Police investigate Snapchat account accused of sharing naked pictures of 13-year-old Blackpool girl

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A Snapchat account linked to the resort is accused of sharing naked pictures of a 13-year-old girl from South Shore.

 

She’s not thought to be the only victim – with parents and teachers reacting with shock and horror.

A Snapchat account which urges schoolchildren across Blackpool to embarrass each other is being investigated by police after allegedly posting pictures of a 13-year-old girl getting changed.

The group, which The Gazette is not naming, is said to encourage youngsters in Blackpool to out-do each other by sending in shots of their compromised pals – such as girls wearing no make-up. But it was accused of veering into the illegal after images of the girl in a state of undress – said to be screenshots taken from a video call with a friend – appeared over the weekend, leaving the young teen distraught and her mum furious.

Police are investigating a Snapchat account which allegedly encourages the sharing of embarrassing shots of resort children – and is accused of posting naked images of a 13-year-old girlPolice are investigating a Snapchat account which allegedly encourages the sharing of embarrassing shots of resort children – and is accused of posting naked images of a 13-year-old girl

Her mum said: “I feel absolutely disgusted. Nobody wants to see their children treated like this. I want to make sure it doesn’t happen.

“She was upset, obviously. It has ruined her friendship. She was worried about going to school. There have been boys shouting things at her in the corridor.”

Another mum said “rude” pictures of her daughter, also 13, were posted on the same account and warned: “My daughter isn’t the only one.

“Some of these are naked pictures found on the internet that have been put up with children’s names attached, shaming them. My daughter went to school this morning and she didn’t even get through the gate before she started getting bullied.

“From what I saw there has been over 50 pictures posted. I’m lucky my kids can come and tell me things but there are going to be kids out there who this is happening to and they can’t do anything about it.

“It makes me feel physically sick.”

Gill Smith, a safeguarding expert at Montgomery Academy, a secondary school in All Hallows Road, Bispham, said she became aware of pictures and a list of names being distributed on Facebook. She said: “Straight away I alerted the staff to this list and to contact the families straight away and make them aware. We have offered our support to the family and the pupil and we have informed them that the police are involved.

“Any bullying that goes on at all in school we take very seriously. As a school, our pupils do lessons about online safety and we do assemblies in which we talk about inappropriate and appropriate behaviour online, online safety, and the seriousness of sharing images. We go into a lot of detail about that because we want our pupils to be safe online and to educate them.”

John Topping from the Fylde Coast Academy Trust, which runs several schools across the Fylde coast, said he understood parents’ concerns – and said: “What [children] access with mobile phones and other devices in the privacy of their own homes over the weekend will ultimately overspill into life in school on Monday morning as a result of poor choices made.”

He added: “Schools are working with the relevant safeguarding authorities including the police to assist in taking down these sites as quickly as possible.

We have strong and powerful lines of communication with parents to nip incidents in the bud hopefully before friendships between children are damaged by their actions.

“All staff have more training in these areas than in past years and The Fylde Coast Academy Trust schools are currently looking at how we can further support students with their learning about relationships, particularly as they grow up in a digital world.

“Parents and carers certainly need to be vigilant at home and to work with the police, the schools and other agencies in guiding young minds towards making better choices in their use of new technologies.”

A police spokesman said: “We are aware of the report and an investigation is underway.”

Snapchat, which allows users to post images and videos which delete themselves – unless they are screenshotted and saved – after a matter of seconds did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

Blackpool schools opt out of ‘One Britain One Nation’ singing amid Covid guidance confusion

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Blackpool school leaders have said their resort pupils won’t be joining in with the Government’s call for children to sing a patriotic song tomorrow, because singing “still isn’t allowed” in schools.

The Government is encouraging school children to sing a patriotic song which celebrates a “strong Britain great nation.”

The move is part of One Britain One Nation Day on Friday, June 25 – which is a government-backed campaign that aims to instil pride in Britain.

