure centre with a swimming pool built off Garstang Road in Larbreck, around two miles from Poulton-le-Fylde.

Named Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village, the development is designed to become a “major tourist destination” and is expected to create 85 full-time equivalent jobs and add up to £2.5m each year to the local economy.

After years of planning and discussions, the scheme from north Lancashire-based Pure Leisure Group has finally been approved by Fylde Council.

The plan includes up to 495 holiday lodges, a four-storey hotel with more than 100 bedrooms, a leisure facility, greenkeepers building and store, and a 9-hole executive golf course with practice facilities.

According to the application, “the proposed development aims to provide high quality facilities and holiday lodges whilst ensuring the scheme fits suitably within its context”.

A golf, hotel, leisure and holiday development is coming to Larbreck
A golf, hotel, leisure and holiday development is coming to Larbreck

The Pure Leisure Group (PLG) is owned by leisure entrepreneur John Morphet and already operates 12 holiday lodge and caravan parks across the UK. Aimed towards the higher end luxury market, the parks are mainly focussed around leisure facilities, however some, such as Tydd St Giles Golf and Country Club in the Cambridgeshire Fens, focus around golf courses.

In addition to its UK operations PLG also owns and operates the world class golf and beach resort ‘Royal Westmoreland’ in St James, Barbados. These developments have been used as a design guide for the proposals of Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village.

A detached two storey leisure facility will be included within the proposals and include fitness, swimming and leisure facilities with associated changing rooms and viewing platforms, as well as a restaurant/café, bar area and small convenience store.

The leisure facility will also contain an area with internal golfing facilities including simulator bays, putting greens and a pro-golf shop as well as a clubhouse with externally accessible changing rooms and an assigned café/clubhouse area targeting mostly the golfers and students using the other proposed facilities.

The hotel block will be located directly adjacent to the leisure facility and will also offer a restaurant/dining area, kitchen and bar. It is intended that the close proximity of both the hotel

and leisure facility will provide easy access for the guests to share the leisure and other facilities that are provided

The proposals include a main car parking area located at the site entrance and a smaller car park towards the front of the hotel providing a total no. 260 car parking spaces with associated disabled and staff spaces.

An additional 32 car parking spaces have also been provided for the greenkeepers building and store directly in front of both buildings and separated from the main car park area. More informal car parking would also be provided at each lodge.

The proposed leisure centre and hotel at Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village
The proposed leisure centre and hotel at Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village

Westenborg Golf Design was commissioned to advise on the layout of the golf facility having previously worked on projects including Dun Laoghaire, Dooks, Blainroe and Cork in Ireland and Rockliffe Hall, Wychwood Park, Southport & Ainsdale and Moor Park in England.

The company has also been involved in new and renovation projects in Spain, Portugal, Hong Kong, China and Brazil.

It suggested creating an “executive” sized nine hole golf course as the best option based on the space available, to allow people to play in less time, and to be accessible to juniors and beginners. It also considered the other nearby facilities before deciding its recommendation.

An executive golf course is a mixture of full-length golf holes but with a higher proportion of par 3 holes than a full-sized course.

Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village will be built on land off Garstang Road
Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village will be built on land off Garstang Road

Near the first hole, around 100-metres from the hotel and leisure complex, will be a large putting green and bunker/chipping green which is described as a “Himalayan” feature and based on a similar facility at St Andrew’s in Scotland.

The application concluded: “Development of the site for the new holiday lodges, hotel and leisure facility would contribute to achieving the following aims:

“ • Achieves an efficient layout resulting in an economical use of land to satisfy an identified need.

“ • Will result in a well-planned development which will be easily absorbed into its immediate context.

“ • Will enhance tourism and leisure facilities to the locality.

“ • Has been designed to function well and has considered the opportunities available for maintaining the character and quality of the area as well as addressing any constraints.”



