Category Archives: Blackpool Tourism

Blackpool hotel where guests live were at risk over lack of fire safety

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

“Fire lighting wasn’t adequate and in the dead of night that puts people at even greater risk. The failings here make this a very serious and troubling example of its kind.”

Plaza Beach Hotel, Blackpool
Plaza Beach Hotel, Blackpool

A Blackpool hotel owner put guests’ lives at risk after allowing one of his three venues to ‘go to rack and ruin’.

At Preston Crown Court today (May 13) Aheed Sultan was sentenced after breaching a raft of fire safety regulations at the five-floor Plaza Beach Hotel in Blackpool.

Today’s hearing took place in Sultan’s absence because of his ‘worsening mental state and physical health’. A psychiatric report confirmed the 77-year-old has Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

Prosecutor Joe Hart said: “A multi-multi-agency operation was carried out and on September 4 in 2017 a fire safety team leader visited the premises.”

During the inspection of the Albert Road hotel firefighters found fire doors had been wedged open, other self-closing doors didn’t work and one fire door could not be opened.

“Means of escape was not sufficient and if a fire had occurred the relevant persons would have been at risk of death or injury,” Mr Hart said.

“Fire safety begins when pen is put to paper and a company thinks through the problems a premises presents. A suitable fire risk assessment simply hadn’t been carried out.”

Inspectors also found the basement area of the hotel was being used to store bed bases, mattresses and other combustible materials. The staircase leading from the flat to the basement was ‘stacked full’ of combustible materials.

“The fire alarm panel was showing a fire on the second floor but there was no fire,” Mr Hart added.

“Not one of the employees understood how to operate the fire alarm system. Blue tac had been placed into the fault buzzer to deaden the sound.”

Some of the emergency lighting in the hotel, formerly called the Silver Beach Hotel, did not have power and locks on some doors meant they could not be easily and quickly opened if a fire started.

The defects ‘were so severe’ that a prohibition notice was served preventing guests from stopping in certain rooms of the hotel until work was carried out.

Sultan was asked to attend an interview on three occasions but failed to do so. The court heard he has previous food hygiene convictions dating back to 2009 and 2015 and he has entered guilty pleas to the six fire safety offences.

Defence barrister Adam Lodge said the defendant’s son, Dr Adnan Sultan, now has power of attorney over his father’s finances.

“Clearly at the time of the investigations carried out this particular hotel, one of three, was in a very poor state of affairs,” Mr Lodge said.

“There was a risk of death but we submit that was a very low risk. He was already beginning to suffer from his health conditions which may explain why this happened.

“One would simply struggle to understand why an individual would let his hotels go to rack and ruin.

“He was suffering from mental health at the time and may not have been as diligent as he had previously.”

The court heard that Sultan owes £207,763 in unpaid taxes and all three of his company have since been dissolved. He now receives state benefits, is entitled to legal aid, and lives with his son.

The judge, Philip Parry, said he was disappointed no financial information had been provided to the court by Sultan’s son in order to allow him to assess his father’s assets ahead of sentencing.

“I have given opportunity after opportunity to be provided with the sort of financial information that I need.

“They were warned I would be able to draw reasonable inferences that they could pay any financial penalty if they failed to provide this information.”

Judge Parry said Sultan had put guests at ‘great risk’.

“He didn’t pay adequate attention to the responsibilities that he had for fire safety,” the judge said.

“Fire lighting wasn’t adequate and in the dead of night that puts people at even greater risk. The failings here make this a very serious and troubling example of its kind.

“There were no fire safety precautions taken overall.”

Sultan, of The Avenue in Loughton, Essex, was fined £7,700 and ordered to pay a £7,300 contribution towards costs.

 

Blackpool’s biggest nightclub at former Home & HQ site set to open next week

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Trilogy night club in Talbot Square will be the town’s biggest night club when fully open on June 21 to receive customers however clubbers can go inside for a drink on May 17.

Trilogy night club will open up in two phases - seating only in May then launch in June
Trilogy night club will open up in two phases – seating only in May then launch in June (Image: Trilogy night club)

A new triple level nightclub is set come to Blackpool in June and will be opening up its first room earlier in May in line with government restrictions.

