Blackpool thief ransacked homes then fled on electric scooter with £25k in jewels and cash

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Stephen Brady was living in Blackpool after being released from prison and fell back into heavy drug use after being asked to move

 

Stephen Brady was jailed for four and a half years
Stephen Brady was jailed for four and a half years

A gem thief grandad raided homes of innocent victims before fleeing on an electric scooter with £25,000 worth of jewellery and cash.

Stephen Brady snatched high value items to fund his £200-a-day drug addiction.

The 54-year-old was living in Blackpool after being released from prison and had made efforts to turn his life around, a court heard.

However his ‘progress was undone’ when he was asked to move and fell back into heavy drug use.

The career criminal, who has 33 previous convictions for burglary offences and a rap sheet dates back to the 1980s, used an electronic scooter to flee from the scene of his crimes.

Brady had racked up a hefty drug habit – which he funded by targeting the homes of innocent victims.

In one cruel raid in Prestwich, the crook made off with more than £12,000 in valuables, the M.E.N reports.

Prosecutor Brian Berlyne said on July 2 last year, a man returned to his house at around 2.50pm to discover it had been broken into.

He told the court: “Entry was gained by smashing a rear window.

“Around £330 worth of jewellery was stolen.

“Brady was later identified by a police officer as a result of CCTV footage, despite wearing a face mask and gloves.”

In a victim statement, the homeowner said his wife, who is on her own at home during the day, has become ‘very nervous’ since the burglary took place.

Mr Berlyne told the court the victim was worried that Brady would come back and steal their Christmas presents before he was eventually caught.

The second burglary took place on Northbrook Avenue on July 16 when the victim returned to his house to find a rear window had been smashed.

“Around £6,800 worth of jewellery and clothes were stolen,” Mr Berlyne told the court.

“Blood stains were left in the house and the DNA matched the defendant. CCTV footage showed him arriving on an electric scooter.”

In a statement, the victim, who had lived in the house for 51 years, said he no longer felt safe there and was considering moving.

On August 31, one victim had left his home on Edenfield Road to go out with his wife and young children.

The court heard that a neighbour raised the alarm after spotting Brady on the front driveway, appearing to be in a ‘hurry.’

When the homeowner arrived home, he noticed that his back door was open and phoned the police.

“CCTV footage shows the defendant climbing on to the flat roof at the side of the house,” Mr Berlyne told the court.

“Whilst on that roof he used a brick to smash a bedroom window.

“Jewellery and cash worth £6,420 was stolen.”

In a victim impact statement, the man said the items which had been stolen had sentimental value, and that his daughter felt too scared to live in the house afterwards.

The final burglary took place on September 24 on Sheepfoot Lane in Prestwich, with jewellery estimated to be worth £12,000 stolen from the property.

A glass panel in the back door to the house had been smashed by Brady to gain access, the court heard.

The female victim said in an impact statement that the jewellery stolen included irreplaceable heirlooms she intended to give to her children.

“My 10-year-old son now sleeps in bed with me due to being so scared the burglar will come back,” she said.

“He is scared when he hears noises.

“All of the possessions were very sentimental. Some of them have memories I won’t be able to get back.”

Brady was jailed at Minshull Street Crown Court
Brady was jailed at Minshull Street Crown Court

Defending, Victoria Lewis said her client had made efforts to turn his life around after he was last released from prison.

“He was released from prison in July 2020 and was able to start building a more positive and happy life,” Ms Lewis told the court.

“This was made possible by stable accommodation in Blackpool. He was able to work and come off drugs completely. He made contact with his family again.

“That progress was then undone when he was asked to move and given no other options.

“He fell back into heavy drug use which was costing him between £100 to £200 a day.

“His mental health deteriorated significantly after his last prison sentence. He has also been diagnosed with emphysema and he struggles with that.”

Brady, of Moss Bank, Manchester was jailed for four and a half years after admitting four counts of burglary of a dwelling.

Sentencing, Judge Andrea Neild said: “You are no stranger to these courts.

“This was no spur of the moment venture. You had arrived at these houses on an electric scooter which allowed you to be easily hidden and escape quickly.

“You took property which had significant financial value and in one case personal value.”