In a post on social media, the Department for Education said: “We’re encouraging schools across the UK to celebrate One Britain One Nation Day on 25 June, when children can learn about our shared values of tolerance, kindness, pride and respect.”

The OBON website describes its vision as to “create a strong, fair, harmonious and a proud British Nation, celebrating patriotism and respect for all our people”.

But leaders in schools across the resort said their pupils will not be participating in the event, largely due to guidance set out by the Government itself about singing.

A spokesman for Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT), one of the resort’s biggest trusts which runs schools including Montgomery Academy, Gateway Academy and Westcliff Primary Academy, said: “The answer is going to be no, largely because [they’ve] only just heard about it, and the other thing is, singing still isn’t allowed in schools.

“Assemblies haven’t been held for ages, so it’s not been approved as yet.”

One Britain One Nation 2021: Blackpool school leaders say they won't be participating in OBON Day tomorrow - because they were not told about it soon enough by the Department of Education, and singing restrictions still aren't lifted in schools. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)One Britain One Nation 2021: Blackpool school leaders say they won’t be participating in OBON Day tomorrow – because they were not told about it soon enough by the Department of Education, and singing restrictions still aren’t lifted in schools. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Government guidance around singing in schools during the pandemic outlines the “additional risk” of singing in schools – but allows for music lessons to continue to take place.

It says: “There may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing, chanting, playing wind or brass instruments, dance or drama takes place. Singing, wind and brass playing should not take place in larger groups such as choirs and ensembles, or assemblies unless significant space, natural airflow and strict social distancing and mitigation can be maintained.

“You should take particular care in music, dance and drama lessons to observe social distancing where possible. Additionally, you should keep any background or accompanying music to levels which do not encourage teachers or other performers to raise their voices unduly.”

A spokesman for the Department of Education said: “The department has not asked people to sing songs or endorsed any specific materials for One Britain One Nation day.”

But on June 3, it shared a Twitter post from One Britain One Nation, which said: “Inspiring a generation. Urging all schools to join us on 25th June for #OBONDAY2021 campaign supported by @educationgovuk to spread the message of #Pride #Unity #Love #Respect for all through a song composed by @StJohnsCE.”

The Musicians Union also advises music teachers to “avoiding singing, wind and brass playing in larger groups unless there is sufficient space and ventilation, or the activity can take place outdoors.”

Despite this, a promotional video for OBON Day showed children waving flags and singing the lyrics: “We are Britain and we have one dream, to unite all people in one great team.

“Our nation survived through many storms and many wars.”

The campaign was founded by retired police inspector Kash Singh, who said the concept was “born from my dream as a police officer” after coming to the UK as a six-year-old boy who “couldn’t speak a word of English”.

He said he set up the campaign in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in 2013 after retiring from the police force in 2012.

But Anchorsholme Academy headteacher Graeme Dow said although the One Britain One Nation song was a “jolly little tune,” he was not aware of the campaign being promoted locally.

He added that despite calls for singing nationally, the Government still had not fully permitted the activity in schools.

Mr Dow said: “It has certainly not been promoted to schools locally, not that I am aware of. It is a jolly little tune and it is always lovely to hear children singing.

“As this is the first I have really heard about it, that would not be enough time for us to prepare the children to sing it. As such, we would not be able to take part, even if we were asked to do so (and nobody has asked us).

“I’m not sure how the government is expecting schools to sing when they haven’t as yet fully lifted the restrictions that have been placed on singing in schools.”

Blackpool makes new £20m funding bid to government

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Blackpool is bidding for £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for schemes including investment in the Winter Gardens and former Abingdon Street Post Office.

 

A third element of the bid is for town centre road improvements including to ease congestion and improve the public realm between the Winter Gardens, the Houndshill extension and the Blackpool Central leisure development.

Boutique hotel hope for former Blackpool post office could be part of new fundin…

But hopes of including a scheme to regenerate the Bond Street/Waterloo Road area of South Shore were dashed because plans could not be worked up in time for the deadline.

The former Post OfficeThe former Post Office

However the council has said it hopes to include the neighbourhood in a future bid for funding.

