Ben’s invitation to join in his charity run between Lytham and Fairhaven

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A charity runner will be covering the one and half mile distance between Lytham’s Lowther Gardens and Fairhaven Lake as many times as possible over 12 hours in aid of good causes on Saturday, June 12 – and is inviting people to join him.

 

The local participants can cover one circuit or as many as they wish and can tackle it running, jogging, walking or even with the aid of wheels. Fancy dress is optional but encouraged.

Ben Burch, from Bristol, just wants to get people involved in his year-long bid, known as the Allegr Campaign, to boost the coffers and awareness of the good work of the Samaritans and local mental health charities.

Ben started in January to run for 12 hours non-stop, in 12 different locations in each of the 12 months of the year and hundreds of people have been joining on his runs so far around the country.

Ben Burch on one of his charity runsBen Burch on one of his charity runs

He said: “I hope lots of people will join me between Lytham and Fairhaven – all they need to do is turn up anytime during the day. As slow or as fast as you want, for as little or as much time as you wish.

“Walk, jog, bike, wheel – just join in – and together we will raise money for charities dealing with the many mental health and loneliness consequences of society having been forced to distance.

“The main campaign will raise money for Samaritans, and each of the regional events also donates to a local mental health charity.

“I believe that the fabric of our society is under huge strain. For years the importance of interacting and connecting in person has been eroded, Covid-19 has exacerbated this, and bought the issue into sharp focus.

“The necessity of human connection has never been more apparent and the mental health fallout, as a consequence of people’s enforced isolation and separation, will be significant.

There is hope, however, and as part of this Allegr Campaign, we want positivity to be our focus. Compassion is a central pillar of humanity and, together, we can channel and amplify its impact.

So, let’s (safely) come together and reverse the damage. Together we will improve mental health, reduce the loneliness epidemic and fundamentally enhance our lives.”

More details at www.allegr.org/blogs/events/juneIt 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.

Redevelopment plans submitted for Blackpool’s Grange Park estate

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Ambitious plans to build 131 new houses on what is already one of the biggest council estates in Lancashire have now been submitted for approval by Blackpool Council.

Artist's impression of housing redevelopment plans at Grange Park

Artist’s impression of housing redevelopment plans at Grange Park

Land at Grange Park in the town has been earmarked for the homes which would include a mix of family dwellings, bungalows and sheltered apartments.

Huge plans on horizon for two social housing estates to be built in Grange Park

There are already around 1,800 homes on the estate which has a population of more than 6,000 people making it one of the largest council estates in Lancashire

Artist's impression of housing redevelopment plans at Grange ParkArtist’s impression of housing redevelopment plans at Grange Park

The application, made by Blackpool Council, follows a public consultation exercise held this spring which attracted 130 comments.

Architects Cassidy and Ashton have now lodged plans which show 53 two and three storey houses on land accessed from Chepstow Road and Gateside Drive, along with public open space.

The land was previously occupied by Christ the King Church and the Chepstow Road shops which were bulldozed in 2018.

A second site, accessed from Dinmore Avenue, is earmarked for 78 homes including two and three storey houses, bungalows and sheltered housing.

The former Grange Park Primary School previously stood on the land before being demolished in 2014 when it was replaced by Boundary Primary School.

The proposed housing will be developed by Blackpool Council, managed by Blackpool Coastal Housing and funded from the England European Regional

Development Fund.

A design statement accompanying the application says: “The aspiration is to create more sustainable homes through the inclusion of improved energy efficiency of the buildings and the introduction of sustainable technologies, such as a mechanical ventilation system.

“The proposals include provision of both high quality formal and informal communal and public open spaces including pocket parks and communal green spaces for all residents, and a new children’s play area, encouraging neighbourly activity and social interaction.

“An area of green space will be gifted to Boundary Primary School to supplement their outdoor space for pupils to use.”

The Dinmore Avenue site will also include a community orchard while existing walking routes across the site will be retained.

Work is already underway to build 75 new council houses at Troutbeck Crescent on the Mereside estate.

 

Climate assembly calls for emissions charge in Blackpool town centre

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Drivers of non-electric cars should be charged for visiting parts of Blackpool town centre in future, a new report is recommending.

 

The suggestion is among a raft of measures put forward following the resort’s first Climate Assembly held earlier this year.

It also calls for more cycling and pedestrian lanes to enable the resort to become a pedestrian and cycling friendly town by 2023.

Around 40 residents took part in a series of discussions during January and February.

The Blackpool Climate Assembly wants to encourage more use of electric vehiclesThe Blackpool Climate Assembly wants to encourage more use of electric vehicles

A list of recommendations has now been made to Blackpool Council which declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019, committing it to work towards carbon neutrality across its services and companies by 2030, and across the town in a similar timescale.