Trilogy night club in Talbot Square at the former Home & HQ site will be the town’s biggest night club when fully open on June 21 to receive customers however clubbers can go inside for a drink on May 17.

The “triple scene” club will be table service and seated parties at no more than six people, as per Covid guidelines, and booking is not essential but advised.

The venue will be open every Monday, Friday and Saturday from 9pm till late.

Local DJ Lee Jester Watson will playing commercial dance hits and favourite tunes from R&B to pop and there will be plenty of giveaways and offers.

Trilogy night club in Blackpool used to be Home and HQ on Talbot Square
Trilogy night club in Blackpool used to be Home and HQ on Talbot Square (Image: Trilogy night club)

On June 21 there will be a launch event called “Independence Day” where all three levels will be open for clubbers to explore and enjoy music from all genres under one roof.

Site Director Matt Taylor said: “The news of our two phased opening has had a phenomenal reception. We’re back in time for the busy bank holiday weekend so we advise people to book well in advance.”

The venue used to be the Home & HQ nightclub however after a full refurbishment with three new separate levels it is unrecognisable.

New wooden flooring has been put down on some levels, VIP booths put in upstairs and new booths and screens have been set up in level one.

The club was due to open just before the first lockdown in March 2020 however was unable to due to the closure of all non essential businesses.


New floors being put down in the Trilogy Nightclub.

It then had a brief opening for one weekend in October 2020 before a second national lockdown was announced.

Director Matt said: “It’s been an absolute rollercoaster of a year and we haven’t had the chance to open to our full potential yet.

“We’re so glad to be getting back to adding to the night time economy and providing jobs for the people of Blackpool.

“We can’t wait to welcome people inside in May and then for our full launch in June.”

To find out more about Trilogy nightclub’s opening, please the website here.

Blackpool Tower Ballroom’s amazing 21,000 hour lockdown restoration costing £1.1m

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A team that includes some of the most highly skilled craftsmen in the country, who have worked across the world on projects including the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace have worked on it

Specialist painters and fibrous plasterers work on the major conservation project taking place in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, in Blackpool, northern England on April 20, 2021
Specialist painters and fibrous plasterers work on the major conservation project taking place in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, in Blackpool, northern England on April 20, 2021 (Image: This is Influential)

One of the UK’s most iconic buildings is today a step closer to re-opening its doors following a £1.1M refurbishment.

The Blackpool Tower Ballroom, located in the Grade 1 Listed Blackpool Tower, is hoping to re-open on June 21, providing the Government’s latest road-map out of lockdown goes to plan.

The venue, which dates back to 1894 and is known by millions as the home to Strictly Come Dancing’s annual ballroom special, has under-gone the most extensive programme of work and deep clean for more than 60 years.

A team, including some of the most highly skilled craftsmen in the country, who have worked across the world on projects including the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, have dedicated more than 21,000 hours, over a period of six months, each climbing an average of 85 flights of scaffolding daily, to restore the famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom to its original glory.

The team has discovered signatures under the murals that adorn the ornate plasterwork ceiling showing the last time anyone was in this space was in 1957.

A specialist painter works on the major conservation project taking place in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, in Blackpool, northern England on April 20, 2021
A specialist painter works on the major conservation project taking place in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, in Blackpool, northern England on April 20, 2021 (Image: Blackpool Tower Ballroom)

These historic works took place following a fire in the building which caused severe damage to the ballroom. At the time, these works were estimated to cost over half a million pounds and took 17 months to complete.

The work has been made possible thanks to a lifeline grant of £764,000 as part of the Government’s unprecedented £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, together with funding from Blackpool Council, taking the total investment to £1.1M.

The grant, awarded to Blackpool Council by Historic England, has supported the venue to carry out comprehensive repair and restoration work on the ballroom’s period plasterwork ceiling.

Project Manager Keith Langton inspects and oversees the major conservation work taking place in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, in Blackpool, northern England on April 20, 2021
Project Manager Keith Langton inspects and oversees the major conservation work taking place in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, in Blackpool, northern England on April 20, 202 (Image: This is Influential)

It is one of the most “significant” projects Historic England has been involved with to date and has replicated the skills used by workers back in 1894 when the Tower was built, including:

· Skilled scaffolders, artists, decorators, structural engineers, joiners, plasters and conservators all pooling their skills.