Blackpool South MP Scott Benton welcomed the £20m bid but called for priorities to include areas other than the town centre.

He said: “As far as I’m concerned, the obvious place in need of capital spending on regeneration is South Shore, and specifically Bond Street/Waterloo Road.

“I live not far from this area and regularly use the shops and facilities there. The decline in the area over many decades has been noticeable and it’s in urgent need of investment.
Blackpool South MP Scott Benton
Blackpool South MP Scott Benton

He said it was “incredibly disappointing” there was not enough time to prepare a bid for South Shore before the June deadline.

Mr Benton added: “However, to ensure we can put forward the area in any future bids for capital investment, the council are bidding for Government money so they can draw up comprehensive proposals for regenerating the area and consult with residents on this.

“This will ensure that a ready-made scheme can be worked up and discussed with local residents and traders, and that money could be brought in to deliver this scheme in the future.”

Blackpool Council said schemes for the first round of the Levelling Up fund had to be ready to start by next March, and be linked to the themes of transport, regeneration and town centre investment, and culture investment.

A spokesperson added: “We are delighted Scott Benton has supported the bid and we fully understand his concerns about the limitations of the fund criteria.

“Having said that, we have included in our submission for the Community Renewal Fund a bid to prepare a masterplan/feasibility study for the Waterloo area to support the regeneration of the Waterloo ward, determining local needs, the priorities for intervention and potential solutions to support commercial and residential development, as well as creating green and safe community spaces.

“If successful, the project will fund a consultancy team, a website, pop-up events and a ‘week of action’ to engage with the community about the plans for the area.

“Together with the Revoe and Claremont Masterplans which are already in place, we will aim to seek funding through future opportunities that we hope will be presented by a second Levelling Up Fund bid and the Shared Prosperity Fund, the criteria for which we anticipate will be published by the Government later this year.”

The three schemes included in the initial Levelling Up Fund bid are

* The refurbishment and conversion of the Post Office for a branded boutique hotel, which missed out on support from the Future High Streets Fund.

* Redevelopment work and creation of a new convention space with retail within the Olympia area of the Winter Gardens, including facade improvements directly opposite the £21 m Houndshill extension.

* An active travel/town centre access scheme to reduce congestion on the approaches into town centre while reducing carbon emissions. The scheme also includes Adelaide Street public transport improvements, new public realm from Adelaide Street to Hull Road to support an enhanced entrance from the forthcoming Blackpool Central development. Also public realm works along Coronation Street down to Albert Road, with provision of new cycle ways whilst framing the Houndshill extension and the Winter Gardens.

Promenade closed by police at Bispham

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A section of the upper promenade at Bispham has been cordoned off during Sunday, with police officers including Crime Scene Investigation teams seen at the scene.

 

The prom has been closed to pedestrians between Wolverton Avenue and Duchess Drive with uniformed officers at either end of the cordon.

It is not known at this stage what has prompted the police presence and closure.

The Force Incident Manager told the Gazette on Sunday afternoon he had no knowledge of any incident in that area.

Police at the scene on the promenade at Bispham on Sunday afternoonPolice at the scene on the promenade at Bispham on Sunday afternoon

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The police cordonThe police cordon

Moor Park Primary School pupils fundraising for special garden in memory of school worker

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Pupils and staff at a Bispham primary school are fundraising to create a memorial garden for a teaching support worker who lost her life to Covid.

 

Moor Park Primary School in Moor Park Avenue hopes to raise at least £4,000 for a new school garden in tribute to Cath Strangwood.

Mrs Strangwood, who was a one-to-one support worker and teaching assistant at Moor Park, died on November 28 last year at the age of 57, in Blackpool Victoria Hospital after a battle with coronavirus.

Her family described her as a “loving and devoted wife, mother and grandma who lit up the room with her contagious laugh.”

Moor Park Primary School in Bispham is raising money for a memorial garden in tribute to Cath Strangwood, who died of Covid last year.Moor Park Primary School in Bispham is raising money for a memorial garden in tribute to Cath Strangwood, who died of Covid last year.