 

 

 

 

Blackpool defender Jordan Thorniley linked to permanent Oxford switch in Cameron Brannagan deal

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool could offer Jordan Thorniley to Oxford United on a permanent basis in their bid to get a deal for Cameron Brannagan over the line, according to reports.

The Seasiders continue to be strongly linked to central midfielder Brannagan, a former Fleetwood Town loanee.

Oxford have confirmed that a bid for the 25-year-old, reported to be from the Seasiders, has been rejected.

Jordan Thorniley has made 23 appearances for Oxford on loan from Blackpool

Jordan Thorniley has made 23 appearances for Oxford on loan from Blackpool

It is now being suggested that centre-back Thorniley could be offered to the League One club in a player-plus-cash deal.

Thorniley is on a season-long loan at Oxford and has made 23 appearances since his move at the start of August. The 25-year-old has featured in 19 of this season’s 25 League One games.

Cheshire-born Thorniley, signed from Sheffield Wednesday two years ago, will be out of contract at Blackpool this summer, though the club have the option to extend his deal by a further 12 months.

Oxford boss Karl Robinson has criticised Brannagan’s agent for bypassing him in an attempt to force a move through.

The player stared Saturday’s league game at Lincoln City but was forced off injured.

 

£10m mental health project has ‘transformed’ lives in Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A multi million pound project to boost the mental wellbeing of Blackpool children has improved outcomes for thousands of youngsters, according to a new report.

 

The HeadStart programme is due to come to an end in July this year after being awarded £10m of National Lottery funding in 2016.

Operating under the banner of the Resilience Revolution, it has forged partnerships with all 44 schools in the town, and worked with another Lottery funded scheme BetterStart which is aimed at pre-school children.

Blackpool was one of six areas nationally chosen to take part in the programme to develop a community approach to supporting mental health among young people.

The funding announcement in 2016

The funding announcement in 2016

Since its inception, HeadStart has provided nearly 77,000 opportunities for youngsters aged between 10 and 16 to take part in resilience building activities.

These have ranged from providing therapy dogs in schools, using horse riding to improve self esteem and walk and talk therapy to provide an alternative form of counselling to children at risk of self-harm.

The scheme has also seen the launch of the Blackpool Beating Bullying campaign which has gained national recognition.

A report being presented to a special meeting of Blackpool Council’s children and young people’s scrutiny committee on Wednesday (January 12), says it was ” found that young people who are engaged in activities fare better than expected.”

This includes those “facing complex disadvantages” who have benefited from targeted intervention.

Outcomes have included better support for children who self-harm, and fewer pupils being excluded from school.

The report says since HeadStart was launched, 99.5 per cent of young people receiving a targeted Resilience Revolution (RR) intervention have not been permanently excluded from school.

In addition 82 per cent of young people have not returned to A&E with self-harm injuries or risks since receiving specialist support from the resilience coaches.

The report adds: “Our report shows a wealth of evidence that all aspects of life – family, friends, school, and career – have been transformed with enhanced relationships, renewed aspirations, and increased learning opportunities.”

It is now hoped to continue the work started by Headstart once the funding ends.

The report says: “Our next challenge, in the final phase of the HeadStart programme, is to build a legacy that will enable the successful areas of the RR to continue once the funding has ceased.”

 

 

Four Blackpool teenagers arrested after thieves target homes, cars and sheds in St Annes and Lytham

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Four teenagers from Blackpool were arrested after homes, cars, garages and sheds were reportedly targeted by thieves on the Flyde coast.

999 was called after a group of people allegedly attempted to break into a property in Woodlands Road, Ansdell at around 10.40pm on Wednesday (January 5).

Police said they then received further reports of several people attempting to break into sheds, garages and houses in the same area.

Several officers searched the area and a boy was arrested after a moped and iPhone, both believed to be stolen, were recovered.

Four teenagers from Blackpool were arrested after a crime spree on the Flyde coast

Four teenagers from Blackpool were arrested after a crime spree on the Flyde coast

Bolt croppers were also found inside a bag, police said.

Two boys were also arrested later in the evening following an attempted break in on Hall Park Avenue, with a fourth boy later apprehended in Blackpool.

Chief Supt Karen Edwards, West divisional commander, said: “This was a fantastic policing effort and I believe prevented further offences taking place.