Chance to look behind the scenes at Blackpool’s fabulous Grand Theatre

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Fancy a peek behind the theatre curtain at Blackpool’s beautiful Grand Theatre?

Three dates have been confirmed for theatre heritage tours next year which will give people a golden opportunity to see areas of the theatre not normally open to the public.

Stand on the Grand’s famous raked stage and observe the cantilevered tiers or circles, boxes and pit – and the complete visibility of every seat in this atmospheric house.

Take a peek behind the scenes at Blackpool's Grand Theatre

Take a peek behind the scenes at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre

The sessions will take place on Thursday February 17,Thursday April 7 and Monday June 6.

On those days visitors will also be able to delve into the history of one of Blackpool’s iconic landmarks with a selection of archive material on display.

See the secrets of the great stage, take in Blackpool’s hidden gem, learn about flamboyant architect Frank Matcham and explore the warren of staircases that lead to the stars, dressing rooms and beyond.

A Grand Theatre spokesman said: “Our tours are always popular.

“We are offering an option of either a shorter thirty-minute tour or our more detailed seventy- five-minute tour led by one of our theatre tour guides.”

Tickets cost £7.50 or £12.50 from the Box Office on (01253) 290190 or visit www.BlackpoolGrand.co.uk


From The Batman to Buzz Lightyear – here are some of the big movies coming to Blackpool cinemas in 2022

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The last of the big hitters of 2021 – The Matrix: Resurrections – was quite frankly disastrous, but there are some cracking-looking films bound for the big screen in the not-too-distant future.


So let’s have a look what’s coming to cinemas in Blackpool in the coming months …


Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past.

Robert Pattinson as The Batman

Robert Pattinson as The Batman

Neve Campbell (Sidney Prescott) Courteney Cox (Gale Weathers) and David Arquette (Dewey Riley) return to their iconic roles in Scream alongside Melissa Barrera, Kyle Gallner, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar.

Released on January 14


Written and directed by Academy Award nominee Branagh, Belfast is a poignant story of love, laughter and loss in one boy’s childhood, amid the music and social tumult of the late 1960s. The cast stars Golden Globe nominee Caitriona Balfe, Academy Award winner Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciaran Hinds, and introduces 10 year old Jude Hill.
Buzz is back in Lightyear

Buzz is back in Lightyear

Dornan and Balfe play a passionate working-class couple caught up in the mayhem, with Dench and Hinds as sharp-witted grandparents. The film is produced by Branagh, Laura Berwick, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas.

Released on January 21

Death On The Nile

Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot’s (Kenneth Branagh) Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple’s idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short. Set against an epic landscape of sweeping desert vistas and the majestic Giza pyramids, this tale of unbridled passion and incapacitating jealousy features a cosmopolitan group of impeccably dressed travellers, and enough wicked twists and turns to leave audiences guessing until the final, shocking denouement.

Released on February 11

The Batman

From Warner Bros. Pictures comes Matt Reeves’ The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson in the dual role of Gotham City’s vigilante detective and his alter ego, reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne. Zoë Kravitz co-stars as Catwoman, Colin Farrell plays the Penguin, Andy Serkis is Alfred Pennyworth, Jeffrey Wright is Jim Gordon, and Paul Dano is the Riddler.

The Batman is an edgy, action-packed thriller that depicts Batman in his early years, struggling to balance rage with righteousness as he investigates a disturbing mystery that has terrorized Gotham. Pattinson delivers a raw, intense portrayal of Batman as a disillusioned, desperate vigilante awakened by the realization that the anger consuming him makes him no better than the ruthless serial killer he’s hunting.

Released on March 4

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Professor Albus Dumbledore knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches, and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?

Starring Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Jessica Williams, Alison Sudol, Eddie Redmayne, Callum Turner, Mads Mikkelsen

Released on April 8


To infinity … and beyond! The sci-fi action-adventure presents the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear – the hero who inspired the toy – introducing the legendary Space Ranger who would win generations of fans. Chris Evans lends his voice to Buzz. Annie Award-winning director and veteran Pixar animator Angus MacLane helms Lightyear and Galyn Susman produces.

