Visitors slam ‘busy’ Blackpool World Firework Championship

Lancashire Telegraph

Blackpool’s World Firework Championships kicked off earlier this month and people flocked to the coastal area to watch the free display.


While most visitors were in awe of the fantastic firework displays on opening weekend (September 11), others were alarmed by just how busy it was with some saying that it took hours just to get out of the car park.

The event will be running on various weekend dates until October 23 – but many have vowed to stay away after being put off from the jam-packed opening display.

Lancashire Telegraph: Crowds at the Blackpool Firework ChampionshipsCrowds at the Blackpool Firework Championships

One Twitter user, @JohnAMEllis uploaded a short clip of the fireworks to their social media but critiqued the hectic journey home.

They wrote: “It was amazing but took three hours to get out of the car park and get home (usually a 30 min journey).”

Jamie Patterson said he had “never seen Blackpool so busy” while Chris Meadows commented that the “traffic in and around Blackpool was bad, parking spaces were not really available”.

“Going off last week’s opening event I’d advise people get there at eight am to secure a place… it was a little busy,” Antony Jones joked.

Twitter user, @kilnerlufc, said: “Blackpool is horrible at the best of times as it is, but making the mistake of going there when Blackpool are playing at home, and it’s the Fireworks Championship… Never again!”

Other Twitter users were disgusted by the “terrible” litter left behind after the busy event.

Elaine Kelly said: “Fireworks were fantastic… however, the litter that was left was terrible.

“Wasted food everywhere and empty bottles and cans strewn all over the pavements. There were security officers about but they were just standing around not doing much.”

Another said: “Please pick up your rubbish and food, last Saturday was embarrassing as the street were littered after the fireworks.”

Stuart Fielding added: “Last night I realised why I had not been in Blackpool on Saturday night for a long time.

“Stick to the more refined Poulton in future. The firework display was good though.”

Andrew Hughes also agreed that the fireworks championship “was a good night” but added that it was “overcrowded” with “no social distancing in place.”

With more firework displays set to take place in the coming weeks, a spokesperson for VisitBlackpool has some advice for future visitors if they want to avoid large crowds and parking issues.

They said: “The free fireworks events invariably attract large crowds to the Promenade.

“We would encourage people to arrive early and, if possible, park on some of the larger car parks to the south of the resort (between the M55 and the football club) rather than heading into the town centre.

Lancashire Telegraph: Crowds at the Blackpool Firework ChampionshipsCrowds at the Blackpool Firework Championships

“The promenade is only a short walk away from the car parks and people can either take a stroll to the Tower Festival Headland or catch a tram.”

They added: “We would also encourage people to stagger their departure time.

“After the fireworks have finished, there is plenty to do in and around the Promenade with free light projection shows on the front of The Blackpool Tower building and an opportunity to walk through the Illuminations which will be on until midnight.”

When is the next Firework Championship display?

The World Firework Championship displays take place on alternate Saturday evenings with the next one set to take place this weekend (25 September) with a display from Ireland.

Saturday 9 October is Germany’s display and Saturday 23 October is the celebratory display and winners announcement from Titanium Fireworks.

All displays subject to suitable weather conditions.

The events start from 7.30pm with the first fireworks firing from approximately 8:30pm.

The best place to see the display is along Blackpool promenade as the launchpad for the display is in front of Blackpool Tower.





Photographer takes image of ‘crane lifting Blackpool Tower’

Lancashire Telegraph

Photographer takes image of ‘crane lifting Blackpool Tower’


Blackpool Tower (Photo: Twitter/ @PositiveLee7)

Blackpool Tower (Photo: Twitter/ @PositiveLee7)

In the photo, posted by Twitter user @PositiveLee7, it looks like Blackpool tower is being lifted by a crane.

The Twitter user posted the snap along with the caption: “I had to pull over and take a picture of this when I was coming down Talbot Road, Blackpool”

Many people were quick to share the photo and comment on it.

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackpool Tower (Photo: Twitter/ @PositiveLee7)Blackpool Tower (Photo: Twitter/ @PositiveLee7)

Sangrounder Radio wrote: “We never thought we’d see the day when a crane tries to lift Blackpool Tower”

Bernie Blackburn asked: “Are they moving it?”

Others wanted to praise the Twitter user’s photography skills, writing “epic image” and “nicely caught”.

However, the image appears to be a product of good angles and perfect timing.

Blackpool Tower isn’t actually being lifted and shifted by a crane; the cranes are actually carrying out work miles away from the tower.

A spokesperson for Blackpool Council said: “It’s just clever photography.

“The cranes are working on the Talbot Gateway development near Blackpool North Station, the Tower is about half a mile away.”


Leaders are ‘transforming’ formerly ‘inadequate’ Blackpool secondary school Highfield Leadership Academy, says Ofsted

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A South Shore secondary school which was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted three years ago has been bumped up to ‘requires improvement’ following its most recent inspection.


Education watchdog Ofsted said leaders at Highfield Leadership Academy in Highfield Road were “transforming the school for pupils” when it was inspected in July.