· The rare art of fibrous plastering

· More than two tonnes of plaster being mixed.

A specialist painter works on the major conservation project taking place in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, in Blackpool, northern England on April 20, 2021
A specialist painter works on the major conservation project taking place in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, in Blackpool, northern England on April 20, 2021 (Image: Blackpool Tower Ballroom)

· Organic hessian being imported from India to mix with the plaster to make a special formula allowing intricate repairs to be carried out to the ornate plaster work adorning the ballroom ceiling.

· A team of over 30 specialists on site, working a combined 21,000 hours.

· Skilled craftspeople working daily in tiny roof spaces to inspect and restore the ornate plasterwork from behind the ceiling.

· Oil paints being colour-matched by the naked eye by on site restoration experts to patch up murals damaged by water ingress and nicotine over the years.

· Several hundred litres of gold paint being mixed to ensure the gold leaf ornate artwork is restored to its former glory.

· Deep cleaning behind all of the ornate models which adorn the ceiling, with dozens of dust filled bags being removed from site every day.

· Murals being deep cleaned removing water damage and nicotine damage from over the decades.

· Intricate and detailed research work being carried out to establish exactly how the work was originally done to ensure all the works which took place during this latest refurbishment were carried out to the exact same standards. This involved drilling more than 12 square spaces in the roof space to enable this “methodology” as the craftspeople call it to be carried out.

The entire space of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom is covered in scaffolding to facilitate the major conservation project taking place, in Blackpool, northern England on April 20, 2021
The entire space of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom is covered in scaffolding to facilitate the major conservation project taking place, in Blackpool, northern England on April 20, 2021 (Image: Blackpool Tower Ballroom)

The work, led by Hayles and Howe, specialists in ornamental plaster work and scagliola, has also uncovered some incredibly rare and unusual finds – all discovered in the angel figures adorning the ballroom ceiling.

These have included newspapers dating back to 1911, old cigarette packs which would be museum pieces today and even an old walking stick, believed to date back to the early fifties.

Keith Langton, project manager, said: “I thought Buckingham Palace had the wow factor – which obviously it absolutely did.

“But working here at The Blackpool Tower Ballroom has literally blown me away. This really is something else. It is a project I will never forget – and perhaps even a project for me to retire on.

Everyone wants to end their career on a high – and I don’t think I could get a better high than working at the Ballroom.

“It has been an absolute pleasure and honour!”

He has, however, warned of the desperate need to recruit more young craftspeople into what he describes as a “rare trade.”

Keith added: “We are just not seeing enough young people coming through.

“Fibrous plastering – the key trade being used on the refurbishment – is becoming a rare trade and we just cannot allow this to happen.

“Without people being skilled in this way, buildings like this would be forced to close. It is essential more young people take up careers in this sector.

Literally everywhere I go, in this country and abroad, I make it a priority to pass on as many skills as possible to as many people as possible – hopefully inspiring them all along the way!”

This the longest period of time in its history the ballroom has been closed, with the exception of the fire in 1956/7.

 

Mysterious ‘baby alien’ objects discovered on Cleveleys beach explained

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“They look rather sad out of the water, as the body is not able to support its own weight, and the tentacles form a soggy mass around the head.”

Strange "balloon" creatures spotted on Carlin Rock, Cleveleys
Strange “balloon” creatures spotted on Carlin Rock, Cleveleys (Image: Gemma Duignan)

A picture has emerged on social media of what appear to be strange creatures clung to a rock on Cleveleys seafront.

The “balloon” like creatures were spotted dangling from Carlin Rock yesterday afternoon (Sunday May 10) which left many people baffled.

Explanations on Facebook ranged from jellyfish and baby aliens to mermaids purses and wayward dog poo bags.

Given the recent activity on Cleveley’s north promenade, others thought these may be baby aliens from Star Wars left behind by film crews.

LancsLive can now confirm however that the creatures, plumose anemones, appear so strange because they are far from their home in deep water.

Ones that remain in the depths of the sea can actually grow to two feet tall.

