Category Archives: Blackpool Tower

Car parking in Blackpool: Where, cost, blue badge and motorhome spots and electric vehicle charging points

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The best places to park for Blackpool Pleasure Beach and other attractions – including opening times, prices, payment methods and more

West Street Car Park, Blackpool

Blackpool is fast approaching its busiest time with July being its most crowded month.

As Covid restrictions are gradually being lifted tourists will begin to flock to the area and once the summer season is over it is time for Blackpool Illuminations to take us into the darker nights of autumn.

The town has an excellent transport and tram system to get about however if you choose to drive, or need somewhere to park on arrival, it can be a little tricky to work out where.

Lancs Live has compiled a list of car parks, including multi-storeys, for reference and details such as Blue Badge spaces and parking concessions, payment methods, opening times, electric charging points and where accepts motor homes and coaches.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach has five car parks located at:

• North Car Park (Balmoral Road) – from £18 on the day, online £18 (off peak), £20 (peak) guaranteed reserved space
• East Car Park (Bond Street) – from £15.00
• Arena Car Park(Watson Road) – from £10
• West Car Park (Ocean Boulevard) – from £15.00
• Railway Station Car Park (Bond Street)

Parking facilities for disabled guests are available at all car parks. Car parking charges apply.

There are currently no parking facilities for caravans and mobile homes

Generic view of Banks Street car park (Image: Google Street View)

Blackpool Pleasure Beach now has an electric car charging point which can be used by guests. This point is located at the rear of Balmoral Road Car Park, please ask car parking attendants for directions.

There are also Pod Point Open Charge electric vehicle charging on-site for visitors.

  • – There are 2 x 7kW charging bays available.
    Each bay has a Type 2 universal socket.- It costs £1.50 per hour for 4 hours, then it is free.

Use the Pod Point Open Charge app to start charging and see live availability.
Visit Pod Point’s website for further instructions on how to use Open Charge points.

Car park closing times do vary but as a rule stay open until 10pm during the high season and 7pm during the low season and winter period.

Blackpool Council also provide car parking facilities throughout the town, including:

  • Short-stay car parks
  • Long-stay car parks
  • Coach and commercial car parks
  • Parking for motor homes
  • Parking for motorcycles

Bank Street Car Park – 24 hours – FY1 2DT

  • 16 blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours

You can use the PayByPhone app to pay for your stay in this car park, giving you complete control from your own phone.

You can download the PayByPhone app from the App Store or Google Play Store or visit the PayByPhone website. Once downloaded just enter the correct identification number for your vehicle type.

Up to 2 hours Cars £2.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £4
Up to 6 hours Cars £5
Up to 8 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £8
Up to 18 hours Cars £10
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20
Up to 45 minutes Coaches £2
Up to 4 hours Coaches £6
Up to 24 hours Coaches £12
Up to 48 hours Coaches £17
Up to 72 hours Coaches £20
Up to 24 hours – Winter Rate Coaches £6
Up to 12 hours Motorhomes £10
Up to 24 hours (as Coach rate) Motorhomes £12

Bethesda Road Car Park- 24 hours – FY1 5EF

  • 3 Blue badge spaces

Payment is by pay and display machines. One machine accepts credit/debit cards and coins, one accepts coins only – No change given

Up to 1 hour Cars £1
Up to 2 hours Cars £2
Up to 3 hours Cars £3
Up to 4 hours Cars £4
Up to 8 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £8
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Bloomfield Park Road Car park (Seasiders Way) – 24 hours – FY1 6HX

  • 25 Blue badge spaces

Payment is by pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards and coins – No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £3.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £10
Up to 18 hours Cars £11
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Bolton Street Car Park – 24 hours – FY1 6AA

  • 3 Blue badges spaces

Payment is by pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless- No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £3.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £10
Up to 18 hours Cars £11
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Bonny Street Car Park – 24 hours – FY1 5AR

  • 7 Blue badge spaces

Payment is by pay and display machines. Machines accepts credit/debit cards and coins, one accepts contactless – No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 18 hours Cars £13
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Central Car Park (Seasiders Way/Central Drive, Blackpool) – 24 hours – FY1 5QB

  • 34 Blue badge spaces

Payment is by 9 pay and display machine, all of which accept credit/debit cards and coins – No change given