A report submitted to the council says: “The Assembly wanted to be bold on transport, with clear targets and a vision for a town that prioritises electric public transport, cycling and walking.”

Proposals include the council should “implement an ultra-low emissions zone in the town centre by 2027, charging vehicles that are not electric for access.”

The Assembly is also calling for further measures to include cheaper parking charges for electric vehicles, switching to a fully electric bus fleet and encouraging businesses to increase the availability of charging points.

The report says the council “should commit to public transport being the primary choice for getting around and into the town by 2022 by making it more accessible, frequent and less expensive.”

It adds: “Blackpool should implement an ultra low emissions zone in the town centre by 2027, charging cars that are not electric to enter the busiest area.

“An increase in the use of electric vehicles across the system should be encouraged.

“Businesses need to increase the charging points they provide to their staff and customers to make it as easy as possible for people to use an electric vehicle themselves.

“There should be reduced parking charge for electric vehicles in the town centre, and a fully electric bus fleet. Taxis companies should be supported and rewarded to switch to an electric fleet in the long term.”

Public transport should become “the primary choice for getting around and into the town by 2022, by making it more accessible, frequent and less expensive.

“To do this, costs across the system need to adjust to make public transport desirable.

“Innovative approaches like distance-based fares, free fares, or time-based transfers are all worth exploring.

“By 2023, Blackpool needs to become a pedestrian and cycling friendly town, with decent and accessible walking lanes that feel safe and cycle lanes that are clearly marked with good infrastructure that cannot be taken over by cars or parking.”

The Assembly also considered the environmental impact of the millions of visitors who travel to Blackpool each year and said the council should be “campaigning for more frequent/faster electric train services ” and a park and ride service on the edge of the town centre.

The report adds participants “had ideas to improve how people visited Blackpool in a more carbon neutral way, recognising that huge numbers arrive by car from elsewhere.

“This included park and ride outside the town, and campaigning for more frequent, faster electric train services to the bigger towns.

“They also wanted to make the electronic systems around public transport more reliable and transparent, including proper investment in digital infrastructure around bus timetables and routes across the city.

“Other ideas included greater use of car sharing schemes and public transport vouchers or season ticket loans via employers.”

The recommendations are now being considered by council officers with the aim of producing a viable action plan.

Roger’s aim for close shave on Blackpool Grand Theatre stage to benefit charities

Home | Blackpool Gazette

What better way of marking the return of live theatre after the pandemic closures than by celebrating curtain up again on a freshly clean-shaven face – and raising money for charity in the process?

 

Theatre specialist and former venue manager Roger McCann hasn’t shaved since last March, when theatres across the UK and much of the world were closed as Covid-19 struck.

He now has a beard stretching halfway down his chest – and is looking to raise sponsorship as he aims to say farewell to the facial growth live on stage at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre.

Roger, who lives in Lytham and is a former manager of Lowther Pavilion there, is the partner of Ruth Eastwood, chief executive of the Grand, where it is planned for performances to resume shortly, subject to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s next announcement regarding the roadmap out of lockdown.

Roger McCann has been growing his beard since March 2020Roger McCann has been growing his beard since March 2020

Blackpool Grand Theatre closes following last night’s Government announcement

The aim is to have the shave on stage at the theatre and livestream it ahead of the re-opening performance and Roger is aiming to boost the funds of two good causes in the process – Acting for Others, an umbrella group for charities which support theatre workers, and the Grand itself, which has been closed since March 16, 2020.

Roger said: “When I worked at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton many years ago, the artistic director there had a superstition not to shave between the last day in the rehearsal room and the first performance.

“When the theatres closed, I decided to follow David’s idea and not shave until they reopened, little imagining it would be more than a year.

“Many theatre workers have had no work and no income for that time, and I’m doing it to support them and the Grand.”

Roger, who is the immediate past president of Rotary Lytham, is relationship manager for Theatre Arts Council England in Manchester as well as being an arts management consultant and trainer, and director of NFA International Arts and Culture.

The latter roles take him to theatres around the world and he was in Georgia, eastern Europe, when he saw his last performance before lockdown.

He has set a target of £1,500 for each of the causes he aims to help and hopes they might even reach £2,000 each.

Details of how to donate are available at gofund.me/e2bd068a (The Grand) and www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ra-mccann (Acting for Others).

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’s new funfair-themed diner opens at former Pizza Express site

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

Vintro Lounge is a new Blackpool eatery that has opened on St John’s Square opposite the Winter Gardens in what was previously Pizza Express

Vintro Lounge in Church Street, Blackpool

Vintro Lounge in Church Street, Blackpool (Image: Blackpool Council)

A new circus-themed restaurant has opened in the heart of Blackpool after a revamp.