A previous inspection carried out in 2018 saw the Academy receive the lowest possible Ofsted rating of “inadequate,” after inspectors raised concerns about pupils’ “inadequate progress in subjects,” the “commonplace” use of offensive language in corridors by pupils, and an “overgenerous” view of the school’s effectiveness by leaders.

However, although this year the overall rating for the school was graded as “requires improvement,” behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management were all rated “good.”

Education watchdog Ofsted said leaders at Highfield Leadership Academy in Highfield Road were "transforming the school for pupils" when it was inspected in July.

Education watchdog Ofsted said leaders at Highfield Leadership Academy in Highfield Road were “transforming the school for pupils” when it was inspected in July.

Inspectors ruled that safeguarding measures were effective, pupils felt safe and happy, leaders were aspirational for their pupils and provisions for pupils with special educational needs

and/or disabilities have been strengthened.

The latest report also said that while leaders had been “incredibly proactive in improving the quality of education for all pupils,” it was decided that this area would benefit from

further improvement – warranting a “requires improvement” rating.

Bullying was “rare,” inspectors said, and pupils were “confident that if bullying does occur, staff will deal with it quickly and effectively.”

Pupils treat each other well, and they were confident in teachers’ expertise to manage behaviour, the report said.

“This means that pupils can concentrate in their lessons without learning being disrupted.”

Improvements were needed for curriculum plans, which in many subjects were “incomplete,” and “in some subjects, teachers [did] not know the most effective way to deliver the key stage three curriculum.”

But it was acknowledged that “leaders have implemented successful strategies to support pupils in key stage three who are behind with their reading.”

Andrew Galbraith, principal at Highfield Leadership Academy, said: “I am very pleased that this latest Ofsted inspection recognises the many improvements that have taken place throughout the school and our pupils’ positive attitudes.

“These improvements would not have been possible without the support and commitment of our dedicated and professional members of staff, our parents and, of course, our incredible pupils.

“We are delighted that the caring and supportive community that has developed around Highfield Leadership Academy was highlighted as a particular strength.

“The wellbeing of our pupils is of the utmost importance to us as a school. The fact that our pupils are happy, safe and feel a sense of belonging and pride in their school is a real cause for celebration.

“We are continuing our work to ensure that our school becomes outstanding in all areas. We are committed to making further improvements as we continue our transformation journey to help our pupils achieve even more.”


School’s road safety fear as Oyston pub plan revived

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A South Shore school fear for the safety of its pupils and staff if a bid to build a new pub-restaurants goes ahead.


Denaxe Ltd, a company owned by former Blackpool FC owner Owen Oyston, has applied to Blackpool Council for a certificate of lawfulness to proceed with the pub aspect for which permission which was granted back in 2005.

At the time, council planners gave the green light to a hotel, pub and restaurant at the corner of Seymour Road and Bloomfield Road, but only the hotel was built, the Travelodge opening in 2012.

Gateway was built the same year, opening in 2013, with access from Seymour Road – and bosses there have contacted councillors and South Shore MP Scott Benton to express their concerns after the bid to revive the plan was revealed in The Gazette.

Gateway School opened several years after the original planning permission  for the pub-restaurant was granted, along with that for the Travelodge hotel

Gateway School opened several years after the original planning permission for the pub-restaurant was granted, along with that for the Travelodge hotel

Concern at revival of bid to build new pub – 16 years on

“When the original planning permission was granted there was no school at the end of Seymour Road, a narrow cul-de-sac.

“Sixteen years is a long time in planning terms and the environment around this extant scheme has changed immensely for the betterment of the local community.

“A pub/restaurant on Seymour Road would be a retrograde step given the construction of busy and popular Gateway Academy. It would create unnecessary extra road safety issues and labour costs for the Council and Police.

“The school is extremely busy with children and parents/carers walking plus traffic and deliveries and is already having to manage a range of road safety initiatives to keep its youngsters and parents/carers safe.”

A Blackpool Council spokesman said the application is with its legal team.

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Blackpool Council wants your views on its Climate Emergency Action Plan to reach net zero by 2030

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Residents’ views are sought by Blackpool Council on its Climate Emergency Action Plan, which sets out how the resort can aim for net zero carbon emissions by 2030.


A survey will run until October 20 so that residents can put forward their views.

The plan is based on recent studies by The Carbon Trust and Atkins, following recommendations from the council’s climate assembly earlier this year.

A greater proportion of Blackpool’s emissions than the Lancashire average comes from domestic energy use, mainly from gas and electricity.

A public survey seeking views on Blackpool Council's climate action plan will run until October 20.

A public survey seeking views on Blackpool Council’s climate action plan will run until October 20.

Proposed actions include exploring the development of a solar farm at Blackpool Airport, moving to all-electric buses, and implementing an ‘Energy from Waste’ facility, which would turn waste materials into green gas.

Retrofitting council houses with enhanced insulation, replacing existing street lighting with LEDs and implementing a tree strategy programme are already underway.

Not only would the plan help the planet, but a greener economy could create up to 4,000 Fylde coast jobs, the council said.

Blackpool Council’s Climate Emergency Steering Group, made up of staff from all council services and companies, will meet every three months to ensure progress is made.