4 x 22kw electric charge bays situated at the north end of the site alongside the coach drop-off/pick-up area

Cost – The charging rate is currently 30 pence per unit

Driver needs to download the EVdot app, this is the only method of payment accepted to use these charging stations

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 18 hours Cars £13
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Chapel Street – 24 hours – FY1 5AW

  • 9 Blue Badge spaces

Payment is by 3 pay and display machines which accept coins only – No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 18 hours Cars £13
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Cocker Street Blackpool – 24 hours – FY1 1RX

  • 2 Blue badge bays

Payment is by pay and display machine which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless- No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £2.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £4
Up to 6 hours Cars £5
Up to 8 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £8
Up to 18 hours Cars £10
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

East Topping Street – 24 hours – FY1 3AS

  • 9 Blue badge spaces

Payment is by 4 pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards – No change given.

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 18 hours Cars £13
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Filey Place (Banks Street) – 24 hours – FY1 1RN

  • 4 Blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours

Payment is by pay and display machine which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 4 hours Cars £5
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 24 hours Cars £13

Foxhall Village (Seasiders Way) – 24 hours FY1 6JX

  • 10 Blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours
  • 15 coach bays – Cars must not park in coach bays

Payment is by 3 pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards and coins – No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £3.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £10
Up to 18 hours Cars £11
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20
Up to 45 minutes Coaches £2
Up to 4 hours Coaches £6
Up to 24 hours Coaches £12
Up to 48 hours Coaches £17
Up to 72 hours Coaches £20
Up to 24 hours – Winter Rate Coaches £6
Up to 12 hours Motorhomes £10

Gyn Square ( Warbreck Hill Road) – 24 hours – FY1 2JR

  • 4 blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours
  • 12 coach bays – Cars must not park in coach bays

Payment is by 2 pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £2
Up to 4 hours Cars £2.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £4
Up to 12 hours Cars £6
Up to 18 hours Cars £9
Up to 24 hours Cars £10
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20
Up to 45 minutes Coaches £2
Up to 4 hours Coaches £6
Up to 24 hours Coaches £12
Up to 48 hours Coaches £17
Up to 72 hours Coaches £20
Up to 24 hours – Winter Rate Coaches £6
Up to 12 hours Motorhomes £10

Lonsdale Road (Seasiders Way) – 24 hours – FY1 6JX

Payment is by pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards and coins – No change given

  • 18 blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours
Up to 3 hours Cars £3.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £10
Up to 18 hours Cars £11
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Lytham Road – 24 hours – FY4 1HT

  • Blue badge holders must display a clock beside their badge showing their arrival time to qualify for a 3 hour free concession.

Payment is by pay and display machine which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £3.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £10
Up to 18 hours Cars £11
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20
Up to 12 hours Motorhomes £10

Queen Street – 24 hours – FY1 1PX

  • 1 Blue badge space

Payment is by 2 pay and display machines, one of which accepts credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 18 hours Cars £13
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

South Beach ( South Promenade) – 24 hours – FY4 1PL

  • 11 blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours

Payment is by pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless- No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £5
Up to 12 hours Cars £8
Up to 18 hours Cars £9
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

South Car Park (Yeadon Way) – 24 hours – FY1 6BF

  • 19 Blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours

Payment is by 5 pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £3.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £10
Up to 18 hours Cars £11
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20
Up to 45 minutes Coaches £2
Up to 4 hours Coaches £6
Up to 24 hours Coaches £12
Up to 48 hours Coaches £17
Up to 72 hours Coaches £20
Up to 24 hours – Winter Rate Coaches £6
Up to 12 hours Motorhomes £10

South King Street Car Park (Charnley Road) – 24 hours – FY1 4AX

  • 2 Blue Badge spaces

Payment is by pay and display machine which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £2.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £4
Up to 6 hours Cars £5
Up to 8 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £8
Up to 18 hours Cars £10
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Talbot Road Multi-storey Car Park – Mon to Sun, 7am to 12 midnight – FY1 3AU

  • 38 Blue badge parking bays are available – However, there is no free parking concession

Payment is by 4 pay on foot machines which accept credit/debit cards and coins – Change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 18 hours Cars £13
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