Pupils are set to take part in a sponsored fun-run next week, to raise money for a new garden and outdoor reading area in Cath’s name.

Joanne Magson, headteacher at the school, said: “We’ve identified an area in our junior garden which we’d like to transform into a memorial garden for Mrs Strangwood.

“We got a few donations on the day of her funeral, so we’re going to put any money we received towards the garden.

“The children are currently working on designs for the garden, and we’re going to include Cath’s favourite plants and flowers.
Moor Park Primary School teaching assistant and support worker Cath Strangwood died after contracting Covid last year. Pupils hope to raise money to transform a section of their playground into a memorial garden in tribute to her.Moor Park Primary School teaching assistant and support worker Cath Strangwood died after contracting Covid last year. Pupils hope to raise money to transform a section of their playground into a memorial garden in tribute to her.

“One of the pupils came up with the idea of incorporating an outdoor reading area, and we’d like to put different plants in to attract insects as well.

“We’d like to get a garden designer involved with the process, and we’re hoping it can all be finished by next spring.”

The school is looking for someone to help them with the design of the garden – email them if you can help.Around £1200 has been raised through internal school funding so far – but you can donate towards the school’s next target of £1,000 here.

First look at Blackpool’s new £28m Winter Gardens conference centre

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The countdown is on towards the completion of Blackpool’s £28m new conference and exhibition centre which is due to be handed over to the council in November.

 

Workers are now on the final stretch of the contract to deliver state-of-the art facilities designed to put the Grade II* listed Winter Gardens back on the conferencing map.

Contractors McLaughlin & Harvey have around 106 people working on site as the deadline for completion approaches.

Pictured is Michael WilliamsPictured is Michael Williams

While it is still a construction site, the scale and detail of what will be delivered to delegates across two main floors plus mezzanine areas is clear.

Visitors arriving through a dedicated entrance on Leopold Grove will be swept upstairs on escalators to vast spaces which can be divided into different sized meeting or exhibition areas.

But an exposed brick wall reminds visitors they are just a step away from the rest of the Victorian Winter Gardens complex.Work is ongoing at the siteWork is ongoing at the site

And it is this aspect of the building – combining Blackpool’s heritage with its desire for progress – that will offer delegates a unique experience and hopefully put the conferencing offer ahead of rivals around the country.

Architects have designed the centre to seamlessly connect with its older neighbour, with access on a single level right through from Leopold Grove to the Empress Ballroom and the Floral Hall, as well as connections to the Opera House.

There will be ground floor capacity for around 430 delegates and first floor capacity for 1,200, bringing the total for the whole Winter Gardens complex to 7,000.

The main meeting space on the first floor can be split into four rooms using fully acoustic sliding walls boasting sound block boards to prevent noise slippage between partitions.

Worker on the siteWorker on the site

But pull back the walls, bring out the tables and chairs stored in rooms behind, and the same space can be transformed for a gala dinner with on-site kitchens.

A smaller convention area on the ground floor can be similairly divided, while break-out rooms offer a glazed outlook for when delegates need to switch-off.

But just as vital as space, is technology and engineers are busy fitting out reams of cable into the specialist IT room where there will also be a control centre for broadcasters.

Broadband fibre connections will be the best available along with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.

The conference centre at Blackpool's Winter GardensThe conference centre at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

Behind the scenes, a heavy duty air conditioning system has been installed, while toilets, cloakrooms, kitchens and staff quarters are also taking shape.

An undercover loading bay has been built with capacity for two articulated trucks to enable exhibits and scenery to be unloaded straight into the conference centre or onto the back of the Opera House stage.

Meanwhile a vehicle lift can carry a four tonne fully loaded transit van to the upper floors to unload.

Michael Williams, managing director of the Winter Gardens, says the investment is already attracting conference organisers back to Blackpool.

He said: “We’re on track for November and the finishing trades are now in fitting out things like the cabling.