Released on June 17



Blackpool man charged with murder of 76-year-old Malcolm Frary as cause of death confirmed

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool man has been charged with the murder of Malcolm Frary who was found dead at his home on New Year’s Day.

The body of Malcolm Frary, 76, was found at his home in Eccleston Road after emergency services attended at around 4.35pm on Saturday (January 1).

A post-mortem examination later found Mr Frary died from strangulation, police said.

Two men, aged 51 and 43, both from Blackpool, were arrested on suspicion of murder following his death.

Detectives today (January 5) confirmed Ian Dunne, of Withnell Road, Blackpool, was charged with murder following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service.

The 43-year-old is due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (January 6).

The 51-year-old man was released under investigation pending further enquiries, officers added.

The body of Malcolm Frary, 76, was found at his home in Eccleston Road at around 4.35pm on Saturday (January 1)

The body of Malcolm Frary, 76, was found at his home in Eccleston Road at around 4.35pm on Saturday (January 1)

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “In respect of the earlier press appeals concerning a mobile phone and jacket, detectives no longer need the public’s help to locate these items.

“We are also continuing to appeal for witnesses and are keen to speak to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area of Eccleston Road and Harris Street, as well as the Horncliffe Road and Woodstock Gardens areas of South Shore, on New Year’s Eve (Friday, December 31) and New Year’s Day (Saturday, January 1).”

Anyone with information can contact police by calling 101, quoting log number 1276 of January 1.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

Police also encouraged anyone with dashcam footage to use the Major Incident Public Portal via https://mipp.police.uk/operation/0401020121W10-PO1.


Staff sickness at Blackpool Victoria Hospital has doubled as Omicron levels soar

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Victoria Hospital says a doubling of staff sickness levels, worryingly long waits in the emergency department and problems with safely discharging patients were key reasons for declaring an emergency incident there this week.


Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

And Dr Jim Gardner, Medical Director at the hospital trust, says the fact that community Omicron infection numbers in Blackpool and the Fylde coast have risen rapidly in the space of two weeks has also been a factor.

He said a week before Christmas the number in Blackpool was 800 per 100,000 people, but the latest figure had risen to 2,015 per 100,000.

The latest figure for Fylde was 1,853 and for Wyre it was 1,174.

Staff sickness levels within the hospital were at 12 per cent when the normal rate was five per cent, he revealed.

Dr Gardner said: “The numbers around Covid are very interesting because we have seen this extraordinary rise of infection levels with the Omicron variant.

“These numbers are rising very rapidly and are reflecting the community numbers, doubling essentially in a week.”

He said there were 116 in-patients who were Covid positive within 14 days of their first positive test, including 91 in general beds and 21 at Clifton.

In the last two weeks there have been five Covid-related deaths within the hospital, taking the total up to 908 since the pandemic began.

However, he insisted that the hospital was still open for business and said people with urgent health care needs should still visit the Vic’s accident and emergency department, adding: “That is what we’re there for.”



Neil Critchley’s frustration following Blackpool’s FA Cup loss at Hartlepool United

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley did not enjoy being left out of the FA Cup draw following his side’s 2-1 defeat at Hartlepool United on Saturday.


Keshi Anderson had given the Seasiders the lead inside the opening 10 minutes, only for the home team to stage a comeback in a quarter-hour spell after the break, having been dominated for the first half.

Critchley had been eager for Blackpool to be involved in the fourth round and that showed in his team selection, making one change from the win over Hull City.

However, following a solid first-half showing which gave the hosts little or nothing to show for their efforts, they let their advantage slip.

Neil Critchley looks on as his Blackpool side lose at Hartlepool United

Neil Critchley looks on as his Blackpool side lose at Hartlepool United

Left-back David Ferguson and substitute Joe Grey turned the game around for the League Two side.