West Street Car Park – daily 7.00am – 12.30am – FY1 1HA

  • 9 blue badge spaces

Payment is by 5 pay and display machines, all accept credit cards, debit cards, and coins.
4 also offer contactless payment. If paying with coins please have the correct amount available – No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Wimbourne Palce Car park (New South Promenade) – 24 hours – FY4 1NJ

  • 4 Blue badge spaces

Payment is by pay and display machine which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £2.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £4
Up to 6 hours Cars £5
Up to 8 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £8
Up to 18 hours Cars £10
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

 

 

Tower to light up tangerine for Blackpool FC as good luck wishes roll in for the Seasiders ahead of League One play-off final at Wembley

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The Tower will light up in tangerine this weekend in support of Blackpool FC making another play-off final trip to Wembley Stadium.

Blackpool Tower will be lit up in tangerine in support of Blackpool FC

Blackpool Tower will be lit up in tangerine in support of Blackpool FC

Council leader, Coun Lynn Williams, said: “We all wish Blackpool Football Club every success on Sunday.

“It’s a real shame that the club’s thousands of supporters can’t all be there to cheer them on because of the Covid-19 restrictions on capacity, but the team should know that the whole town will be rooting for them.

“Whatever the outcome, we are immensely proud of what they have already achieved this season – getting to Wembley once again has created a huge buzz among local residents.

“Ever since the new owner and management team came into the club, they have brought a sense of purpose and ambition, and as a Council we are delighted to be able to partner with them not least through our ongoing kit sponsorship.”

The Council has had a shirt sponsorship agreement with the club for the past two seasons, with its tourism arm, VisitBlackpool, featuring on the home shirt, and the mental health programme, Get Vocal, on the third kit.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP, Paul Maynard, hopes it will be a ‘special day’ for the club.

He said: “After many difficult years of turmoil at the club I know just what a return to the Championship would mean for Blackpool fans and for our town.

“I’m looking forward to Sunday’s game and share the excitement and anticipation ahead of what is a showpiece event.

“I want to wish Neil Critchley, his team and everyone involved with the football club the best of luck as they head to Wembley. I only wish it had been possible for more supporters to make the trip with them.

“I know those who are there will back our team with all their hearts and voices. Let’s hope this is another special day for Blackpool and in the history of our wonderful football club.”

Scott Benton, Blackpool South MP, is heading to Wembley to cheer on the Seasiders.

He said: “I’d like to wish Neil Critchley and Blackpool FC good luck for the final on Sunday.

“It would be fantastic for the town should we return to the Championship and I will be at the game to support the lads.”

Supporters in Blackpool were also looking forward to tomorrow’s game.

Lifelong Blackpool fan Clive Parkinson, 53, of Marton is among those lucky enough to be heading to Wembley on Sunday.

He said: “Having not been able to watch any live football apart from the play-offs, it’s fantastic to be going to Wembley for the final.

“It’s just a shame more fans aren’t allowed in due to the restrictions, but I’m sure those of us lucky enough to be there will be making plenty of noise.

“For me personally, it means between me and my dad, we have been at every Wembley final Blackpool has played in apart from the League Two play-off final which I missed as part of the Oyston boycott.

“However we have a great owner in place now and I feel proud to be back supporting my team at the home of football.”

Derek Mulholland, 64, of St Luke’s Road in South Shore, said he was happy to be returning to a play off final now the Oystons had ‘packed their bags’.

He said: “A lot of us didn’t go to the League Two play-off in 2017 because of the Oystons so it’s great that we can enjoy this one in Wembley again.

“I think we stand a great chance of getting back into the Championship and I am already looking forward to us hammering Preston North End as soon as possible.”

10 outdoor attractions in Blackpool to make the most of the May Bank Holiday heatwave

Home | Blackpool Gazette

If you’re planning a last-minute trip to Blackpool this bank holiday or half-term, check out these 10 outdoor attractions to make the most of the weather.

 

Met Office forecasters are predicting scorching temperatures across Blackpool and the Fylde coast this Spring Bank Holiday weekend.

Here are 10 outdoor attractions to make the most of the bank holding weekend in Blackpool:

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Blackpool Tower lights up for first-ever gender reveal and it’s a………girl

Home | Blackpool Gazette

With a flick of a switch and it could have been pink or blue.

