A look round Blackpool’s new Premier Inn on the former Yates’ Talbot Road site

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The hotel opened on Monday and has 150 bedrooms over five floors

Blackpool’s newest hotel has opened its doors to customers boasting impressive views over North Pier.

The new £7.1m Blackpool North Premier Inn on Talbot Road opened on Monday with customer capacity being expanded each day.

The opening of the hotel comes more than 12 years after Yates’ Wine Lodge was destroyed in a fire at the site.

New Co-op supermarket in Anchorsholme opens its doors

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The doors of a new Co-op store in Anchorsholme was officially unveiled this morning following an investment of over half a million pounds.

The new £550,000 store in North Drive created 12 jobs, which store manager Stephen Biss said were given to people living in the local community.

Graeme Dow, headteacher of Anchorsholme Academy, attended a special ceremony to open it this morning, with children from the school’s choir to cut the ribbon.

The 3,000 sq ft store will run on 100 per cent renewable energy, the firm said, and will be open from 7am to 10pm, seven days a week.

North Drive's new Co-op store was officially opened by Anchorsholme Academy's school choir and headteacher Mr Dow. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI MediaNorth Drive’s new Co-op store was officially opened by Anchorsholme Academy’s school choir and headteacher Mr Dow. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

It also boasts a bakery, Costa Coffee Express machine, and Amazon lockers.

Stephen Biss, Co-op store manager, said: “We’re really excited to launch the new Co-op store in Anchorsholme.

“The store has a fantastic modern look and a great range of products – the team and I are very much looking forward to serving the local community.

“A big thank you to Mr Dow and the Anchorsholme Primary School Choir for helping us open the store and welcome shoppers – it’ll be great to continue working together to support the pupils and their initiatives.
Self-service tills at the Co-op. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media
Self-service tills at the Co-op. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

Kara Atkin, Co-op area manager, added: “Co-op is committed to connecting communities and making a difference locally.

“We have worked hard to develop a store with range, choice, products and services that create a really compelling offer and help us meet the needs of customers and members in Blackpool.”

Co-op Members can support local causes through their purchases, with the supermarket donating two per cent to community causes every time a member swipes their membership card when buying own-branded products.

The North Drive store will be supporting the Fleetwood Beach Wheelchairs, The Friends of Jubilee Gardens in Cleveleys, and The Mustard Seed in Fleetwood until October.

Staff at the new Co-op in North Drive, Anchorsholme. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI MediaStaff at the new Co-op in North Drive, Anchorsholme. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

The Co-op also has a bakery and Costa Express machine. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI MediaThe Co-op also has a bakery and Costa Express machine. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

Anchorsholme's new Co-op store opened today after a £550,000 investment. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI MediaAnchorsholme’s new Co-op store opened today after a £550,000 investment. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

 

Bongo’s Bingo announces new Blackpool Pleasure Beach dates for this summer

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“We know it has been such a difficult time for so many and want to bring some smiles back and give everyone some much needed fun. It’s great to be coming back.”

Johnny Bongo and his Unicorn are returning to Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Johnny Bongo and his Unicorn are returning to Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Image: Bongo’s Bingo)

Bongo’s Bingo is returning to Blackpool Pleasure Beach just as summer starts to hopefully sizzle on the Lancashire coast.

The UK’s original bingo rave is following on in May and June from a series of outdoors shows last year across the UK.

As the country begins to open up again, this trio of dates promises to be chock full of magic and mayhem.

There are two shows across the second May Bank Holiday weekend which are May 28 and May 30 with an additional date on Friday June 11 .

Last summer, the outdoors concept brought thousands of people back together across the UK in safe, socially distanced spaces for some under the sun and stars bingo brilliance.

Now organiser are saying it’s time to buckle up again, hold tight and get ready as Jonny Bongo and the guys present three epic events at the iconic seaside setting.

Jonny Bongo says: “We are gearing up for a fantastic Bongo’s Bingo summer and our outdoors shows are going to be amazing at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

“We know it has been such a difficult time for so many and want to bring some smiles back and give everyone some much needed fun. It’s great to be coming back.”

Bongo’s Bingo combines the much-loved quaint pastime of bingo with a mesmeric live show, crazy antics and weird and wonderful prizes which have helped create one of the most talked about nights out in the country.

Tickets for the Blackpool Pleasure Beach shows go on sale from 6pm Thursday May 13 at here.

