The reasons why Blackpool is a great place to live

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We take a look at the town’s great cost of living, sense of community and independent music scene and businesses

 

New cases were recorded in all 14 Lancashire boroughs, including Blackpool
BLACKPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM – MARCH 30: In an aerial view from a drone, the sun rises behind Blackpool Tower on March 30, 2021 in Blackpool, United Kingdom. Parts of the UK are set to see the warmest day of the year so far as forecasters are predicting temperatures of 22C (72F). With the easing of pandemic lockdown rules, many people will be heading for the outdoors. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Four Lancashire towns have been named in a recent ‘worst places to live in the UK’ list – including Blackpool.

The seaside resort has suffered many socioeconomic problems which have been widely publicised in the national and local media.

The town has a unique identity unlike anywhere else in the country however where many of its residents feel free to be themselves.

There is a thriving LGBTQIA+ along with a strong independent music scene and plethora of quirky businesses that you will not find anywhere else.

It’s also an incredibly cheap place to live in terms of food, transport and property.

The booming tourist industry provides many job opportunities from working at its world famous attractions to its world class entertainment and shows.

Here at LancsLive, we took a look at the reasons why Blackpool is a rather nice place to set up shop:

Community

Furniture created by House of Concrete, Blackpool for Counselling in the Community
Furniture created by House of Concrete, Blackpool for Counselling in the Community (Image: Counselling in the Community)

Blackpool has faced many hard times over the decades however this had bred a community spirit seen like no other in a UK town.

There are hundreds of volunteers who dedicate their time and expertise to the most vulnerable.

Counselling in the Community (CIC) on Derby Road is an amazing counselling service, reliant on donations, that offers sessions for as little as £3 an hour with around a three week waiting list which is considerably shorter than NHS. The service was set up three years ago by owner and qualified counsellor Stuart Hutton-Brown and now has around 50 volunteer counsellors including some students.

Created out of a pilot scheme which provided help to those who were vulnerable from a minibus parked up in Blackpool centre, Blackpool and the Fylde Street Angels (BFSA) also operate a weekly outreach programme and has an Emergency Bed Unit.

Services include offering hot food on the streets, signposting, basic first aid and practical help and advice.

Empowerment, based on Bispham Road, works alongside people in Blackpool and the Fylde Coast who feel they have no voice and are not listened to. The charity provides a number of services for residents of the town offering its advocacy services via the Blackpool Advocacy Hub.

A simple Google search provides a plethora of organisations that help with all kinds of issues that include anxiety, depressions, homeless, drug and alcohol addiction and many more.

Blackpool FC

Blackpool FC has some of the most passionate and dedicated fans in the country.

Referred to as Tangerines or Seasiders, the fan base has carried on strong throughout the generations.

Blackpool Football Club was founded in 1887 by former students of St John‘s School. Two years on the other football club in town, South Shore FC, was merged into Blackpool.

Some of the biggest profiles in the history of the club are Jackie Mudie, Stan Mortensen and Stanley Matthews.

History

Blackpool has a rich and interesting history arising out of interest in sea bathing dating back to the 1750s.

It was believed seawater had disease-curing properties which many were eager to try. Despite this, it still didn’t receive many visitors until the 1780s when a new road allowed people to visit from Manchester via stagecoach.

The constructions of its railway began a little later which saw a huge influx of visitors and became a haunt for “well-to-do” Victorians.

This is when its miles of golden sands became more synonymous with the well known staples of today such as deck chairs, sticks of rock and donkey rides.

World-famous attractions

An aerial view of the ICON ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
An aerial view of the ICON ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool attractions have become so of the most famous recognisable in the world.

One of Britain’s most well-love landmarks, the Blackpool Tower, was the tallest manmade structure in the British Empire when built in 1891 boasting spectacular views as far out as the Lake District and North Wales.

It remarkable design and ornate decorations are still marvelled at centuries later.

Housing 11 different rooms it has five famous attractions including its ballroom, which has seen dancing shoes from all over the world, and Blackpool Circus which hasn’t changed much since it opening in 1894. After surviving two world wars, Blackpool Illuminations still continues to wow visitors after 140 years with big names and celebrities switching them on in late summer every year.

Known as “artificial sunlight”, ‘Blackpool lights have become part of many children’s memories and have been referenced in Beatles songs and is also in the name of one of the White Stripes’ live DVDs.