The Blackpool Tower lights up......pink for its first ever gender revealThe Blackpool Tower lights up……pink for its first ever gender reveal

Blackpool couple Nick Easton and Amberleigh Duckworth decided on a rather different way to share the gender of their unborn baby with family and friends ahead of their exciting summer arrival by lighting up the sky with a little help from the Tower.
The big reveal came thanks to Blackpool Council’s Tower lighting team , trusted with the couple’s news, sealed in an envelope after their 20-week scan.

Engineers reprogrammed the lights to flash up……..pink and deliver the news of an incoming baby girl, due August 10, as the couple and a specially selected group were gathered beneath the Tower on the Comedy Carpet.

It is the first time the Tower team have been involved with a gender reveal celebration.

The couple’also shared the name they have chosen – Harperleigh Jade Easton – which appeared in the Tower heart.

“We both knew The Blackpool Tower celebrated occasions such as Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day and wondered if it would even be possible for it to celebrate our event too.
Nick Easton and Amberleigh Duckworth organised their gender reveal celebration with a little help of Blackpool Tower

“We had a 4D scan done at Window To The Womb clinic in Blackburn and asked them not to tell us the gender. They asked us to close our eyes and told us not to peek whilst they checked for our baby’s gender.

“They then had the information put into a sealed envelope and told us to hand it to the person organising the reveal.

“It was a very hard, but exciting, car journey home, knowing what was in the envelope and knowing we were about to just hand it over to someone else to find out before us.”

Nick and Amberleigh then contacted Blackpool Council, and arranged and paid for a private resetting of the lights in the appropriate colour. Costs to light up the tower at private request start at £500.

Nick and Amberleigh will welcome a little girl Harperleigh Jade Easton in AugustNick and Amberleigh will welcome a little girl Harperleigh Jade Easton in August

Nick a theme park inspection engineer added: “Obviously, with the restrictions on numbers allowed to gather, we wanted to wait until we could have as many people as possible to celebrate the event with us, even if this meant us waiting an extra eight and a half weeks to find out.

“But when the lights went on it was well worth that wait!”

Paul Burnett from Blackpool Council, the man behind the big reveal, said: “It was pretty nerve-wracking knowing that I was party to such precious information, but it was a pleasure to be able to light up The Blackpool Tower for such a unique celebration.”

The Blackpool Tower accepts applications for celebratory events, subject to review and availability. Please note charges apply.

 

Giant sand artwork welcomes visitors back to Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

It was a simple message in the sand as Blackpool’s arcades, pubs, eateries and attractions rolled out the welcome mat to visitors and declared ‘Blackpool is back.’

Visit Blackpool teamed up with artists from the Sand in Your Eye company to create a 70m etching of the town’s skyline – including the Tower, Central Pier’s big wheel, and the Big One – to mark the latest milestone in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Giant sand artwork welcomes visitors back to Blackpool | Lancashire Evening  Post

The sand art, raked into the sand on a stretch of beach along the famous Golden Mile, took nearly six hours to complete.

It is one of the largest pieces of sand art ever created in Blackpool. The process is described by the four artists from the Sand In Your Eye company as nature’s equivalent to a giant Etch A Sketch.

Blackpool Council tourism boss coun Gillian Campbell said: “It’s exciting – it’s been a bit like waiting for Christmas this reopening.

“It’s been a long time coming – it’s been a very long and tough 15 months for everyone – everyone who works in the tourism industry and for us as a Council and Visit Blackpool not being able to put on any events.

“It’s been incredibly difficult. But I think we’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel now fingers crossed.”

“So we are delighted to draw in the sand one of Britain’s most iconic skylines to announce that Blackpool is back”.

Today’s easing of restrictions means that major indoor attractions such as The Blackpool Tower and Circus, Sandcastle Waterpark, Coral Island, SEA LIFE and Madame Tussauds will be able to open for business ahead of the next Bank Holiday at the end of the month, along with indoor venues such as the Winter Gardens, VIVA Blackpool and Funny Girls.

Hundreds of hotels and guesthouses, including the brand new Premier Inn North Pier which has been built on the site of the historic Yates’s Wine Lodge site in Talbot Square, can also open to overnight visitors.

Blackpool is back! Resort celebrates biggest unlocking of lockdown yet

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The sun shone on the resort, which today celebrated the biggest unlocking of Covid restrictions yet.

With arcades, pubs, eateries and attractions filled by the sound of chatter and laughter – and the jingling of tills – the excitement was palpable as traders declared: ‘Blackpool is back’.