 

Highfield heroes – Blackpool pupils help elderly man with first aid skills after fall

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Three pupils were praised after they used their first aid skills to help an elderly man.

Highfield pupils Levi Burke, Josh Baggaley and Mackenzie Thomas, all aged 13, used their first aid skills to help a man in need and have been recognised with 'Unsung Hero' awards.

Highfield pupils Levi Burke, Josh Baggaley and Mackenzie Thomas, all aged 13, used their first aid skills to help a man in need and have been recognised with ‘Unsung Hero’ awards.

Levi Burke, Josh Baggaley and Mackenzie Thomas, all 13, were making their way home from Highfield Leadership Academy in South Shore when they saw a man fall from his mobility scooter.

The quick-thinking Year Eights sprung into action, using the training they were given for the secondary school’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF).

Mackenzie said: “To be faced with a real life first aid situation was a bit scary because it was a big responsibility to get it right. We didn’t want to hurt him.”

Blackpool ex-soldier’s fundraising efforts open new school in war-torn region of…

After rushing to the pensioner’s aid on Wednesday, May 12, the trio realised he was breathing but was having trouble talking.

They stayed with him, offering reassurance, until ambulance crews arrived.

They helped paramedics move the scooter – with ambulance chiefs saying they are a “credit to the school, their parents, and most of all themselves”.

Highfield headteacher Andrew Galbraith said the youngsters had “demonstrated the value of their first aid training” and were “an absolute credit to the school”.

He added: “For pupils of this age to act with such empathy, bravery and care demonstrates an incredible level of maturity and compassion.

“These pupils are a wonderful example of the kindness that exists within our school community and the kindness that extends beyond our school’s walls and into our wider community.”

In December, pupil Alex Whitehead used his own first aid training to help another elderly man who collapsed at a bus stop, with Mr Galbraith describing the CCF’s training course as “clearly of huge value”.

 

Police investigate spate of cable cutting across Blackpool

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Residents across Blackpool have reported a spate of incidents which have seen outdoor cables deliberately cut and power lost to TVs and computers.

Ena Ross and neighbour Alan Brunt were both affected after power cables outside their flats were cut.Ena Ross and neighbour Alan Brunt were both affected after power cables outside their flats were cut.

Residents across Blackpool have reported a spate of incidents which have seen outdoor cables deliberately cut and power lost to TVs and computers.

There have been incidents in North Shore areas such as Banks Street and Lord Street, as well as areas around Victory Road in the Brunswick ward and parts of Layton.

Alan Brunt, of Lord Street in North Shore, works for legal firm Slater Gordon Solutions Motor and lost power to his laptop after the coxial cable was cut at around 4.30am on Tuesday (May 18).

“They told me they had needed to fix quite a few of them because they had all been targeted and I’m not sure whether it’s just mindless vandalism or if they’re after the copper in the cables.

“I had work that needed to be done so it’s been a real nuisance, to be honest, I lost a day’s work because of it.

“I reported it to the police and I know mine is far from being the only incident.”

Neighbour Ena Ross, 79, who lives in the same block, lost her connection to Netflix in the same incident.

She said: “I rely on Netflix and it was annoying to think that the problems I had were because someone was out there cutting the cable.”

Around the corner, Iain Ferguson runs the Moores Hotel on Banks Street and lost power to the TV set in his bedroom after his cable was cut at a similar time.

Iain, 64, said: “I’ve had a stroke and I need to rest on my bed upstairs, on the doctor’s advice.

“I like to watch the TV there because it helps me relax – there are other people in the lounge and they may not want to watch what I am watching.

“Unfortunately, because my power cable has been cut, I can’t watch it in my bedroom until I get it fixed – and it will probably cost me around £80.

“They have run off with about eight feet of cable, so I’m assuming they’ve stolen it for the copper.

“it may seem to some that it’s a minor issue, but it’s an irritating problem and it seems to be affecting people across the town.”

Lancashire Police are aware of the issue and a spokesman said: “We were called at 8.42am on Tuesday May 18 regarding a case of criminal damage and a report that approximately eight feet of wire had been taken.

“We understand this is not an isolated incident and we are investigating.”

 

Blackpool records five new Covid cases in the last 24 hours – here are the latest figures for each area in the county

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Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have now recorded 20,843 Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

There have now been 99,033 confirmed cases in the Lancashire County Council area since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest government data released today (May 21).