“Such offending and the nature of such crimes shows a blatant disregard for the impact on the victims.

“I am grateful to the members of the public who came forward with information, reporting the incidents and allowing us to make a number of significant arrests.”

Two 16-year-old boys and two 15-year-old boys, all from Blackpool, were arrested on suspicion of burglary, theft and theft of a motor vehicle.

They remained in custody for questioning on Thursday evening (January 6).

Officers said they were investigating a number of offences linked to the group, including:

– Damage to a vehicle in Woodlands Road, Ansdell.

– Theft from a vehicle in Warton Street, Lytham.

– Burglary in Victoria Road, St Annes.

– Theft from a garage in Salcombe Road, St Annes.

– A shed break-in in St Albans Road, St Annes.

“We know how emotive these crimes are. The impact of burglary or theft isn’t just financial; it can also have a significant impact on your emotional well-being and sense of security,” Chief Supt Karen Edwards added.

“I would like to reassure residents all these reported crimes will be fully and thoroughly investigated.

“While we know of some reports, we would encourage people living in these areas to check their property, including cars, garages and sheds.

“If you suspect you have been the victim of a crime, please call 101 immediately.”

For more information about securing your property, click HERE.

 

Injuries to Keshi Anderson and James Husband a worry for Blackpool boss Neil Critchley

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley hopes the injuries to Keshi Anderson and James Husband are not “as serious as they look” after being fully assessed this week.

Critchley said: “It was a big blow. Keshi has scored our goal and has been a big player for us, and to see him limp off the pitch holding his hamstring is not nice.

“Hubby again felt his hamstring a little bit. We’re hoping that one is not as bad but we’ll assess them both.

Keshi Anderson receives treatment at Hartlepool but had to leave the field before half-time

Keshi Anderson receives treatment at Hartlepool but had to leave the field before half-time

“Those two players have been regulars in our team this season, so it isn’t ideal.

“They have been linking up well on the left side and have built a relationship.

“When they come off you do lose that bit of harmony, if you like, in the team and we certainly lost that at the start of the second half. It will give other players an opportunity to play.”

Husband’s early exit provided a chance for Luke Garbutt to return after injury for his first game in over two months.

Critchley was not using the injuries as an excuse for the 2-1 upset against League Two opposition.

He added: “It is not the reason we lost but it did disrupt us a little because you are bringing off two players who have been mainstays of our team this season.

“It then limits what you can do second half because we only had one stoppage left – you can only make three stoppages although you can make five subs.

“We could have used that stoppage straight after they went 2-1 up, but then you are thinking that if you make the stoppage too soon you wouldn’t have any left with a long time to play.

“So it was that balancing act – when do you flip the coin and take that calculated risk?”

Town brought on Demetri Mitchell and Jerry Yates on 78 minutes and Critchley added: “We had a right go near the end. We got lots of balls into the box but nothing quite fell for us. We still created opportunities but just didn’t take them.”

Husband and Anderson had both started three games in seven days over the festive season and Critchley conceded that could have been a factor in their injuries.

 

Community groups invited to apply for funding boost

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Vital support groups across Fylde are set to receive a key boost to funding as the community grants scheme relaunches for another round of bidding.

After allocating a total of just under £50,000 on 25 grant awards across four previous four bidding rounds, a further allocation of £20,000 has been approved by Fylde Council to be made available to voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise organisations under the Covid Response Fund grant scheme.

Added to the remaining £10,000 already banked with the council for voluntary services from previous rounds, the aim is for this latest funding package to empower charitable groups to better help those hardest hit by coronavirus.

Eligible groups will be able to bid for funds from a minimum of £300 up to a maximum of £5,000 for projects which help residents struggling with food and essentials and to access longer term support, such as benefits, debt, or employment advice; provide emotional and mental health support; help address social isolation; demonstrate how people would benefit from the funds.

Just Good Friends, based in St Annes, is among groups which have benefited from previous rounds

Just Good Friends, based in St Annes, is among groups which have benefited from previous rounds

New funding for Covid-19 support projects in Wyre and Fylde

Organisations which have benefited from previous bidding rounds of the grant scheme include Hope Church, Lytham, enabling it to provide targeted, practical support to help significantly improve the quality of a child’s environment through the provision of practical items; Park View 4U, Lytham, with the delivery of a programme called Exploring the Wild Edges – to engage with women who have struggled with their mental wellbeing, social isolation and losing confidence during the pandemic and Just Good Friends, based in St Annes, allowing it to offer guidance to members for use in IT equipment.