“It’s an exciting part of the development seeing all the equipment starting to arrive right down to the big ovens and chillers for the kitchen. We’ve also just ordered the 1,700 chairs which will be needed.

“Connectivity with the rest of the Winter Gardens has been key throughout the design and building process.

“That’s why we have left in a feature brick wall to the Empress Ballroom balcony, which has been restored and repointed.

“The idea is people can relate to where they are, to the Empress Ballroom and to that 120-year tradition which is just behind the wall.

“That will be part of the unique selling point for our conference centre.

“We are going to have a 21st century conference centre with all the modern facilities and technology available, but people can walk through to the Empress Ballroom or the other rooms in the Winter Gardens and see the link to that heritage as well.”

Building work began in 2018 and has been disrupted by the Covid pandemic, although lockdown meant gatherings were off limits anyway.

A fresh appetite for conferences, as people have missed meeting, up is expected but lessons have also been learned from the restrictions put in place.

Mr Williams said: “We will be set up to hold hybrid conferences so some delegates could attend remotely from anywhere in the world.

“One thing Covid has taught us is that we have to be able to do things differently.

“If some international guests cannot travel, they can still attend the conference due to the technology we have put in.”

Proposals are also already in place for more investment which could further enhance the setting of the conference centre.

Planning permission was granted in June for a five storey, 160 bedroom hotel on Leopold Grove including an enclosed bridge linking the second floor of the hotel with the new development.

Meanwhile Blackpool Council’s £20m bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund includes new convention space with retail within the Olympia area of the Winter Gardens.

The Conservative Party will host its Spring Forum in the conference centre in 2022, which will be one of the first big events and will be the first time the Conservative Party has hosted a major conference in Blackpool since 2007.

Funding has included £15m from the government’s Growth Deal, £7m from Blackpool Council, and £2.9m from the Coastal Communities Fund (also government funding).

East Pines Park playground gets makeover thanks to £4,000 Swallowdale Children’s Trust and Gazette grant

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A playground was given a colourful makeover thanks to a £4,000 grant from Swallowdale Children’s Trust and The Gazette’s community competition last year.

 

Samantha and Riley-Jay Hindmarch, Paul Galley and Michelle Backhouse with some of the artwork installed in East Pines Park

Samantha and Riley-Jay Hindmarch, Paul Galley and Michelle Backhouse with some of the artwork installed in East Pines Park

The Friends of East Pines Park in Anchorsholme have resurfaced the park playground with educational pictures after scooping the cash in the giveaway.

Friends secretary Michelle Backhouse said the group was grateful to The Gazette and the Swallowdale Trust for the funds .

She said: “It has transformed our playground and we know this will help educate and inspire young minds for many years to come.

It was funded through a £4,000 grant from Swallowdales giveaway with the Gazette

It was funded through a £4,000 grant from Swallowdales giveaway with the Gazette

“The work includes a world map with global coastal cities on it ranging from Cape Town to Vancouver with Blackpool proudly displayed, along with a solar system featuring all the planets an A to Z caterpillar and a snakes and ladders game.”

Anchorsholme councillor and group chairman Paul Galley said: “Our vision has always been to inspire young people about themselves and Blackpool and we are so grateful to The Gazette and Swallowdale for backing us in our vision.

“As well as inspiring young minds, I was delighted the work was carried out by an Anchorsholme firm as I firmly believe that green spaces can support the Fylde economy.”

Jay Hindmarch, managing director of Arrowline Limited, which did the work, said both he and his wife grew up playing on the playground.
Samantha Hindmarch used the park growing up and son and Riley-Jay plays in it everyday
Samantha Hindmarch used the park growing up and son and Riley-Jay plays in it everyday

He said: “Our family use it every day and best of all our son Riley-Jay helped choose the solar system which has always been a major point of interest for him, so it’s something my fellow director and wife Samantha and the whole family are really proud of.”

The Gazette’s 2021 £25,000 community giveaway with Swallowdale Children’s Trust is running up to June 30 to give more people the chance to grab a slice of the cash.