To mark the big day, a 70m etching of the town’s skyline – including the Tower, Central Pier’s big wheel, and the Big One – was raked into the sand on the beach.

“We are thrilled our tourism businesses can get back to doing what they do best – providing fun and entertainment to millions of people,” tourism chief Coun Gillian Campbell said.

To mark the big day, a 70m etching of the town’s skyline – including the Tower, Central Pier’s big wheel, and the Big One – was raked into the sand on the beachTo mark the big day, a 70m etching of the town’s skyline – including the Tower, Central Pier’s big wheel, and the Big One – was raked into the sand on the beach

“The last 15 months have been incredibly difficult but finally we can tell the world that we are back in business.”

The easing of lockdown measures meant major attractions like the Tower and Circus, Sandcastle Waterpark, Coral Island arcade, Sea Life aquarium, and Madame Tussauds waxworks museum could all reopen for the first time in months ahead of the upcoming bank holiday.

Other indoor venues welcoming visitors once again include Winter Gardens, Funny Girls, Viva, and hundreds of hotels and guest houses – including the new Premier Inn North Pier, built on the site of the burned down Yates’s Wine Lodge in Talbot Square.

Friends Mary Caveney and Maria Farrar at the Winter Gardens
Friends Mary Caveney and Maria Farrar at the Winter Gardens

“We are feeling a range of emotions at the moment but mainly we are all raring to go.”

Tower Circus clowns Mooky and Boo took to the Comedy Carpet this afternoon to practice.

Mooky said: “We’ve been rehearsing for this day since the beginning of the second lockdown and we can’t wait to be entertaining live audiences once again.”

Last month, self-catering accommodation and outdoor hospitality and attractions – including the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Zoo, and the resort’s three piers – were allowed to open.

Jade Benson and Joe Cooper pulling pints in the Brew Room.Jade Benson and Joe Cooper pulling pints in the Brew Room.

The next phase, which would see all remaining restrictions on social contact scrapped, is pencilled in for June 21 – although concern over the Indian variant of coronavirus has cast doubt on that date.

That dark cloud on the horizon didn’t dampen any spirits, though.

Friends Mary Caveney, 69 and Maria Farrar, 68, were among the first few to sit down for a cup of tea and a sandwich in the Winter Gardens.

The pair hadn’t seen each other since before Christmas and were enjoying a catch up.

Three-year-old Jaiden and six-year-old Jasmine at the arcades on Central PierThree-year-old Jaiden and six-year-old Jasmine at the arcades on Central Pier

Maria, of Norbreck Road in Bispham, said: “It’s the first time I have been on the trams in over a year and I am really happy to be out.

“Mary and I haven’t seen each other for quite a while and decided we’d meet today.

“It seems really weird to say it but I have found it quite emotional coming back into Blackpool because it has been so long.

“It’s quite a big deal for me and we had been talking about the Winter Gardens so we have come here especially to have a nice gossip and natter.”

Mary, of Willow Bank Avenue in South Shore, said: “I’m slightly different as I have been out a few times as I can’t stand being cooped up in the house.

“I have been very impressed with how all the businesses have been dealing with the lockdown relaxation so it’s really good to be out.”

The arcades were all open again in BlackpoolThe arcades were all open again in Blackpool

The pair, who have known each other for more than 15 years, have both had their two jabs and feel safer than earlier in the pandemic.

Maria said: “It gives you a sense of security knowing you have the vaccine in you.

“Perhaps it won’t stop me from catching it but it makes me feel like I won’t end up in hospital with it.

“I don’t like wearing my mask at all but I do it out of courtesy and you don’t have to wear it while you are sitting down having a bite to eat and a cuppa anyway.”

Mary added: “There has been far fewer flu and food poisoning since we all started wearing masks so I’m all for them.

“I don’t like wearing them all the time but they have their plus points.

“It makes you think how many people haven’t been washing their hands all these years.”

Susan and Barry Taylor from Bispham said they think the resort is back in business for good – and had a pint at The Brew Room in Church Street for the first time this year.

Susan, 70, said: “It feels really good to be in the pub again after the year we have had.

“I’ve had problems with my heart and am having tests on it, so it feels great to have something to look forward to and enjoy at the moment.

“We really like the food in here and we knew it would be one of the first places to go once it reopened.