This latest stage of the scheme will be another partnership between Fylde Council, Wyre Council and the Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Council of Voluntary Services. and Fylde says an independent evaluation has identified the tremendous success of the previous phases of the scheme.

“The clear, simple bidding process was found to have been highly effective in swiftly getting aid to vulnerable persons across the region, as well as helping community support groups themselves survive and develop a strong network throughout an exceptionally challenging time,” said a spokesman.

Coun Tommy Threlfall, chairman of Fylde’s environment, health and housing committee, said: “The council is delighted to support a further award of grants to the voluntary community and faith sector, in order to support the most vulnerable within our communities.

“Having supported the hugely successful previous phases of this grant scheme, it gives me great pleasure to endorse the council’s further financial backing of the project.”

Closing date for applications in the latest round is 5pm on April 30 and details of how to apply are at www.cvsbwf.org/covoidgrants

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.

 

Blackpool midfielder Tayt Trusty follows Jack Moore to Radcliffe on loan and makes debut on same day

Home | Blackpool Gazette

New Blackpool professional Tayt Trusty has followed fellow teenager Jack Moore to non-league Radcliffe on loan.

Midfielder Trusty joined the Northern Premier League top-flight club on a 28-day loan on Tuesday and made his debut that evening in the 3-2 home defeat by Bamber Bridge.

Academy products Moore and Trusty both signed their first professional contracts with Blackpool last week and both were in the Radcliffe starting line-up against Brig.

Tayt Trusty has made his first loan move after agreeing his first professional contract at Blackpool

Tayt Trusty has made his first loan move after agreeing his first professional contract at Blackpool

Full-back Moore made his loan move last Friday and made his full debut the following day in the victory at Grantham Town.

 

Blackpool Transport announces price hikes of up to £2 for all bus and tram fares

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The cost of bus tickets in Blackpool is about to go up, as Blackpool Transport has announced across-the-board price hikes for all customers due to the financial impact of Covid-19.

From January 16, people travelling on Blackpool Transport buses can expect to pay between 30p and £2 extra for their ticket, with small discounts available for people who purchase online or via the company’s app.

Jane Cole, managing director at Blackpool Transport, said: “We always strive to offer great value travel to our customers and despite some changes, travelling by public transport still remains the most cost-effective way of getting around the Fylde Coast.

“As a business we have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and as costs rise, like many other businesses, we’re having to make some changes. We lowered almost all of our prices in August 2020 to help key workers and those travelling with us, so these changes mostly restore the prices that we held in 2019 and will help to sustain our position as one of the UK’s best public transport providers.”

The cost of bus and tram fares will increase on January 16, Blackpool Transport has announced

The cost of bus and tram fares will increase on January 16, Blackpool Transport has announced

The changes will affect tickets for all age groups, except under-fives, who travel free.

The cost of single tickets will increase by 20p for adults and 10p for children aged five to 15-years-old.

Day tickets for adults will increase from £5.50 to £6 if purchased onboard, and £5.20 to £5.50 if purchased on the Blackpool Transport app, while three-day tickets will increase by from £12.50 to £15, or £11.50 to £13.50 via the app. The cost of a seven-day ticket will increase from £15.50 to £17 onboard, and £14.50 to £15.50 online.

Day-long tickets for young people aged 16 to 24 will increase from £3.80 to £4.20 onboard, and £3.20 to £3.70 via the app, while seven-day tickets will go from £14 to £15.

Ticket costs for adults and groups

Ticket costs for adults and groups

Children’s tickets will see the smallest price hike, going from £1.20 for a single ticket to £1.30.

Further increases will also be brought in for family and group tickets, with costs rising between £1.50 and £2.

Tram fares are also set to rise, from £2.10 for a single and £4 for a return, to £2.60 and £4.50 respectively.

A Blackpool Transport spokesman said: “Although our current prices are changing… many of our fares are still lower than they were in August 2019 (prior to the coronavirus pandemic). Our customers can benefit from a smaller price increase and in some cases, no increase at all, when they use the BPL app for their travel.

