Police search for missing Blackpool woman with pink hair and tattoosConcern is growing for a Blackpool woman who went missing at the weekend.

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Concern is growing for a Blackpool woman who went missing at the weekend.

 

Danielle Catton, 27, was last seen at Revoe Park at around 10.30am on Saturday (June 26), say police, who are becoming increasingly concerned for her welfare.

She is described as white, 5ft 4in tall, with shoulder length pink hair and tattoos on her arms of roses and a wolf.

She was wearing a red cropped hoodie with blue jogging bottoms and white adidas trainers with silver stripes at the time of her disappearance.

Danielle Catton, 27, is described as white, 5ft 4in tall, with shoulder length pink hair and tattoos on her arms of roses and a wolf. She was wearing a red cropped hoodie with blue jogging bottoms and white adidas trainers with silver stripes at the time of her disappearance. Pic: Lancashire PoliceDanielle Catton, 27, is described as white, 5ft 4in tall, with shoulder length pink hair and tattoos on her arms of roses and a wolf. She was wearing a red cropped hoodie with blue jogging bottoms and white adidas trainers with silver stripes at the time of her disappearance. Pic: Lancashire Police

Danielle has links to Blackpool, Fleetwood, Lancaster and Morecambe.

Anyone with information is urged to call 101 quoting log 0650 of June 27. In an emergency call 999.

 

Creative Blackpool students shine in virtual art exhibition

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Graduating students at Blackpool and the Fylde College have launched a virtual exhibition to showcase their artistic talents.

 

REMOTE, the exhibition, is a collection of work from students leaving college this year, who were unable to show their art in person to the public due to Covid restrictions.

Their art is available to view online via a makeshift virtual tour of an art gallery, whereby viewers can move around “buildings” featuring work from further and higher education students.

The exhibition was launched in conjunction with Creative Lancashire to spotlight some of the most outstanding entries, and was curated by Blackpool School of Arts coordinator Aaron Tonks.

One of the virtual "rooms" showcasing graduating Blackpool and the Fylde College students' work. Pic: Aaron TonksOne of the virtual “rooms” showcasing graduating Blackpool and the Fylde College students’ work. Pic: Aaron Tonks

Aaron said: “I have seen a huge variety of students work during the planning, curation and building of this exhibition and I am enormously impressed by the creativity and quality on show, especially after the disruption caused by Covid-19 over the last year.

“Our students have shown us that creativity and the arts shine brighter in times of crisis.”

This year, the college and Creative Lancashire joined up to host the Industry Award event.

Nominees are highlighted throughout the exhibition with the Creative Lancashire logo, and the three categories of awards are based on Blackpool School of Arts’ values of community, connectivity and process, as well as winners for the overall further education Student of the Year and higher education Student of the Year.

One of the virtual "rooms" showcasing graduating Blackpool and the Fylde College students' work. Pic: Aaron TonksOne of the virtual “rooms” showcasing graduating Blackpool and the Fylde College students’ work. Pic: Aaron Tonks

Ed Matthews-Gentle from Creative Lancashire, and judge for the college’s Industry Awards, added: “It was a pleasure to be associated with the Blackpool School of Art Awards. Our panel of industry peers were incredibly impressed by all nominated students.

“Well done to the winners, and congratulations to all staff and students for navigating such a difficult year and still delivering such staggeringly impressive work.”

The REMOTE art exhibition can be viewed here.

 

Air ambulance called out after man falls from railway bridge in Blackpool

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A man has been taken to hospital with a head injury after falling from a railway bridge in Blackpool.

 

Ambulance crews rushed to Layton railway station after a 999 call at 8.23am Wednesday, moments after a man fell from a bridge at the station in Bispham Road.

The air ambulance was deployed and video shows the helicopter landing in the Pets at Home car park in Holyoake Avenue, off Plymouth Road a short time later.

In the footage, police can also be seen rushing to the scene with blue-lights on.