The new eatery, Vintro Lounge, has opened on Church Street in what used to be Pizza Express opposite the main entrance to the Winter Gardens.

Pizza Express shut its Blackpool branch following the company’s 2020 announcement to close dozens of UK restaurants.

Doors to the new St John’s Square diner officially swung open on Wednesday (June 9), with company Loungers behind the eatery.

The last few weeks have been spent transforming the restaurant into a circus-themed venue.

“It looks very different to how it did a few weeks ago, and we think you‘ll be chuffed to bits with the finished result,” Vintro Lounge said on its website.

Images from the venue shows a traditional fun fair and circus theme including traditional circus posters, Victorian lighting, and vintage seats.

As for the menu, among the offerings are brunch, sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, tapas, and other mains.

Prices are affordable at around £8 to £10 for a main dish.

In an announcement, Blackpool Council’s ‘I Love Blackpool’ tourism body said: “We’re pleased to share the news that the brand new funfair-themed Vintro Lounge has now opened up in St John’s Square, opposite the Winter Gardens Blackpool.

“The brand new casual dining spot is part of the Loungers group with locations all around the UK.

“We’d like to give them a big welcome to Blackpool.”

Vintro Lounge’s parent company, Loungers, was founded in 2002 by a trio of longstanding friends – Dave Reid, Alex Reilley and Jake Bishop.

After years in the restaurant and bar trade in the Bristol area they decided it was time they branched out on their own.

 

Blackpool recommend clean air zone to charge drivers of non-electric cars

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

Around 40 residents took part in a series of discussions during January and February

A general view taken in Blackpool

A general view taken in Blackpool

Drivers of non-electric cars should be charged for visiting parts of Blackpool town centre in future, a new report is recommending.

The suggestion is among a raft of measures put forward following the resort’s first Climate Assembly held earlier this year.

It also calls for more cycling and pedestrian lanes to enable the resort to become a pedestrian and cycling friendly town by 2023.

Around 40 residents took part in a series of discussions during January and February.

A list of recommendations has now been made to Blackpool Council which declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019, committing it to work towards carbon neutrality across its services and companies by 2030, and across the town in a similar timescale.

A report submitted to the council says: “The Assembly wanted to be bold on transport, with clear targets and a vision for a town that prioritises electric public transport, cycling and walking.”

Proposals include the council should “implement an ultra-low emissions zone in the town centre by 2027, charging vehicles that are not electric for access.”

The Assembly is also calling for further measures to include cheaper parking charges for electric vehicles, switching to a fully electric bus fleet and encouraging businesses to increase the availability of charging points.

The report says the council “should commit to public transport being the primary choice for getting around and into the town by 2022 by making it more accessible, frequent and less expensive.”

It adds: “Blackpool should implement an ultra low emissions zone in the town centre by 2027, charging cars that are not electric to enter the busiest area.

“An increase in the use of electric vehicles across the system should be encouraged.

“Businesses need to increase the charging points they provide to their staff and customers to make it as easy as possible for people to use an electric vehicle themselves.

“There should be reduced parking charge for electric vehicles in the town centre, and a fully electric bus fleet. Taxis companies should be supported and rewarded to switch to an electric fleet in the long term.”

Public transport should become “the primary choice for getting around and into the town by 2022, by making it more accessible, frequent and less expensive.

“To do this, costs across the system need to adjust to make public transport desirable.

“Innovative approaches like distance-based fares, free fares, or time-based transfers are all worth exploring.

“By 2023, Blackpool needs to become a pedestrian and cycling friendly town, with decent and accessible walking lanes that feel safe and cycle lanes that are clearly marked with good infrastructure that cannot be taken over by cars or parking.”

The Assembly also considered the environmental impact of the millions of visitors who travel to Blackpool each year and said the council should be “campaigning for more frequent/faster electric train services ” and a park and ride service on the edge of the town centre.

The report adds participants “had ideas to improve how people visited Blackpool in a more carbon neutral way, recognising that huge numbers arrive by car from elsewhere.

“This included park and ride outside the town, and campaigning for more frequent, faster electric train services to the bigger towns.

“They also wanted to make the electronic systems around public transport more reliable and transparent, including proper investment in digital infrastructure around bus timetables and routes across the city.

“Other ideas included greater use of car sharing schemes and public transport vouchers or season ticket loans via employers.”

The recommendations are now being considered by council officers with the aim of producing a viable action plan.

 

Author of Blackpool ‘greedy little gremlin’ letter over lost KFC order gives his side of the story

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

A confused neighbour posted the note online after being accused of eating a KFC that was sent to his house accidentally

 

The author of a hilarious note calling his neighbour a “greedy little gremlin” over a lost KFC order has explained he only meant for it to be “light-hearted banter”.