Tickets for young people and children

Tickets for young people and children

“We hope that our customers understand that as we continue to recover and grow from the impact that Covid-19 has had on our business we need to increase some of our fares, however, most of these new fares are still relatively lower than they were before the pandemic hit.”

They added: Although our fare prices are changing, we are still committed to ensuring our customers get the best value travel. With our great range of saver tickets and lowest prices guaranteed on the BPL app we are confident that there is a ticket suitable for each customer’s individual travel habits and needs.”

 

Police in Blackpool urgently searching for missing woman

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

Janette Bertram was last seen on St Anne’s Road at 10.30am on Tuesday and police say she may appear to be confused

 

Janette Bertram
Janette Bertram (Image: Blackpool Police)

Police in Blackpool are urgently searching for a 66-year-old woman who has gone missing.

Janette Bertram was last seen on St Anne’s Road at 10.30am on Tuesday and police say she may appear to be confused.

Ms Bertram is described as 5ft 4ins with shoulder-length grey hair.

She was last seen wearing a beige top, white zip-up fleece, brown trousers and was carrying a green shopping bag.

Members of the public are being urged to call 999 in the event of any immediate sighting of Ms Bertram.

Anyone who thinks they may have any information that could help to locate her should call police on 01253 289 112 or 101.

 

 

Blackpool owner eventually wants to see homegrown players representing the Seasiders

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A new training ground is central to Simon Sadler’s vision of Blackpool FC as a centre of excellence for producing young players.

 

The Seasiders’ owner admits legal issues have delayed the process but insists the announcements will be worth waiting for.

Sadler told The Gazette: “It’s very exciting because we all want to see young players come through.

“One of the reasons we want to build a new training ground is to ensure we have an integrated centre with the academy right through to the first-team.

Blackpool owner Simon Sadler

Blackpool owner Simon Sadler

“With a facility like that, we will become the destination club for the whole of the Fylde coast.

“There are few things more exciting in football than seeing homegrown kids coming through to the first-team and I very much want that to be part of the Blackpool story.

“I hope over the coming years we will see more and more kids come through, particularly local kids.”

It’s that time of year when the focus on recruitment is at its most intense, with a one-month window to reinforce first-team squads for the second half of the campaign.

Sadler believes it’s an area where Blackpool have made significant progress.

He added: “At the moment we’re recruiting well and developing well. I’ve mentioned it many times, the three pillars – it’s the academy, it’s recruitment and it’s coaching.

“I don’t really like singling out players because if you single out a player you can omit some and I don’t really want to omit anyone.

“If you look at some of our recent recruitment and development – Josh Bowler is improving, Shayne Lavery is improving, Jordan Gabriel is improving.

“From last year’s recruitment, Keshi (Anderson), Jerry (Yates), Marvin (Ekpiteta): these are players who are developing well at the club.

“When I’m asked about what excites me for 2022, it’s that more than anything – it’s really just seeing that development of players.”

Sadler also discussed the process of recruiting a new assistant head coach to replace Stuart McCall, who left for Sheffield United in late November.

Of Yorkshireman McCall, Sadler said: “It was completely understandable given where he lives and past affinities, so there are no hard feelings.

“We definitely need to replace him and finding a replacement is top of the list for things to do early in the year.

“It’s different now to what it was 15 months or so ago, when we brought in Colin Calderwood, because Neil Critchley has got a lot more experience under his belt.

“We’ve got Critch and Mike (Garrity) and the rest of the team, but clearly we need to bring someone else in but we need to make sure we get the right person and it’s the right fit.”

 

 

North West Ambulance Service requests urgent military support as it comes under “extreme pressure”

Home | Blackpool Gazette

North West Ambulance Service has requested urgent support from the military as it comes under ‘extreme pressure’ due to of staff absences.

 

Around 150 soldiers will deployed to the North West to support North West Ambulance Service as it struggles with growing numbers of staff absences due to Covid

Around 150 soldiers will deployed to the North West to support North West Ambulance Service as it struggles with growing numbers of staff absences due to Covid

The request has been accepted and military personnel will join forces with North West Ambulance Service from next week.

The ambulance service is said it is under “extreme pressure” with 25% of its staff currently isolating due to Covid.