Video shows the air ambulance touching down in the car park of Pets at Home in Holyoake Avenue, off Plymouth Road, Blackpool at around 9am this morning (Wednesday, June 30)Video shows the air ambulance touching down in the car park of Pets at Home in Holyoake Avenue, off Plymouth Road, Blackpool at around 9am this morning (Wednesday, June 30)

The man, who has suffered a head injury, has been taken to hospital by road ambulance.

A spokesman for North West Ambulance Service said: “An ambulance, helimed crew and response vehicle attended an incident at Layton Railway Station, Bispham Road, following a 999 call at 8.23am, reporting that someone had fallen from a bridge.

“We have taken a male patient to the hospital by road with a head injury.”

Lancashire Police has been approached for comment.

The air ambulance landed in the Pets at Home car park in Holyoake Avenue, off Plymouth Road, where medics were met by a police car that took them to the scene at Layton railway stationThe air ambulance landed in the Pets at Home car park in Holyoake Avenue, off Plymouth Road, where medics were met by a police car that took them to the scene at Layton railway station

Blackpool Elvis impersonator jailed for raping schoolgirl

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A Blackpool man who performed as an Elvis tribute act on Central Pier has been jailed for raping a schoolgirl 19 years ago.

 

Clayton Sandlin – also known as Clayton Mark – has been sentenced to eight years in prison after he was found guilty of historical sex offences dating back to 2002.

The 62-year-old, of Norkeed Court, Queens Promenade, was accused of preying on a 15-year-old girl whilst starring in an Elvis tribute act on Central Pier, where he continued to perform until 2016.

Then aged 43, Sanlin had been singing the King’s greatest hits to unsuspecting crowds whilst using his position of trust to exploit the girl, who he subjected to horrific sexual attacks, including rape.

The 62-year-old, of Norkeed Court, Queens Promenade, Blackpool was accused of preying on a 15-year-old girl whilst starring in a tribute act on Central Pier in 2002The 62-year-old, of Norkeed Court, Queens Promenade, Blackpool was accused of preying on a 15-year-old girl whilst starring in a tribute act on Central Pier in 2002

He was found guilty at Preston Crown Court on Monday (June 28) and sentenced to eight years behind bars. He has also been handed a lifetime sex offenders notification and lifetime restraining order.

Det Con Adam Weaver, of Blackpool Police, said: “Sandlin is a predatory individual who pursued the victim to satisfy his own depravity.

“He used a position of trust to exploit the girl, then 15, before committing several horrific sexual attacks, including rape.

“The victim has shown tremendous bravery in coming forward and telling police what happened. She has also shown great courage during the trial process.

Sandlin, then aged 43, had been working as an Elvis Presley tribute act at a show on the resort’s Central Pier at the time of the sex attacks on a schoolgirlSandlin, then aged 43, had been working as an Elvis Presley tribute act at a show on the resort’s Central Pier at the time of the sex attacks on a schoolgirl

“Sandlin is clearly a dangerous individual and his sentence reflects the gravity of his actions.”

As well as performing on Central Pier, Sandlin also sang at the St Annes Christmas lights switch on in 2014.

How was he caught?

In 2018, Lancashire Police said it received a complaint from a woman alleging Sandlin had committed a number of sex assaults against her in 2002, when she was just 15-years-old.

Following enquiries, Sandlin was voluntarily interviewed by police in connection with the allegations.

He was later reported for summons for one offence of rape and two offences of indecent assault.

Sandlin pleaded not guilty, but following a trial at Preston Crown Court, he was found guilty and convicted of the historical sex offences.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police added: “We would encourage anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence, current or historical, to come forward and report it to us, safe in the knowledge we take all reports seriously and ensure victims are treated sensitively and professionally at all times.”

Blackpool launches a Business Improvement District to boost its tourism sector

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Blackpool is to get its second business improvement district scheme after tourism businesses voted to create their own group to promote the resort.