A Climate Action Partnership, made up of councillors, residents, young residents, climate experts, businesses and other relevant parties will also meet twice a year to check on progress and facilitate projects.

Leader Coun Lynn Williams said: “We are all guilty of taking for granted the systems on which we build our lives, ecological and man-made, natural and designed. The climate crisis challenges both.

“We can and will adapt, with innovative ways of thinking and a spirit of co-operation. It will take time, hard work, and we will all need to learn to change, but our effort now can transform the lives of future generations.”

Coun Jane Hugo added: “This action plan is a significant milestone and a crucial step towards Blackpool tackling the climate crisis.

“Recommendations from the climate assembly have led directly to 31 of the actions in this plan and I would like to thank members of the assembly for their valuable contribution.

“The assembly process ensured members of the assembly were representative of the whole Blackpool population, and that is vital because making Blackpool a greener place affects us all.

“The climate emergency calls for immediate action. Now we have a plan in place I am eager for us all to concentrate our efforts into putting the actions into practice. The impact of these changes will not only affect us, but generations to come.

“I would urge everyone in Blackpool to take an interest in the report, give their feedback during the consultation and continue to get involved and inspired.”

Visit the council’s Climate Action Plan page to have your say.



Poulton ice cream parlour’s £200,000 makeover proves sweet success with customers

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Bosses at The New Penny of Poulton said a £200,000 makeover has gone down a treat with customers.


Tom and Stephen Jones standing in front of their revamped New Penny.

Tom and Stephen Jones standing in front of their revamped New Penny.

The ice cream parlour and café, in Tithebarn Street, has been in need of a revamp for some time, boss Stephen Jones said, with workmen put to work earlier this year.

He said: “The building took 13 weeks to complete.”

And his son Tom Jones, who helps run the popular eatery, added: “The public really likes it. Everybody I have asked said it feels like night and day.

A look into the new interior

A look into the new interior

“Sometimes when I close my eyes I feel like I’m in Italy.”

The New Penny, which like many venues furloughed its staff – with not all returning – during the height of the pandemic, is soon to celebrate its 40th year after opening in November 1982.

Tom said chiefs are looking into a number of ideas of how to mark the milestone.

“It is quite the achievement for a third-generation business,” he said. “We have had the same landlords and the same foundations. Continuity is quite good in that sense.

Some of the many flavours on offer at the New Penny

Some of the many flavours on offer at the New Penny

“But it is going to be something special and we are hoping to do something to celebrate.”

The New Penny, which has an average rating of 4.0 out of five on the review site TripAdvisor based on the thoughts of 146 customers, gave away its stock to locals after Covid restrictions forced its door shut last year.

Talks with the landlord began during lockdown, with builders due on site in January this year.

They “were busy”, Stephen said, with work eventually getting underway in March ahead of an official reopening in June.

Designers from The Artistry House scrapped the dark wooden aesthetic in favour of a lighter, more open space, with a middle wall knocked down and the back doors replaced by a sliding window door.

The colour scheme has also been overhauled.



Lancashire’s tourism awards are back for 2021 and here are the full details

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Lancashire’s visitor and hospitality businesses can put themselves in the spotlight as the county’s tourism awards make a comeback.


After a year off amid Covid, the hunt for the best in the business across the county is back on with the launch of the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2021.

Marketing Lancashire’s awards are linked to Visit England’s national awards, with the majority of county winners later competing for a national title.

Nineteen awards are now open for entries, including two new awards to acknowledge the character, resilience and invention shown by the sector throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rachel McQueen at the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2019

Rachel McQueen at the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2019

The new awards are: The Resilience and Innovation Award, rewarding a business that has redefined itself during the pandemic and The Unsung Hero Award, highlighting individuals who have helped create unique and memorable experiences for visitors.

Rachel McQueen, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire said: “The Lancashire Tourism Awards 2021 will be a very special event for the sector and for Marketing Lancashire.

“We have never been prouder of our partners and the county’s tourism and hospitality businesses, than we have over the last seventeen months or so.

“Facing the challenges, uncertainty and genuine hardship brought by the pandemic, the sector has shown remarkable resilience, proved its ability to redefine itself and has adapted to some of the most testing restrictions on ‘normal’ operations seen in most lifetimes.

“What has shone through during this period is truly reflective of the Lancashire character, approaching each challenge in practical, innovative and often surprisingly good-humoured ways.

“The Lancashire Tourism Awards 2021 will be a celebration of that redefining, of that spirited Lancashire character and of course the future of this incredible sector.”

The categories now open for application are:

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award *

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year *

Cultural Venue / Organisation of the Year

Dog Friendly Business of the Year

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award *

Experience of the Year *

Large Hotel of the Year *

Perfect Stay *

New Tourism Business Award *

Lancashire Pub of the Year *

Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year *

Producer of the Year

Café & Tearoom of the Year

Restaurant of the Year *

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year *

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year *

Wedding Venue of the Year

Resilience and Innovation Award *

Unsung Hero Award *

* The winners of these categories will have the opportunity to represent Lancashire in the national

VisitEngland Awards for Excellence Awards 2022 competition.

Full details can be found at