But from Tuesday (January 11), 150 soldiers will be deployed to the region to drive ambulances and respond to non-emergency incidents.

The military will work alongside ambulance crews for a “number of weeks”, much as it did last year when NWAS faced similar pressures due to Covid.

Director of Operations Ged Blezard said: “It is no secret that the ambulance service, along with the NHS as a whole, has been under extreme pressure for several months.

“Now we are also experiencing high numbers of staff absences due to confirmed COVID-19 cases and isolation, with around 25% of the workforce currently affected.

“As part of our resilience planning, we can make a request to the military for support and feel now is the right time to put the arrangements in place.

“We worked alongside the military last February and March, and it allows us to have more of our vehicles on the road, getting people the treatment they need sooner.

“This frees up emergency ambulances to attend to urgent, life-threatening cases.”

Military personnel will receive NWAS training in driving ambulances, manual handling, kit familiarisation and basic life support, similar to the standards of the trust’s patient transport staff who have also been supporting the emergency service throughout the pandemic.

It follows a partnership last winter, when soldiers were deployed to more than 4,600 non-life-threatening 999 incidents. They also helped move patients between healthcare sites around 1,700 times.

Mr Blezard added: “I would like to thank our NWAS team of staff and volunteers for their continued dedication over the last two years. They have been working incredibly hard to deliver the best possible service for our patients.

“Taking this timely intervention to increase our resources means we can carry on doing that while providing extra support for our staff and patients during another challenging period.

“As always, we are here for you in an emergency, and you can assist us by using 111 online if you need urgent care advice and only dialling 999 in a life-threatening situation.”

 

 

Deadline is looming for you to have your say about parking in Lytham

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Time is running out to express your views on car parking arrangements in Lytham in an online survey by Fylde Council.

Residents and visitors are being invited to have their say on their parking preferences, concerns, and suggestions.

The data will then be used to inform future developments regarding parking facilities to support the town and wider area, subject to normal planning approval.

The survey, which closes at midnight on Sunday, January 9, focuses primarily on off-street parking – public car parks – which Fylde Council operates, but any opinions regarding on-street parking can also be presented and will be passed to Lancashire County Council, which is responsible for that.

Deadline for the survey is midnight on Sunday

Deadline for the survey is midnight on Sunday

Coun Roger Small, chairman of the Fylde Council’s operational management committee, said: “Fylde Council strives to ensure that residents, businesses, shoppers, visitors, and workers have access to sufficient, good quality, safe and welcoming parking provision.

“Lytham boasts a wealth of delightful amenities and attractions to appeal to residents and visitors alike.

“This survey is the first step in the process to ensure our beautiful town can continue to be conveniently enjoyed by generations to come.”

The Fylde Council survey is at www.fylde.gov.uk/council/consultation/

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.

 

Lottery grant joy for Blackpool park

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool park has clinched a National Lottery grant of almost £10,000 which will be used to install wheelchair-friendly play equipment.

The funding has been awarded to the Friends of East Pines Park in Anchorsholme, where work will begin this spring on the third phase of redevelopment.

The money will be used to install a wheelchair-friendly roundabout which will be the playground’s first wheelchair-friendly piece of equipment.

Phase three of investment will also see the playground railings painted blue and tangerine by volunteers to make it an even more inviting space.

The playground at East Pines Park

The playground at East Pines Park

Chairman of the Friends of East Pines Park Coun Paul Galley said: “We are so grateful to the Lottery for backing us with this project.

“The roundabout will make our playground and park a place for children of all physical abilities to feel valued and most of all enjoy. This in turn will allow more families to enjoy the benefits of being in a great green space.”

The previous two phases of work have included the installation of a new play ship, swings, slide and new tarmac surfacing including a world map.

The friends group has raised more than £75,000 for the three phases since 2015 as part of a wider £150,000 raised for the rest of the park in that time.

Funding has included a £4,000 grant from the Swallowdale Children’s Trust as part of a community competition run by The Gazette.

Two years ago a grant of £16,000 was also received from an anonymous benefactor to install the new slide and safety surface and resurface the base of the playground.

Anyone interested in volunteering to join the painting team at the playground can contact Coun Galley on 07904 12161 or email paul.galley@blackpool.gov.uk