 

A new Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) is to be launched from Thursday after a ballot, in which more than 90 per cent of businesses gave the idea the thumbs up.

It means that the private sector-led TBID can play a key role in supporting the resort’s post-COVID recovery plan by generating around £1m of investment over the next five years.

The council said the business plan that supported the ballot process showed how a collaboration between private and public sector could be used to focus on protecting and developing a vibrant tourism economy.

Tourism businesses in parts of Blackpool have voted to start a Tourism Business Improvement District scheme to promote the areaTourism businesses in parts of Blackpool have voted to start a Tourism Business Improvement District scheme to promote the area

The TBID promises to deliver marketing and events activity to increase footfall, spend, dwell time and overnight stays, and give businesses a greater say in what is happening across the tourism sector.

The TBID area, which includes more than 250 businesses on the seafront as well as those operating around the Stanley Park and Marton Mere areas, becomes the second Business Improvement District to be formed in Blackpool

The existing Town Centre BID is long-established and recently won another five-year mandate to support town centre traders.

Kate Shane, TBID Project Lead and Head of Blackpool Cluster for the Merlin Entertainments Group, said: “It is brilliant to see our tourism industry recognise the importance of a structured recovery programme and the role that a tourism-focused Business Improvement District can play within that.

Coun Lynne WilliamsCoun Lynne Williams

“By working in partnership with leisure, accommodation, retail, food and drink businesses, and statutory authorities we know we can deliver a strong, cohesive, business-led growth strategy for Blackpool.”

Coun Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This is an opportunity to stimulate investment in Blackpool’s tourism economy and help realise its future potential.

“Throughout this pandemic, partnership working within our tourism and hospitality industry has been a key element of recovery planning. The formation of a TBID can now take that on to a

sustainable footing.”

The TBID will come into effect from July 1. A formal board will be appointed over the coming weeks and businesses will pay a levy towards the costs of running the scheme.

Ian White from hoteliers group StayBlackpool said: “We have been involved from the early days while the TBID was just an idea and in the steering group stage.

“We believe the TBID project will be a significant and vital part of the COVID Recovery period and beyond.

“The TBID brings together the private sector and Blackpool council to offer the strongest possible future path for the towns tourism offer.

“Though StayBlackpool as a group will hold no voting rights, we believe we can hold a significant and instrumental part in keeping our members interests represented for the good of all.”

New pictures show work is underway on M55 link road

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Local leaders have met to celebrate the start of construction of the £27m M55 to Heyhouses link road, which is expected to open in early 2024.

 

The first phase of the project involves around 18-months of earthworks by Duo Operations to prepare the ground for the new road, which will then be constructed by Lancashire County

Council’s in-house team.

The link road, which will improve access between Lytham and St Annes and the motorway network, will connect the existing roundabout at Whitehills Road to the north with HeyhousesLocal leaders met to celebrate the start of the M55 link road worksLocal leaders met to celebrate the start of the M55 link road works

Lane near the Cypress Point development site to the south.

On the northern section, Wild Lane and part of North Houses Lane – single track roads which were closed a number of years ago – will be reopened as a shared path for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

MP’s delight as work on Fylde’s M55 link road finally under way
The start of the M55 link road works
The start of the M55 link road works

The road is being funded thanks to contributions from or managed through the Department for Transport, Highways England, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Lancashire

County Council, Fylde Borough Council, Kensington Developments Ltd, and other developers.

A contract was agreed in March after the project became one of 10 ‘shovel ready’ schemes across the county to receive support as part of the Getting Building Fund to speed up

construction in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The site where the M55 link road is being builtThe site where the M55 link road is being built

County Coun Charlie Edwards, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Lancashire County Council believes this road will make a huge difference to

travel in this area, and is vital to ensure the creation of jobs and homes for local people with the future development which will now be able to take place.