Chair of Lancashire Marine Conservation Society, Barry Kaye said: “The animals that look like soggy rubber balloons hanging from the rock are probably plumose anemones,Metridium sp, which usually live in deeper water in moderate to fast flowing water.

“Underwater they would look similar to this photo I took this on the cruiser Dresden at Scapa Flow, Orkney.

How the anemones appear underwater in Dresden at Scapa Flow, Orkney which can grow up to two feet tall
How the anemones appear underwater in Dresden at Scapa Flow, Orkney which can grow up to two feet tall (Image: Lancashire Marine Conservation Society)

“They look rather sad out of the water, as the body is not able to support its own weight, and the tentacles form a soggy mass around the head.

“I presume this was taken on quite a low tide, as they are not keen on being exposed, and this will keep their size down. The ones at Scapa Flow were up to two feet tall.”

“It is quite common to see them attached to jetties or other structures where there is a good tidal flow. We have previously recorded them under the lifeboat jetty at Roa Island on shore walks at extreme low water.”

According to Living Seas North West these anemones are often found under ledges or beneath boulders where there is little wave action and are identifiable from their wide base and feathery tentacles.

They sweep the passing seawater with their tentacles to catch small zooplankton as their food. When disturbed, the Plumose anemone will fold in their tentacles and close in on themselves.

5 of the best Blackpool pubs near Pleasure Beach and the seaside

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From The Spen Dyke to Half Way House, here are the best watering holes to visit near the beach

There are pubs a short distance from the Pleasure Beach and seafront in Blackpool
There are pubs a short distance from the Pleasure Beach and seafront in Blackpool (Image: Unsplash)

With pubs set to reopen indoors on May 17, it’s time to start thinking about getting a tipple in again. No longer are you at the mercy of the elements, as groups of up to six people will be allowed to enjoy drinks and food inside again.

There are a great selection of boozers on offer in Blackpool, with each offering its own quintessential charm.

Whether it’s a good pint you seek, or a cosy place with great food, this seaside resort has everything you need.

Here’s a selection of five of the best to while away a sunny day in the town.

The Spen Dyke

Situated on Lytham Road, just a stone’s throw from Pleasure Beach, The Spen Dyke is perfectly located for a few pints after a ride on the rollercoaster (if you’re brave enough). With outdoor and indoor seating available, this is also a great bar if the weather holds up.

They serve tapas (perfect for a snack while downing some bevvies) as well as burgers, and a generous Sunday roast menu on – you guessed it – Sundays.

Farmers Arms

Owned by Greene King, the Farmers Arms is just down the road from the Spen Dyke. Offering your usual selection of affordable grub, this pub is ideal for a day out by the seaside.

Situated in a very residential-style building, this bar offers a quirky charm to while away those sunny days (hopefully) in Blackpool.

Half Way House

A bit further out, but still within walking distance to the seaside – Blackpool’s Half Way House has everything you could ask for in an English boozer. Part of the Joseph Holy pub chain, this bar boasts a pizza menu, as well as your more traditional pub offering.

Situated on St Anne’s Road, the Half Way House is located right beside Blackpool Airport for those travelling from further afield and in need of a quick top-up.

The Velvet Coaster

Yes, it is a Wetherspoon’s – but you can’t beat this particular boozer for location, or name. The Velvet Coaster is named after the famous ride that was introduced to the Pleasure Beach in the early 1990s, and this building exists as a tribute to that particular attraction.

With the kind of spacious interior typically found in JD Wetherspoon boozers, there’s room for all the family in this one.

The Velvet Coaster in Blackpool
The Velvet Coaster in Blackpool (Image: Google)

The Dutton Arms

Centrally located, and showing live sport, The Dutton Arms offers everything you could want for a sunny day out in Blackpool. Only minutes away from both Pleasure Beach, and the beach itself, you can’t beat this watering hole for location.

With a full food and breakfast menu on offer, this is the perfect spot for any time of the day.

 

 

Lancashire’s best and worst seaside towns ranked, according to Which?

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Blackpool, Fleetwood, Morecambe and nearby Southport all featuring in the bottom 15 of resorts ranked by consumer group Which?