Meanwhile, the total across Lancashire, including Blackpool and Blackburn and Darwen, now stands at 127,188.

How many coronavirus cases are there in Lancashire?

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The latest Government data has been revealed.
The latest Government data has been revealed.

Public Health England records cases for each council area. The latest totals for each area in Lancashire are:

Blackburn with Darwen – 18,841 (Up from 18,773) +68

Blackpool – 9,314 (Up from 9,309) +5

Burnley – 10,054 (Up from 10,044) +10

Chorley – 8,066 (Up from 8,060) +6

Fylde – 4,817 (Up from 4,812) +5

Hyndburn – 8,080 (Up from 8,072) +8

Lancaster – 9,544 (Down from 9,542) +2

Pendle – 9,767 (Up from 9,766) +1

Preston – 14,048 (Up from 14,039) +9

Ribble Valley – 4,618 (Up from 4,616) +2

Rossendale – 6,174 (Up from 6,168) +6

South Ribble – 8,186 (Up from 8,182) +4

West Lancs – 8,967 (Unchanged) +4

Wyre – 6,712 (Up from 6,711) +1

Blackpool Tower lights up for first-ever gender reveal and it’s a………girl

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With a flick of a switch and it could have been pink or blue.

The Blackpool Tower lights up......pink for its first ever gender revealThe Blackpool Tower lights up……pink for its first ever gender reveal

Blackpool couple Nick Easton and Amberleigh Duckworth decided on a rather different way to share the gender of their unborn baby with family and friends ahead of their exciting summer arrival by lighting up the sky with a little help from the Tower.
The big reveal came thanks to Blackpool Council’s Tower lighting team , trusted with the couple’s news, sealed in an envelope after their 20-week scan.

Engineers reprogrammed the lights to flash up……..pink and deliver the news of an incoming baby girl, due August 10, as the couple and a specially selected group were gathered beneath the Tower on the Comedy Carpet.

It is the first time the Tower team have been involved with a gender reveal celebration.

The couple’also shared the name they have chosen – Harperleigh Jade Easton – which appeared in the Tower heart.

“We both knew The Blackpool Tower celebrated occasions such as Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day and wondered if it would even be possible for it to celebrate our event too.
Nick Easton and Amberleigh Duckworth organised their gender reveal celebration with a little help of Blackpool Tower

“We had a 4D scan done at Window To The Womb clinic in Blackburn and asked them not to tell us the gender. They asked us to close our eyes and told us not to peek whilst they checked for our baby’s gender.

“They then had the information put into a sealed envelope and told us to hand it to the person organising the reveal.

“It was a very hard, but exciting, car journey home, knowing what was in the envelope and knowing we were about to just hand it over to someone else to find out before us.”

Nick and Amberleigh then contacted Blackpool Council, and arranged and paid for a private resetting of the lights in the appropriate colour. Costs to light up the tower at private request start at £500.

Nick and Amberleigh will welcome a little girl Harperleigh Jade Easton in AugustNick and Amberleigh will welcome a little girl Harperleigh Jade Easton in August

Nick a theme park inspection engineer added: “Obviously, with the restrictions on numbers allowed to gather, we wanted to wait until we could have as many people as possible to celebrate the event with us, even if this meant us waiting an extra eight and a half weeks to find out.

“But when the lights went on it was well worth that wait!”

Paul Burnett from Blackpool Council, the man behind the big reveal, said: “It was pretty nerve-wracking knowing that I was party to such precious information, but it was a pleasure to be able to light up The Blackpool Tower for such a unique celebration.”

The Blackpool Tower accepts applications for celebratory events, subject to review and availability. Please note charges apply.

 

Family of Blackpool dad ‘in pieces’ after he was thrown into gutter and kicked to death over minor row

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Andrew Claydon has today been given an indeterminate life sentence and must serve a minimum term of 14 years

Matthew Pearson

Matthew Pearson (Image: police handout)

The sister of a man murdered in a deliberate and brutal attack has spoken of how her family’s life has been ‘left in pieces’.

Matthew Pearson died after vicious thug Andrew Claydon punched him to the floor and stamped on his head on July 18 last year.

The attack took place close to the Farmer’s Arms in Lytham Road, Blackpool, at around 6.45pm.