“I know that residents and businesses have been anticipating this moment for many years, and I’m very pleased to be able to say that we’re getting on with delivering those better journey

times and reduced congestion which the link road will bring.

“The project board for this scheme represents a number of local partners, and it has taken an enormous amount of determination from them to secure the land and funding needed to get

us to this point.

“I’d also like to thank all the neighbouring landowners for their support and cooperation in allowing us to secure the land needed for the road, and the access which will make construction easier.

“My thanks also to all of the councillors and local organisations for working together to deliver this for our residents.”

Coun Karen Buckley, leader of Fylde Borough Council, said: “There has been enormous determination shown by local leaders to get to the point of contractors finally being on site to build

this much needed road.

“Since the road collapsed in 2013 and was closed as a through route to Whitehills roundabout there have been three different leaders of Fylde Council and yet this priority has never been off the table.

“Reaching agreement between so many interested parties with competing priorities proved challenging and some local residents, understandably, voiced a view that they did not believe

the project was happening until they saw it with their own eyes. I am relieved we are now at that point and the years of negotiations, lobbying and bid-writing has borne fruit.”

It is hoped the scheme will relieve congestion on smaller roads and support the commercial viability of local housing and business development sites.

David Taylor, chairman of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “The LEP is proud to be backing this project, which not only provides an important transport link but which will also

improve access to the nearby Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone and unlock vital local jobs and homes on the Fylde.

“I know a lot of local effort has gone in to making this project happen, and it is great that £5.79m of funding from the Getting Building Fund – provided by the LEP – has been decisive in getting this project across the line.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “At last, we can see works on the M55 link road under way.

“Lancashire County Council stepped up to the mark and Fylde Council doubled its contribution to the project to get it done. I lobbied ministers including the Chancellor and Prime Minister

to secure Government funding and our vital link road is now being built.

“What we must remember is that this much more than just a road; it will help unlock the economic potential of St Annes and Lytham for many years to come.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP, said: “I am thrilled that a £5.79 million Getting Building Fund investment will help kickstart construction to improve access between Lytham and the M55.

“This project will help to relieve congestion on smaller local roads and provide more opportunities for housing and business developments in the area.”

Kristian Marsh, Highways England’s route manager for the M55, said: “We are pleased to be able to support the delivery of this long desired local highway scheme with a £4.78 million contribution from our Growth and Housing Fund.

“It’s a great example of partnership across many organisations that will help unlock the development of new homes and the creation of new jobs.”

A year to save Lancashire’s historic Palace cinema – but will new Community Interest Company attract enough volunteers?

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A CIC (Community interest Company) has been set up as a first step to saving Longridge’s Palace cinema. Volunteers with different skills will be needed to take on the running of this small historic venue on Market Place.

 

Come September the Palace Cinema in Longridge, near Preston could open its doors to the public again.

But that prospect depends upon a willing team of supporters coming forward to help steer its trial year as a Community Interest Company.

Filmmaker Lara Hewitt, who has run the cinema for the past few years, has announced that The Palace Longridge Community Interest Company has now been registered at Companies House.

Lara Hewitt, pictured inside the PalaceLara Hewitt, pictured inside the Palace

She said: “We need people to now run the cinema and we especially need people who can help with fund raising and manage the business and accounts side. There’s potential for it to open. It will be trialled as a CIC for a year but now the community needs to take it on if they would like to do so … I’ll have to step back. I’m looking for other people to run it,”

If there is not sufficient interest to run the Palace as a CIC it will be put up for sale.

Her late father’s company Parkwood purchased the cinema in 2018 and had been subsidising it as Lara and her team worked to build up income and welcome community groups, organising events ranging from live music to a book club. Despite its increasing popularity the venue had not yet broken event and was losing up to £2,000 a month before its doors had to close due to the pandemic lockdown..