The closing date for the competition has been moved to the end of June and schools, community groups, sports clubs, charities and societies are being called on to enter for a chance to win cash for a special cause.

The giveaway helps people under the age of 25 across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

Riley-Jay with the new snakes and ladders

Riley-Jay with the new snakes and ladders

It is now in its ninth year and the prize pot this time round will see the total handed out climb to more than £135,000.

To enter, email competitions@blackpoolgazette.co.uk with Swallowdale in the subject field, or write to Swallowdale Children’s Trust Community Giveaway, The Gazette, 15 Olympic Court, Boardmans Way, Whitehills Business Park, Blackpool, FY4 5GU.

Tell us how much grant you are applying for and how you would spend the money if successful. Add your name, address, name of organisation (if applicable), and a contact telephone number.

The closing date is Wednesday, June 30.

The Lancashire town where sunshine costs £10.35 an hour

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With cheap hotels and plenty of sunshine it’s no wonder crowds flock to this area

 

Blackpool's beach is warmed in the sunshine
Blackpool’s beach is warmed in the sunshine (Image: Getty Images)

Summer staycations will be on the calendar for most of us this year but have you ever wondered where you can get the cheapest amount of sun from without having to go abroad?

Out of 63 seaside towns in the UK, Blackpool has been found to have the second cheapest cost per hour of sun at only £10.35, just missing the top spot by 80p according to a survey by vouchercloud.

Felixstowe is the cheapest spot at £9.55, while Fleetwood came in at number seven on the list with the cost per hour of sunshine coming in at £11.96.

Another North West seaside location also made the list, with Southport coming in at number 18 at £13.13 per hour of sun.

vouchercloud used Google Hotels and historic Met Office data to calculate the best value hour of sunshine in the UK.

Research showed that the average price of a hotel in Blackpool for one night is £60.75 – with an average of five hours and 56 minutes of sunshine on a typical summers day – working out at £10.35 an hour.

With fantastic attractions day and night, there may be more chances of visiting this seaside town this year as Covid restrictions continue to ease.

People enjoy the sunshine at Blackpool beach,
People enjoy the sunshine at Blackpool beach (Image: PA)

In Blackpool, there’s a huge variety of things to do to keep all ages entertained.

For family days out, or trips with friends, you can enjoy the Sea Life Centre, the Blackpool Circus and Dungeons of course the Pleasure Beach.

But if you’re sticking to a budget this summer, a day on the beach and a walk up the promenade is more than enough to satisfy your sun needs – just remember your sun cream!

And a trip to the seaside isn’t complete without some traditional food.

Pick up some fish and chips, find a huge range of Blackpool rock stalls, grab some freshly made doughnuts and treat yourself to an ice cream to cool you down. But beware of the notorious seagulls.

Whilst visiting Blackpool, a day of sun might not be enough for you so here are five of the cheapest hotels in Blackpool to extend your stay there:

Las Palmas hotel by the sea

This three and a half star TripAdvisor rated hotel is only a three minute walk away from the main promenade so when you’ve had your fill of sun for the day, it won’t take you long to get back to your hotel.

Rooms here start at £20 per night with free internet and a bar.

Stockton Grange hotel

Rated three stars on TripAdvisor. Pet friendly hotel on a budget that bring the best of Blackpool to your doorstep pets

Rooms at this hotel start at £20 per night.

Peek a Booze hotel

Adult only hotel with a cabaret themed bar and nightclub rated four stars on TripAdvisor.

Rooms here cost between £25-£30 each night.

The Marine Hotel

This three star rated hotel is a family friendly small hotel that provides free breakfast and is only a six minute walk from the beach.

Rooms start at £27 per night.

Travelodge Blackpool South Shore

For a cheap night in Blackpool, this Travelodge is rated four stars and provides a mix of value, comfort and convenience, all within a budget friendly setting.

Rooms here start at £28 per night.