Blackpool beach
Blackpool beach (Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Lancashire’s seaside towns are some of the most popular attractions in the UK, with Blackpool, Fleetwood and Morecambe set to become big hotspots for staycation tourists this summer

However, according to a new poll released last week, it seems the county’s seaside holiday destinations aren’t as well-loved as we might have thought.

Consumer magazine Which? has just published its annual survey into the best seaside towns across the UK.

Each resort was ranked on a scale of 1-to-5 stars for the quality of the beach, local attractions, scenery, peace and quiet and value for money.

The survey was compiled with the contributions of over 4,000 visitors over the past year and each town was also given a metacritic-style aggregated customer score.

With just under 100 seaside spots ranked across the UK, a few of Lancashire’s big names underperformed, with the public not being especially kind.

Coming top of the chart was Bamburgh in Northumberland, which was praised for its “epic” scenery with Bamburgh Castle looming above the golden sands.

However, none of Lancashire’s seaside locations made it anywhere near the top 10, let alone the pinnacle of the top 5.

Blackpool, Fleetwood, Morecambe and even nearby Southport all featuring in the bottom 15 of resorts ranked.

Blackpool scored just 1 out of 5 for its scenery and peace and quiet, although it did gain 4 out of 5 for its range of attractions and 3 out of 5 for its beach.

Morecambe recorded 3 out of 5’s for both scenery and peace and quiet but just 1 out of 5 for attractions.

Fleetwood featured on the list but no star ratings were provided for each section.

Southport meanwhile recorded 2 out of 5’s in four areas with a 3 out of 5 for peace and quiet.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “The results of our survey show that bigger is rarely better, with smaller, less crowded resorts taking the top spots over better-known destinations.”

What do you think? Which beach will you be heading to this year? Have your say in the comments.

The 20 worst seaside resorts according to Which?

1 Skegness, Lincolnshire – 48 points

2 Weston-super-Mare, Somerset – 55

3 Ilfracombe, Devon – 56

4 Margate, Kent – 57

5 Lowestoft, Suffolk – 57

=6 Worthing, West Sussex – 58

=6 Morecombe, Lancashire – 58

=6 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk – 58

=6 Colwyn Bay – 58

=6 Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset – 58

=7 Fleetwood, Lancashire – 59

=7 Blackpool, Lancashire – 59

=8 Southport, Merseyside – 60

=8 Newquay, Cornwall – 60

=8 New Brighton, Merseyside – 60

9 Bridlington, East Yorkshire – 61

10 Littlehampton, West Sussex – 62

11 Hunstanton, Norfolk – 63

=12 Ramsgate, Kent – 64

=12 Folkestone, Kent – 64

The 20 best seaside resorts in the UK

1 Bamburgh, Northumberland – 85 points

= 2 Dartmouth, Devon – 84

= 2 Tynemouth, Northumberland -84

3 St Andrews, Fife, Scotland – 83

4 Aberaeron, Ceredigion, Wales – 82

5 North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland – 81

6 Rye, East Sussex – 81

7 Filey, North Yorkshire – 80

=8 Southwold, Suffolk – 80

=8 St Davids, Pembrokeshire, Wales – 80

=8 Swanage, Dorset – 80

= 9 Beer, Devon – 79

=9 Conwy, Conwy – 79

=9 Criccieth, Gwynedd – 79

=9 Sidmouth, Devon – 79

=9 Tenby, Pembrokeshire – 79

= 10 Aldeburgh, Suffolk -78

= 10 Megavissey, Cornwall – 78

=10 Saltburn-by-the-sea, North Yorkshire – 78

=10 Ventnor, Isle of Wight – 78

 

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens reopening date confirmed after months of closure

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The Winter Gardens has developed a new socially distanced spring programme

Winter Gardens Blackpool
Winter Gardens Blackpool (Image: Submitted)

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens is set to welcome visitors once more as preparations get underway to reopen its doors.

Plans have been revealed for the reopening, which has been confirmed to take place on Monday (May 17).

It means the public will be able to enjoy the iconic building once more, after months of lockdown restrictions which left the building closed since the November lockdown.

The Box Office and Mazzei Cafe are set to reopen on Monday, along with The Old Victoria Bar featuring live entertainment daily.

Bosses have also confirmed that live socially distanced events will return from May 30 including comedy, live music, family shows and more, while venue tours will return from June 1.