Lara wrote on the Palace’s Facebook page: “The Palace has so much potential but she will need a lot of investment, both financially and in terms of time, from the community if she is to be run by you guys. If it doesn’t work out we will put her on the market. But first of all we will give this a chance. All we can do is try…. Now the hard work begins. Can you be a part of it? It is my hope that Longridge and the various supporters of The Palace can pull together to reopen our historic venue from this autumn.”

The Palace Cinema, LongridgeThe Palace Cinema, Longridge

She continued: “I won’t be taking a wage from The Palace any more and therefore can’t work anything like full time on this, and my dad’s company will not be running it but will loan it (for free) for a year to see if, with my help and guidance in the first instance, the community can look after our lovely treasure chest. But I warn you: it’s a big challenge. ”

Now Lara is drawing up a list of the many jobs it takes to run the venue which also boasts a small cafe/bar, exhibition space and meeting room. She pledged: “I will captain the ship as best I can until such time as she’s safely afloat and another captain presents him or herself.”

She plans to hold bi-weekly sessions beginning on Tuesday, July 13 and Thursday, July 15. to help get the CIC operational.

She said: “There is money that needs to be raised, accounting systems put in place, tills and card machines that need to be purchased, walls that need painting, sweeties that need buying, training to be undergone, volunteer rotas to be established and there are hopefully friendships to be formed too. I stress we are NOT yet officially open as an organisation but I am happy to host appropriately distanced planning meetings in the auditorium for now.”

Filmmaker Lara HewittFilmmaker Lara Hewitt

In particular she says the Palace needs: “people who could be a bookkeeper or accountant for her, write funding bids, build her a new website, liaise with Longridge, Ribble Valley and Lancashire councils, help be on or run a marketing team for events, manage volunteers, do some painting and decorating, work some late evenings when there are busy films or events, liaise with schools, run fundraisers locally, programme films and events, be an ambassador to connect with and collaborate with local businesses, clean beer lines and swap kegs over, deal with blocked toilets, dodgy radiators, tiles in gutters, the odd mouse, mystery damp patches and the other things that happen with a hundred and sixty year old building help with projecting films.”

* The Palace first opened in the early part of the 20th century as a music hall and cinema and later became a roller rink and bingo hall before reverting to its cinema/theatre role. It reopened May 2018 after a five month renovation project.

* Lara recently heard that her film about Brexit and loss entitled Goodbye Europe has been selected to be showcased at this summer’s Chichester International Festival. Her film Datsche is available to rent on Amazon.

For more on plans for the Palace and the background to Lara’s decision see here .

Fleetwood man handed three-year football ban after attempting to punch steward at Blackpool match

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A 51-year-old man has been fined £300 and issued with a three-year football banning order after he attempted to punch a steward in Blackpool.

 

Michael McLaughlin, of Addison Road, Fleetwood, was in attendance at the Blackpool and Fleetwood Town match in Bloomfield Road on December 7, 2019.

During the second half of the match, police said an “incident” involving supporters from both sides took place on the pitch after Blackpool took a 3-0 lead.

After a number of Fleetwood Town fans moved to the segregation barrier, McLaughlin walked to the front of the railings in an attempt to separate the barricade.

Michael McLaughlin (pictured) has been handed a three-year banning order after being found guilty of a public order offence during a Blackpool and Fleetwood Town football match. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

Michael McLaughlin (pictured) has been handed a three-year banning order after being found guilty of a public order offence during a Blackpool and Fleetwood Town football match. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

CCTV footage reportedly captured the 51-year-old attempting to punch a match day steward after they attempted to push McLaughlin back.

Blackpool Elvis impersonator jailed for raping schoolgirl

McLaughlin was given the order at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on June 23 for his behaviour, as well as a £300 fine, costs of £650 and victim surcharge of £32.

PC Dan Fish, of Lancashire Police, said: “McLaughlin was challenged by the steward over his behaviour leading to a violent confrontation.

“His actions were shameful, attempting to attack a steward simply doing their job.

“We welcome the court result and hope it serves as a warning to others.”