Inspired by Walt Disney’s penultimate amusement park, ‘Disneyland’, Blackpool Pleasure Beach has seen many world-first rollercoasters such as Europe’s first 360-degree looping coaster, the Revolution, the UK’s first £2 million Ice Blast, which catapults riders 210 feet vertically into the air and not to mention the Big One which was the tallest and fastest rollercoaster in the world.

Today, the park attracts YouTubers and thrill seekers from all over the globe. There are so many attractions and so much entertainment both children and adults can enjoy in the form of Madame Tussauds, Sealife Centre, Coral Island and many more.

The new 'Scream & Shake' cafe on Birley Street, Blackpool
The new ‘Scream & Shake’ cafe on Birley Street, Blackpool (Image: The Crypt)

Unique businesses

Blackpool has a unique offering of businesses that aren’t like anywhere in the country. Lurking amidst the retail shops on Birley Street lies the UK’s only horror-themed tea room.

The Crypt is a hangout for horror lovers and people who love the spooky season all year round and it has also just launched its new Scream and Shake bar in Blackpool.

The walls are literally dripping with horror movie props, merchandise and memorabilia. There is also Ziggy’s Bar and Cafe on Cedar Square which oozes cult cool inspired by non other than David Bowie.

The Fab Four have also inspired The Yellow Submarine on Rigby Road. The Abbey Road-themed entrance welcomes avid Beatles fans and those who love the 60s.

Other amazing bars to check out are Marley’s Rum bar, Cogs Cafe, Paradise Coast and Dirty Blondes.

Independent music scene

Lemmy's bar in Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool
Lemmy’s bar in Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool (Image: Lemmy’s bar in Waterloo Music Bar)

Blackpool has developed an amazing independent music scene developed out of a need to compete with neighbouring Manchester and Liverpool.

The town also has some of the best decorated music venues in the the world. Music maestro Jools Holland, described the Galleon on Abingdon Street as ‘the best decorated music venue he had seen in Europe’.

The grassroots music venue has earned a good reputation after its 65+ year history of promoting live music. It has served as a community hub for both local and visiting live entertainment fraternity since its opening.

The Waterloo Music Bar on Waterloo Road houses the only Lemmy-themed bar in the UK names after the Motorhead frontman.

Staff built the bar around two years ago and it is stocked with memorabilia including his cowboy boots. Detail has been put into every inch including a drum kit in the toilet.

Bootleg Social is also a highly-rated venue created by two childhood friends to support the independent music scene. Whether your a gig goer or starting a new band, you’re sure to find a place in Blackpool independent music scene.

LGBT scene

Although perhaps not as famous as Brighton, there is nevertheless a very lively and exciting gay scene mainly centered around Dickson Road and Queen Street.

It’s one of the leading gay-friendly towns in the UK.

Legendary bar in Blackpool is a purpose-built gay venue in the town. The Flying Handbag, colourful in both appearance and character, is also popular with the locals and tourists of the resort.

Plans are underway to create the first ever permanent collection of LGBTQIA+ heritage in Blackpool.

Abingdon Studios has received funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the new ‘We’re Still Here’ project. The project is to document the history of LGBTQIA+ heritage in the town via people’s stories.

Education

Blackpool and Fylde College
Blackpool and Fylde College (Image: Google Maps)

There are around 57 schools in and around Blackpool with many receiving ‘Outstanding’ from OfSted.

Out of 38 primary schools, four have received this rating with top performing primary schools including Blackpool St Nicholas CofE Primary School, Highfurlong School and Park Community Academy.

There are a choice of thirteen secondary schools with three receiving ‘Outstanding. Top performers are Park Community Academy, Blackpool and the Fylde College and Highfurlong School.

Blackpool and the Fylde college also ranked in the top 3% of England’s further education colleges for 6 years running and enjoyed a 97% pass rate in 2019/20.

Cost of living

The town’ thriving tourism economy means there are always full and part time work opportunities if you want to live in Blackpool.

Not to mention being a thriving centre for theatre and entertainment which off some of the most affordable shows in the UK

An ambitious regeneration programme supported by millions of pounds worth of investment means the career prospects for graduates are increasing all the time too.

Travelling in Blackpool is incredibly cheap with several modes of transport including trams, trains and buses. A tram journey that that crosses between the two zones oin the town costs just £2.40.

Blackpool also has an eclectic range of places to eat so you can choose to go as expensive or as cheap as you like. The average fastfood meal is £5.00 and you can even get a £1 burger from the Higgitt’s famous £1 burger bar.

Blackpool is also one of the most affordable places to buy a house in the county in relation to wages. The average price of £146,466 a semi-detached house is £146,466 with terraced housing priced at £100,389.