Critchley said: “I’m frustrated we didn’t take our chances, disappointed and angry with the way we started the second half.

“Then, after the game, you feel really deflated.

“If you look at the team we selected, we wanted to come here and get through to the next round, and have a good cup run.

“When the FA Cup draw comes round, and we’re not in it, then it won’t be a nice feeling.”

Blackpool missed a host of clear-cut opportunities during the game, Shayne Lavery twice fluffing his lines from six yards out and CJ Hamilton once.

Critchley felt that his players’ missed opportunities gave the hosts extra belief and motivation that they could ultimately get something from the game.

Despite his disappointment, he wished them well for the fourth round and beyond.

Critchley said: “Missing the chances gives the opposition a lift, they’re thinking ‘This should be over but we’re still in it.’

“Whilst it’s 1-0 they’re always in with a chance. We had some real gilt-edged opportunities to go 2-0 up and the game would have been different.

“The start of the second half was unacceptable for us. I wouldn’t want to use the word ‘complacency’ but the players did give me that feeling.

“After the second goal we did get going again, but it was too little too late, and Hartlepool have already shown this season that they can beat teams higher up in the league pyramid.

“They have a good home record and they’re hard to beat on their home pitch.

“Fair play to them, good luck. I hope they get a really good draw in the next round now, this is their day.”


Blackpool defender Jack Moore signs first professional contract

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Right-back Jack Moore has signed his first professional contract with Blackpool FC.


The teenager, who featured for the first-team in pre-season, has agreed an initial 18-month deal, with the option for a further year.

Moore has made 16 appearances for the youth team this season, scoring three goals.

Jack Moore received a first-team squad number last week

Jack Moore received a first-team squad number last week

He was allocated a senior squad number (41) a week ago as the Seasiders battled injuries and Covid to raise a side for the Championship game against Middlesbrough.

Moore said: “I’m delighted to have this opportunity. You work so hard from being a young kid to get to this point. I’m really happy to sign my first professional contract.

“I’ve shown this year what I’m capable of and have continued to give 100 per cent for the youth team. Hopefully one day I can now break into the first-team and show that to the fans and coaching staff.”

Academy director Ciaran Donnelly added: “Jack has had an outstanding 18 months since he became a scholar at the club.

“He was the Coaches’ Player of the Season last year and has pushed on again in his second year, performing at a high standard on a consistent basis.

“His two appearances in the FA Youth Cup this season have both been excellent and showed a maturity to his play that demonstrates to us that he is ready for the next challenge.

“This professional contract is well deserved and we hope this can be the first of many at the club.

“The next couple of years will be a tough challenge as he makes the transition into senior football, but with the ability and football intelligence that he possesses we are confident that he can do really well.”



This is what drivers need to know about changes to the A585 roadworks north of Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Work has resumed on the A585 traffic improvement project north of Blackpool.


From Monday, January 10 until Sunday, January 23, there will be some changes to the traffic lights and road system between Skippool and Windey Harbour and National Highways is warning drivers to prepare.

Two-way temporary traffic lights and a lane closure to allow services diversions will be in place at Lodge Lane as workers return after the Christmas break.

Mains Lane will have narrow lanes for the same reason, while Skippool Bridge will have narrow lanes to allow construction work to continue.

Work has started again on the A585

Work has started again on the A585

At Skippool Roundabout, there will be narrow lanes, with one lane closed on Amounderness Way eastbound.

One lane will also closed on the approach to the roundabout northbound on Breck Road from Poulton-le-Fylde.

However, both Lanes open on the approach to the roundabout on the westbound of Mains Lane.

Drivers are warned to keep an eye out for construction traffic crossing Garstang Road East.

Garstang New Road (east-bound) and Windy Harbour junction, will see no changes to the road layout for the two week period as the £150m project continues to try to reduce traffic congestion.