Ian Dickman, from Blackpool, was left confused when he received the bizarre letter through his door accusing him of “tucking in to a succulent KFC”.

He took to Facebook to defend himself and say he had in fact turned the delivery driver away and did not put the chicken “into his gob”.

Tom, from Blackpool, got in touch with LancsLive to admit that it was he who wrote the note, but said he had only intended for it to make Ian laugh.

The letter said: “I know you have just tucked into a succulent KFC which to belong to me. I ordered it to your address accidently (sic).

“I thought I had faith in humanity, but BOY WAS I WRONG!

“You took my KFC into your GOB with no remorse! Any decent person would of not of (sic) accepted it. But you are just a greedy little gremlin.

“Thank you for being a tight arse. P.S. You owe me £36.”

Tom, 27, told LancsLive that he had ordered the KFC for himself and two of his friends.

He said: “I ordered a KFC and my friend put the wrong address on Just Eat and it somehow changed on the app. We did try to ring up KFC to get them to change the address but they said once it’s left it’s Just Eat that deal with it. Once we realised we were annoyed and it updated on the app to say it had been delivered. At first we thought we’ll just leave it, but then I thought I can’t believe that someone has eaten my KFC. I was hangry and knew someone must have taken it in.

“I wrote the note as some light-hearted banter – nothing in it was nasty, I mean some of the phrases didn’t even make sense, but I just thought it made it funnier to leave the mistakes in. I’ve got the handwriting of an eight-year-old as well.”

The letter called the man a 'greedy little gremlin'

The letter called the man a ‘greedy little gremlin’

Tom said he was shocked by how many people have shared the post, and admitted that some of his friends had recognised his handwriting straight away.

He said: “I really wasn’t expecting the response it’s had, I just thought the person who got the note would either feel a bit guilty or just laugh. I’m happy with the responses to be honest and people are using the hashtag greedy little gremlin.. It’s made people laugh and made some people’s day.

“A few of my mates messaged me saying they knew it was me because they’d recognise by eight-year-old messy handwriting from a mile off.

“The way I see it is the pandemic hasn’t been great, especially here in Blackpool, so it’s nice people have managed to have a laugh at something.

“It was really more for Ian who got it to have a laugh at. It’s only now that we know he didn’t take it in and declined it and turned it away. Really we should have just knocked but my mate just posted the note through the letterbox instead. I should probably tell Ian he doesn’t owe me £36 really.”

Tom said that he has since been refunded for the meals and received his order eventually – much to his delight.

And for those curious about the £36 order, we can reveal what they ordered.

Here’s the order in full:

1 x regular gravy

2 x BBQ snack wrap

1 x Flamin’ snack wrap

1 x Trilogy box meal

1 x four piece boneless meal

1 x Boneless banquet with two extra hot wings

Cost: £34.32

Service charge: 50p

Delivery fee: £1.49

 

 

Blackpool Winter Gardens hotel approved with nightclub to be replaced by new car park

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

The hotel scheme was approved but the loss of town centre parking will also need to be addressed

The proposed Winter Gardens Hotel

The proposed Winter Gardens Hotel

A multi-storey car park is earmarked for the site of the former Syndicate nightclub in Blackpool which would help replace public parking lost when a hotel is built alongside the Winter Gardens.

Blackpool Council’s planning committee, which approved the hotel scheme for land on Leopold Grove, was told of the proposals in response to concerns about the loss of town centre parking.

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Councillors approved the latest set of outline proposals for a five storey hotel with 160 bedrooms on the site which is currently used as a surface car park.

The plans include a double level car park with 94 spaces, but these will be for use by hotel guests only.

Ian White, a director of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, warned councillors parking provision still needed to be made for people staying at smaller b&bs and hotels in the area.

He told the meeting: “Since earlier applications the immediate locality has seen significant pressure on parking.

“The new medical centre with boundaries on South King Street, Adelaide Street and Alfred Street will put significant extra pressure on parking.

“Not forgetting that this development will see the loss of approximately 80 spaces, many of which are used by guests staying in the adjacent holiday accommodation and that loss will be felt significantly within the local community.”

Council planning office Clare Johnson told the meeting while the hotel development would mean the loss of a car park, the former Syndicate nightclub site was designated for a multi-storey car park.

The latest scheme is the fourth to secure planning permission since 2010, but so far development has stalled.

However it is hoped this application, by Hertfordshire based developer Kewdeal Ltd, will be more lucrative as the hotel will stand directly opposite the town’s £28m new conference centre which is nearing completion at the Winter Gardens.

The site is currently being marketed for sale by Manchester-based property agent Savills with a price tag in excess of £3m.