“It’s also great to be supporting local business and workers in Blackpool because they have all been hit hard recently.

Barry, 69, added: “It really does feel great to be doing things in Blackpool again and back in some sort of routine.

“It’s a Marmite town but one that some people really do love and it is great to see people coming back on their holidays here so soon as well.

“For Susan and I, it’s just great to be able to have a stroll round town and pop in for some pub grub, which we have been missing.

“We just have to hope that this is the last of the virus and we don’t get pushed into another lockdown.”

Businessman and former Blackpool mayor Robert Wynne, owner of The Brew Room, The Rose and Crown, and West Coast Rock Cafe, said the response to lockdown relaxation has been super.

He said: “It has been a really positive start for all three places.

“We are offering online table bookings and in the last two weeks we have done 1,200 bookings.

“We are also allowing walk-in customers and the response at West Coast has been brilliant on the first day.

“It’s great to have both Blackpool residents and tourists back in the town and with even more options for them to do something they haven’t been able to do in so long.”

Friends Gail Prasher, Maureen Penfold and Eve Wells from Banbury in Oxfordshire came to Blackpool for the weekend and had been looking forward to the resort’s arcades being open again.

The trio were at Central Pier on the penny machines.

Gail said: “I’ve been coming to Blackpool every year since I was a child and I just really enjoy it.

“With all the restrictions being relaxed we thought we would make a weekend of it.

“It’s just nice that we can do stuff like this again and not be in fear of the virus all the time.

“It does help having the vaccine as well.”

Maureen added: “I think doing things like being at the arcade helps a bit with your mental health as it is something different for your brain to try out.

“We’ve not had much luck yet in the arcade – but fingers crossed we will before we leave.”

And Eve said: “The thing I most enjoy about Blackpool is the same thing I have missed in the last year – socialising. Everyone is so friendly here and they make you feel welcome.

“It’s always good to get the opportunity to come and we have all had a good weekend of shopping, drinking and enjoying being out with friends again.”

James Mulachy from Liverpool visited with his family and also took advantage of the arcades reopening to entertain his children, Jaiden, three, and Jasmine, six.

He said: “We hired a lodge for the weekend because the children really love it in Blackpool.

“It’s really good to get away from your house because after so long you get sick of seeing the same thing all the time.

“We head back today but it was good to get them into the arcades after so long.

“Each relaxation of the lockdown feels like normality is being resumed again and it has definitely put a smile on Jaiden and Jasmine.”

WHAT CHANGED?

Since midnight, people in England have been able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30, and indoors in groups of six, or two households.

Pubs and restaurants are able to serve customers outdoors, although they are still limited to table service.

Other recreational venues such as cinemas, museums, theatres, and concert halls are allowed to open, although there are capacity limits on large events.

Up to 30 people are allowed at weddings, and the cap on the number of mourners attending funerals was lifted, in line with the safe capacity of venues.

Secondary school pupils in most areas are no longer being told to wear face masks in class and communal areas, and university students can return to campus for in-person lectures.

The ‘stay in the UK’ restriction has lifted and people can travel to ‘green list’ countries without having to quarantine, provided they take on post-arrival test.

FLY IN THE OINTMENT?

Boris Johnson and health experts urged people to exercise caution when they head to pubs and restaurants as the lockdown eases despite concerns about the spread of an Indian coronavirus variant.

Although ministers believe the vaccines will be effective against the highly transmissible Indian variant of concern, there are worries about the impact of its spread on those who have refused to have a jab or not yet been offered one.

The Prime Minister urged people to treat the latest easing of restrictions with a “heavy dose of caution” while Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng warned against excessive drinking for those returning to bars.

Mr Kwarteng insisted the June 21 date for the ending of restrictions in England was still likely to be met.

He said “people should have common sense, they should use judgment and I think if we act in a reasonable way, there is no reason to suppose that we can’t reopen the economy entirely on June 21”.

He added: “We need to be cautious because if we get too carried away and the mutant variant spreads too quickly, that could endanger our ability to open up on June 21.”

Professor Graham Medley, a member of the Government’s Sage scientific advisory panel, said the chances of the June 21 date being delayed was “well less than 50 per cent” but added “it is uncertain”.

The main cause for concern is the Indian variant, which is on the way to becoming the dominant strain in some places including Bolton and Blackburn.