Two drunk people found in the water at 7am in Blackpool

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

The two were found in the water around Central Pier early this morning

 

The scene at Blackpool this morning
The scene at Blackpool this morning (Image: HM Coastguard)

The coastguard has issued a warning after two ‘intoxicated’ people were found in the water around Central Pier in Blackpool this morning (June 26).

There was an emergency call out at around 7.30am after a member of the public reported a person in the water and possibly experiencing difficulty.

The coastguard arrived at the scene and discovered two intoxicated people who were then spoken to.

They reminded them and the general public to stay away from water if you have had a drink. The two people involved were passed over to Lancashire Constabulary and the North West Ambulance Service.

A spokesperson for HM Coastguard Lytham said: “We arrived on scene and established there were two intoxicated people in the water.

“RNLI Blackpool launched one lifeboat to assist the casualties, after talking with them, they eventually made their way out of the water and were passed into the care of Blackpool Police & North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Blackpool’s £20m investment bid as South Shore misses out on money

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Hopes of including a scheme to regenerate the Bond Street/Waterloo Road area of South Shore were dashed

 

A general view of Blackpool from above
A general view of Blackpool from above (Image: Getty)

Blackpool is bidding for £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for schemes including investment in the Winter Gardens and former Abingdon Street Post Office.

A third element of the bid is for town centre road improvements including to ease congestion and improve the public realm between the Winter Gardens, the Houndshill extension and the Blackpool Central leisure development.

But hopes of including a scheme to regenerate the Bond Street/Waterloo Road area of South Shore were dashed because plans could not be worked up in time for the deadline.

However, the council has said it hopes to include the neighbourhood in a future bid for funding.

Blackpool South MP Scott Benton welcomed the bid but called for priorities to include areas other than the town centre.

He said: “As far as I’m concerned, the obvious place in need of capital spending on regeneration is South Shore, and specifically Bond Street/Waterloo Road.

“I live not far from this area and regularly use the shops and facilities there. The decline in the area over many decades has been noticeable and it’s in urgent need of investment.”

He said it was “incredibly disappointing” there was not enough time to prepare a bid for South Shore before the June deadline.

Mr Benton added: “However, to ensure we can put forward the area in any future bids for capital investment, the council are bidding for Government money so they can draw up comprehensive proposals for regenerating the area and consult with residents on this.

“This will ensure that a ready-made scheme can be worked up and discussed with local residents and traders, and that money could be brought in to deliver this scheme in the future.”

Blackpool Council said schemes for the first round of the Levelling Up fund had to be ready to start by next March, and be linked to the themes of transport, regeneration and town centre investment, and culture investment.

A spokesperson added: “We are delighted Scott Benton has supported the bid and we fully understand his concerns about the limitations of the fund criteria.

“Having said that, we have included in our submission for the Community Renewal Fund a bid to prepare a masterplan/feasibility study for the Waterloo area to support the regeneration of the Waterloo ward, determining local needs, the priorities for intervention and potential solutions to support commercial and residential development, as well as creating green and safe community spaces.

“If successful, the project will fund a consultancy team, a website, pop-up events and a ‘week of action’ to engage with the community about the plans for the area.

“Together with the Revoe and Claremont Masterplans which are already in place, we will aim to seek funding through future opportunities that we hope will be presented by a second Levelling Up Fund bid and the Shared Prosperity Fund, the criteria for which we anticipate will be published by the Government later this year.”

The three schemes included in the initial Levelling Up Fund bid are:

The refurbishment and conversion of the Post Office for a branded boutique hotel, which missed out on support from the Future High Streets Fund.

Redevelopment work and creation of a new convention space with retail within the Olympia area of the Winter Gardens, including facade improvements directly opposite the £21 m Houndshill extension.

An active travel/town centre access scheme to reduce congestion on the approaches into town centre while reducing carbon emissions. The scheme also includes Adelaide Street public transport improvements, new public realm from Adelaide Street to Hull Road to support an enhanced entrance from the forthcoming Blackpool Central development. Also public realm works along Coronation Street down to Albert Road, with provision of new cycle ways whilst framing the Houndshill extension and the Winter Gardens.