The Winter Gardens has developed a new socially distanced spring programme featuring a wide range of events including family favourites the Twirlywoo’s and Alice in Wonderland.

A range of live comedy events are set to be held from May 30, including Jongulers presenting Laugh Out Loud which will feature Shaun Williamson, Bobby Davro and Billy Pearce, followed in June by Britain’s Got Talent winner Jon Courtenay with his first live appearance since being crowned champion.

The Old Victoria Bar, formally Gillow’s, will feature live entertainment throughout the day and will offer a wide selection of drinks and classic pub food.

Over in the Mazzei Café, packages including afternoon tea are available to pre-book on the venue’s website.

Closed for more than 12-months, a Box Office counter service reopens from 11am on Monday, allowing customers to book in person. The box office will be open daily from 11am – 3pm.

Bosses have confirmed that there will be a return to capacity events in-line with the governments roadmap from June.

To mark this, there will be the return of Blackpool Rocks, Strictly Come Dancing The Professionals, Classic Northern Soul Night, Six The Musical and more.

Michael Williams, Managing Director, said: “It will be a huge relief to reopen the doors and welcome people back inside the Winter Gardens Blackpool, after a most challenging 12 months. Everyone at the venue has worked tirelessly to open at the earliest opportunity with a fantastic programme of live events.

“I believe that Blackpool is set for a bumper summer and we are ready to play an integral role in welcoming visitors safely from across the UK and play our part in the recovery of tourism in Blackpool.”

The Winter Gardens has been awarded the Visit England “We’re good to go” Industry Standard. This confirms that the Winter Gardens Blackpool meets the Government and Public Health Guidance on COVID-19 measures being in place to ensure a safe visit for guests.

The venue also has its own ‘Safe and Sound’ campaign in place which will see the introduction of a wide range of new policies to ensure the safety of its guests.

The new ‘Safe and Sound’ plans include the limiting of capacity with unoccupied seating between groups, temperature checks on arrival and contactless experiences amongst a range of new and enhanced policies.

Here is exactly what you can expect s the Winter Gardens reopens its doors:

Mazzei Café

The Mazzei Café will reopen on Monday, May 17 from 11am – 3pm.

Thereafter open daily excluding Monday and Fridays until June 21 when it will be open 7-days a week.

Afternoon Tea is available to pre order now.

Box Office

Counter service from the Church Street box office returns from Monday, May 17.

Open 7-days from 11am until 3pm.

The Old Victoria Bar

The Old Victoria Bar will reopen on Saturday, May 22 from 11am featuring live entertainment throughout the day.

Thereafter open weekends until June 21 when it will be open 7-days a week.

Socially Distanced events

A wide range of Live socially distanced events return from May 30 including comedy, family shows and live music all adhering to all government guidelines including social distancing.

For further information, tickets and to make bookings or reservations visit www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk.

Place Northwest | Blackpool Decides On The Controversial Sale Of Stanley Park

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Place Northwest | Blackpool Decides On The Controversial Sale Of Stanley Park

Blackpool Park Golf Club - Experience true parkland golf in the heart of  Blackpool

The 18-hole golf course and club were founded in 1926

The council will decide on Wednesday whether or not part of the Stanley Park Golf Club will be sold to the leisure operator United Kingdom Adventure Parks after a previous disposal approval decision was overturned.

UKAP plans to build an outlet for Adrenalin World. An entertainment center brand run by mogul tennis player David Lloyd and 250 cabins in part of the land currently occupied by the golf course.

The development would result in the 18-hole golf course founded in 1926 being cut in half.

Blackpool Council executive voted in July to sell 39 acres to UKAP, a subsidiary of real estate investor Holmes Investment Properties.

Cllr Neal Brooks was in favor of land clearance at the time, but warned that the Council could be viewed as “bad guys” by some members of the public in taking this step.

Brooks argued that the local council had “propped up” the golf course for years and that redevelopment of the land would provide an opportunity to advance a “viable endeavor” on the property.

At a meeting of Blackpool’s tourism, business and Communities Audit Committee Following the initial approval of the land sale earlier this summer, it was decided that the plans had been “poorly consulted” and that the Executive Committee had failed to address concerns from residents.