A major campaign has been launched to encourage people in those areas to receive a jab.

Mr Kwarteng said he did not want to “stigmatise people” over vaccine hesitancy, but said: “We’re not exactly where we want to be among certain communities but I think the take-up has been much greater in the last few months and more and more people are convinced that this is the way to keep themselves and their families safe.”

Dr Helen Wall, who is leading the vaccination effort in Bolton, said over the weekend more than 6,200 vaccines were administered in the area.

She said before the weekend there were around 10,000 people in the area in the highest priority groups, those deemed to be clinically vulnerable and the over-50s, who were yet to be vaccinated, but added: “I’m hoping that we’ve made a big dent into that now”.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said there were “concerns” about small numbers of older people who are yet to take up their vaccine offer.

“The biggest risk comes from, if there are large numbers of older people who are unvaccinated,” he said.

Mr Kwarteng defended the timing of tougher restrictions being imposed on travel from India amid speculation decisions may have been delayed due to the Prime Minister’s planned trade mission to the country in April.

India was placed on the red list, effectively banning travel except for returning Britons who had to go into a quarantine hotel, on April 23.

“It is easy with hindsight to say things could have been better or quicker and all the rest of it, but I think there was a balanced approach,” he said.

Despite the pleas for caution, some drinkers took advantage of the relaxations to sink pints shortly after midnight yesterday.

 

£1.1m Tower Ballroom refurb unearths some blasts from the past

Home | Blackpool Gazette

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

Work on the Tower Ballroom refurbWork on the Tower Ballroom refurb

The Blackpool Tower Ballroom, located in the Grade 1 Listed Blackpool Tower, is hoping to re-open on June 21. 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.

​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! 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.

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.

Specialists had to learn traditional skills to carry out the workSpecialists had to learn traditional skills to carry out the work

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.

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 company charged with the work has also worked at Buckingham PalaceThe company charged with the work has also worked at Buckingham Palace

More than two tonnes of plaster being mixed.

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.
Miles of scaffolding were used during the projectMiles of scaffolding were used during the project

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 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.

Historic England has worked closely with the expert team leading the work on site.

Tamsin Cooke, Heritage at Risk Projects Officer at Historic England, said: “It really is incredible to see the work which has gone on here – which is exactly as it would have been carried out when the ballroom was built all those years ago, those traditional methods are still being used today! This is a very historical moment for Blackpool.

“This is an extremely rare and precious building. Only one in 40 Listed Buildings are given Grade 1 Listed status.

“Blackpool is a real icon of British seaside. And the ballroom is a real jewel in Blackpool’s crown!

“The Culture Recovery Fund grant awarded by Historic England for the repair work has been a great opportunity. This is a huge grant for Historic England to award but we are extremely excited about the opportunity to make a difference to such a well-known and well-loved location – not just for today’s visitors – but for generations to come.

“It is so important to preserve buildings such as this and a ballroom which dancers and families world-wide enjoy so much!”

Councillor Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Culture, at Blackpool Council, added: “We are thrilled to be awarded this grant which will help bring the ornate ceiling of the magnificent Tower Ballroom back to its former glory. The ballroom has provided entertainment for generations of people for more than a century and is a national treasure, not least because of its relationship with Strictly.

“We are enormously appreciative that its importance to the cultural heritage of this country has been recognised in this way.”

Kenny Mew, General Manager of The Blackpool Tower, said he cannot wait to re-open the ballroom.

He added: “The works which have been carried out really are something very special. This is a once in a lifetime project that I feel incredibly fortunate to have been involved in.

“We cannot wait to reopen our doors and invite the public to experience the splendour of The Blackpool Tower Ballroom first hand, whether they are taking to the dancefloor, enjoying afternoon tea or simply taking in the incredible surroundings.

“Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the ballroom has now been closed for over 12 months, we are hoping to re-open on June 21st, if the Government’s continued road map out of lockdown goes to plan!”

Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage added: “The Blackpool Tower Ballroom has been at the heart of British dance for more than a century, annually hosting the Strictly Come Dancing Blackpool special.

“I am delighted that, thanks to the Culture Recovery Fund, the ballroom has been fully restored and is getting ready to reopen and host fantastic dances and events once more.”

Robin Harrison, Managing Director at Hayles and Howe, added: “The Blackpool Tower project has been one of the most challenging projects we have undertaken.