The trial heard Mr Pearson, a dad-of-three, was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, and then transferred to Royal Preston Hospital when the extent of his brain injury became apparent.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff, Mr Pearson’s condition deteriorated, and he died as a result of his injuries on August 2.

Claydon, 45, was found guilty earlier this month after a trial at Preston Crown Court.

Andrew Claydon

Andrew Claydon

CCTV footage was shown during the trial with the jury seeing Claydon on Lytham Road with others when Mr Pearson came out of his home address and crossed Lytham Road to speak to Claydon.

Claydon was then seen, with no apparent provocation, to punch Mr Pearson to the ground, before stamping on him as he lay unconscious.

At Preston Crown Court today (May 21) Claydon appeared to be sentenced.

The court heard a heartbreaking statement read by Mr Pearson’s sister Claire who said she has suffered from nightmares following the murder of her brother.

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“To say our family has been devastated by this doesn’t even come close and our lives have been left in pieces without him,” Miss Pearson said.

“We are broken without him.

“My parents were so desperate to have a family when they married but for unknown reasons they couldn’t have children so they adopted Matthew and I from birth.

“It made our family unit even closer. The love was unconditional.

“I struggle to sleep but when I do I am woke by nightmares in which I am trying to save my brother but. I can never quite reach him in time.”

Miss Pearson said three children have been left without their dad and said whilst her brother ‘wasn’t perfect he was ours’.

A statement from Mr Pearson’s wife Amy was also read out in court.

“I feel so angry and upset that Andrew has taken my husband away,” she said.

“He was my best friend and my life and I feel so alone without him. I will never be the same again.

“When I see Andrew in court it looks like he isn’t bothered at all.

“I had to get away from my flat and go back home to live with my family as I couldn’t bring myself to go back to the area where my husband was attacked.”

The court heard Claydon, of Lytham Road, has a number of previous convictions including two for robbery. A number of his friends and relatives attended court for the sentencing.

The judge, Simon Medland QC, said he accepted the attack was a ‘spontaneous incident’ and that Claydon ‘didn’t set out to kill’.

“A small minor argument had developed into your use of gross physical violence against Matthew Pearson,” the judge said.

“The jury and I saw that in the matter of a few seconds you had grabbed his clothing, thrown him into the gutter and then stamped on him.

“I accept that you did not intend to kill and that this was spontaneous in that it wasn’t pre-planned… but it also shows that for absolutely no. reason whatsoever you were at least then, and may be in the future, capable of using gross, disproportionate violence for no reason.

“Matthew Pearson suffered a catastrophic head injury… there was a gross injury to his skull leading to bleeding on his brain.

“He never recovered. His condition got worse and he was pronounced dead.

“The effect of those few seconds of conduct by you are catastrophic for his family and his loved ones.”

Claydon was given an indeterminate life sentence and must serve a minimum term of 14 years.

 

All Year 10 and 11 pupils at Blackpool Aspire Academy told to self-isolate after Covid outbreak

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All pupils in Years 10 and 11 at Blackpool Aspire Academy were told to self-isolate after an outbreak of Covid-19.

The school, in Blackpool Old Road, introduced a partial closure on Monday, May 17 after twelve pupils tested positive for coronavirus – nine of which were in Year 10.

All pupils in Years 10 and 11 were told to stay at home following the results, with Year 11 pupils advised to return today (May 21).

Due to the multiple cases in Year 10, headteacher John Woods said the school had been advised to “exercise caution in their return”.

Blackpool Aspire Academy in Blackpool Old Road.Blackpool Aspire Academy in Blackpool Old Road.

As a result, Year 10 pupils are due to go back on Monday, May 24.

Mr Woods added: “The students that have tested positive did so on different days, initially with Lateral Flow Devices, which were subsequently confirmed with positive PCR test results.
“This makes tracking and tracing within the school extremely challenging. Therefore, after seeking advice from Public Health and the Local Education Authority we have decided that Year 10 will return on Monday, May 24.

“However, there will be a staggered start to the day as we test each child on their return before commencing face to face learning. A timetable for the testing will be sent out later this week.”

A small number of pupils in Years 8 and 9 were also told to self-isolate after one case was reported in both year groups.

The Year 9 class returned to school on Tuesday, May 18, with the bubble of Year 8 pupils expected to return on Tuesday, May 25.

Blackpool Aspire Academy has been approached for comment.