Committee chairman Martin Mitchell said: “I am not convinced that the executive branch has taken all relevant arguments into account. If [the decision] Referring to the full council will allow all issues to be fully considered. “

A decision to sell the property will be voted on by all of Blackpool’s 42 councilors this week. A petition against the sale of the property received 8,000 signatures but was ignored by the council last year.

Liverpool-based architect Ryder Architecture and Manchester-based consultancy Hydrock, along with planning consultant Iceni Projects, are on the project team for the proposed leisure program.

UKAP is expected to sign a lease between 99 and 125 years, according to the head of the Regeneration Council.

Blackpool Rock Gin: The story behind the seaside inspired drink enjoyed by Jean-Christophe Novelli

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Blackpool Rock Gin expertly distilled and handcrafted in Lancashire and can be found in many of the resort’s bars, pubs and restaurants

Blackpool Rock Gin is inspired by the seaside
Blackpool Rock Gin is inspired by the seaside (Image: Blackpool Rock Gin)

Blackpool Rock Gin has become a well-loved brand not only in the town’s local bars, pubs and restaurants but also in other parts of the UK and further afield.

The truly Lancashire gin is the only one of its kind to actually use its product, i.e. a stick of Blackpool Rock, within the drink and not simply use flavouring as is with the case with many other flavoured gins.

The idea for the pink gin came about around three years ago by founders Simon, now aged 48, and Jay now aged 37.

Simon, born on the Fylde coast, has spent over 30 years in the drinks industry supporting national and international gin brands and distillers achieving many multiple international awards.

Jay, who lives in Lytham St Annes with his young family, is a design expert with his own marketing and web design agency.

He supports many local businesses across the North West working predominantly in the hospitality space.

The original Blackpool Rock Gin along side the 125th Limited Edition bottle
The original Blackpool Rock Gin along side the 125th Limited Edition bottle (Image: Blackpool Rock Gin)

One evening the pair were out drinking gin on a terrace in Lytham discussing life when the idea was born.

Jay said: “Simon asked me how work was going, and I basically said I was fed up with making successful brands and products for people.

“Simon, as ex senior manager of one of the largest distilleries in Europe, had said that people had kept asking him to create his own gin. At the time gin had really taken off and the industry was booming so we got to thinking of what we could do ourselves.

“Blackpool really enjoys its nostalgia so we immediately thought of Blackpool Rock. We also wanted to do something no one else had done too and actually have the real product in the drink.

“From that point we set about trying to make that happen.”

"Seaside poster" for Blackpool Rock Gin
“Seaside poster” for Blackpool Rock Gin (Image: Blackpool Rock Gin)

The two were to find out that the unique process this involves would be much more complicated than trying to dissolve a stick of rock within the gin.

They therefore enlisted the help of one of the oldest Blackpool rock factories in the town.

After much fine filtering and technical wizardry the results that came was a lovely, subtle sweet, original pink gin.

The drink is now expertly distilled and hand crafted using 10 premium botanicals and the base gin is made to the London dry standard and the single sourced spirit is produced in Lancashire.

Truly a craft gin, the pair painstakingly hand label and bottle every gin themselves.

Blackpool Rock Gin is a true Lancashire gin
Blackpool Rock Gin is a true Lancashire gin (Image: Blackpool Rock Gin)

Jay said: “There is sometimes a concern that because Blackpool Rock is used it’s going to really sweet almost like a liqueur.

“It’s very subtle however – if you mix it with lemonade it really brings out the sweetness and if you mix it with tonic it tastes truly like a dry gin.

“There can be a little bit of stuffiness within the gin world and we don’t really enter competitions. Simon has done all that and, given his expertise, he says with all honesty that this gin is one of the best he’s ever produced.

“As someone from Lytham I know sometimes there can be a little bit of snobbery towards Blackpool too however we know how great and unique the town is.

“The Blackpool community is like no other and the support we’ve had from locals and businesses has been overwhelming.

“Some gin makers have all kinds of funding to help them make their products however we have created and nurtured this ourselves without any support.

Jay (left) and Simon (right) with Jean-Christophe Novelli
Jay (left) and Simon (right) with Jean-Christophe Novelli (Image: Blackpool Rock Gin)

The collaboration between the two local lads is why the pink gin has proved so successful.

Simon is responsible for making the gin and handcrafts each and every batch himself and Jay brings the creative side to the business which is everything from the label on the bottle to the website.

As part of the original marketing of the gin, and inspired by the seaside, the pair managed to source some original Blackpool deck chairs and re-upholstered them in the brands colours to take pictures.

Since the offset the gin makers have set out to challenge the regular outlook of a start-up gin business and created a contemporary spirit that was fun and approachable that would bring new drinkers into the gin category.

In order to do this, Jay has always kept his finger on the pulse by keeping up with the latest trends, events and venues so the drink can be enjoyed by a full spectrum of visitors.

A fan of Star Wars, he didn’t miss a opportunity to mark May 4th this week by decanting his pink gin into a Storm Trooper bottle his nephew bought him – which made for a striking picture.

So much so the pair have been inundated with questions asking who designed the bottle. Although Jay didn’t, it would be something he’d love to do if it was made possible.

To celebrate 125 years of incredible innovation in the town and the birthday of Blackpool Pleasure beach, Blackpool Rock Gin also launched its ‘Limited Edition 125 Years London Dry Gin’ made from the premium 10 botanical base recipe.

Blackpool Rock Gin marked May 4 by decanting its product into a Storm Trooper bottle

Blackpool Rock Gin marked May 4 by decanting its product into a Storm Trooper bottle (Image: Blackpool Rock Gin)

This limited edition has 125 numbered bottles which have been designed and produced in its inaugural year.

Showcasing the true heart of Blackpool Rock gin, this version highlights the wonderful single source British spirit and the fantastic botanicals within it.

The original pink gin has found its way to places like Scotland and Brighton and even Jean-Christophe Novelli has enjoyed a tipple.

The recent pandemic has proved difficult, as it has for so many other businesses, however there are exciting new plans in place for the Blackpool gin including working with the team at Blackpool Rocks for their Blackpool Rock Returns event.

As always, Jay and Simon also have ideas for Blackpool inspired products to come and plans for tasting events.

For more information, please visit the Blackpool Rock Gin website here.

Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach’s Hot Ice returns with new ‘Euphoria’ show

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Hot Ice is described as “a dream that is brought to life by the stunning lighting that reflects the mood and magnificence of each scene”.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Hot Ice Show
Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Hot Ice Show (Image: Blackpool Pleasure Beach’)

Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Hot Ice show has announced it is set to return with a new show called Euphoria.

The show, which is the world’s longest running ice show, opens for the summer season on July 8 and runs until September 11 2021

This year’s show features everything that is hot in ice skating with the very best performers from around the world taking to the ice in over 400 stunning costumes to a collection of mesmerising music, state-of-the-art lighting system and explosive pyrotechnic fire effects.

This years’ new production ‘Euphoria’ has been described as a ‘fast-moving live performance’, which promises to keep the audience sitting on the edge of their seats.

Hot Ice is described as “a dream that is brought to life by the stunning lighting that reflects the mood and magnificence of each scene”.

Amanda Thompson OBE has been both producer and director of the Hot Ice Show for over 20 years.

In 2005 she also took over as managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach and has managed to successfully combine the two major and demanding roles.

The show is choreographed by Oula Jaaskelainen, a former Olympic athlete and Hot Ice cast member, who creates excitement by encouraging the performers to skate at high speeds with intricate footwork and spine-tingling jumps.

Created by the talented Pleasure Beach Wardrobe Team, the show’s breath-taking costumes are some of the best to see anywhere in the theatre world.

One of the world-class Skaters at Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Hot Ice Show
One of the world-class Skaters at Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Hot Ice Show (Image: Blackpool Pleasure Beach)

Hot Ice has always boasted some of the world’s best skaters with numerous national, world and Olympic champions performing at the event since its inception.

Anyone purchasing tickets in May for shows between July 9 and 23 can get a discount on all seats, excluding standing, on either evening or matinee shows.

Evening shows get £5 off with the code EVENING5OFF and matinee shows get £2 off with the code MATINEE2OFF.

Anyone booking tickets in May for performances on selected dates in July can also get a great money off deal.