“It has allowed us to continue to learn and develop our methodologies to restore historic plasterwork.

“This project is a very iconic one for both myself and my team and is definitely one of our flagship pieces of work. One of my favourite parts of looking after buildings like this is being able to give something back to the public to enjoy safely for generations to come.”

 

 

Blackpool Tower lit up in red as resort pays tribute to Jordan Banks

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool’s iconic Tower was lit up in red yesterday evening (May 12) as the resort paid tribute to 9-year-old Jordan Banks, who died after being struck by lightning on Tuesday.

The Tower and the Illuminations shone red – the colours of Jordan’s favourite football team Liverpool F.C. – as the resort showed solidarity with his grieving family and friends.

Blackpool Town Hall also lowered its flag to half-mast to remember the boy, who has been described as one of the resorts “brightest lights”.

Cllr Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “The whole town is shocked and devastated by the tragic accident that took place on Tuesday night on Common Edge Road playing fields.

“Our thoughts are with Jordan’s family and friends. I can’t imagine what they are going through but I hope they can take some comfort from the outpouring of love and support from the whole community.

“Our critical incident team have been at the school offering support to staff and pupils during this difficult time.

“A dedicated space has been created for pupils who require more support and we will do all we can to assist them.

“The flag at the Town Hall has been lowered to half-mast and tonight Blackpool Tower and the Illuminations arches will be lit in red as we know he was a keen Liverpool FC fan.”

Blackpool Tower and the Illuminations were lit up in red for Jordan Banks last night (May 12), as the resort showed its solidarity with his grieving family and friends. Picture by Dave NelsonBlackpool Tower and the Illuminations were lit up in red for Jordan Banks last night (May 12), as the resort showed its solidarity with his grieving family and friends. Picture by Dave Nelson

‘He was loved by staff and pupils alike’: Headteachers remember ‘bubbly’ boy Jor…

Blackpool Tower added: “Tonight, Blackpool Tower and the Illuminations arches will be lit in red as a tribute to nine-year-old Jordan Banks, a keen Liverpool FC fan, who sadly died after being struck by lightning in Blackpool.

“Our community lost one of it’s brightest lights, so this evening we stand alongside Jordan Banks family, friends and our community to remember a remarkable young man.

“Our sincere thoughts remain with the family, and all affected by this tragedy.

Jordan's family said the nine-year-old was their "brightest star" and was "wise beyond his years, caring, considerate, generous and so loving"Jordan’s family said the nine-year-old was their “brightest star” and was “wise beyond his years, caring, considerate, generous and so loving”

Yesterday, Jordan’s family paid tribute to the 9-year-old, describing him as their “brightest star” and “wise beyond his years, caring, considerate, generous and so loving.”

A fundraiser set up following his death has raised a staggering £54,000 as of this morning (May 13), with more than 3,000 people making donations in Jordan’s memory.

Blackpool Tower illuminated in red for Jordan Banks. Credit: Blackpool TowerBlackpool Tower illuminated in red for Jordan Banks. Credit: Blackpool Tower

 

Tiny wine bars, big rides and huge hopes: What Blackpool has waiting for visitors next week

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

“We’re really looking forward to be welcoming guests as soon as possible, I think everyone needs a glass of wine after this year! ”

The sun rises behind the Blackpool Tower in Blackpool, Lancashire. Picture date: Friday April 2, 2021. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
The sun rises behind the Blackpool Tower in Blackpool, Lancashire. (Image: PA)

Blackpool is set to welcome back visitors to its bars, theatres and attractions on May 17 following a government announcement that remaining restrictions on the town’s tourism industry can be safely lifted.

The next step of the Prime Minister’s roadmap is now for indoor hospitality and attractions to reopen along with show venues, hotels and guesthouses.

The past 15 months has seen Blackpool face its biggest challenges in a long history of successful tourism.

Even throughout the first and second world wars the town attractions could largely remain open as a form of escapism for both locals and visitors.

The coronavirus pandemic however has meant many bars, pubs and hotels have been unable to accommodate customers, rendering its beach and promenades uncharacteristically quiet.

Sadly some businesses have not made it to the other side of lockdown, with the financial burden too great. However for some, the down time has been an opportunity to renovate and create.

Amazing lockdown transformation at Lemmy's Bar in Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool
Amazing lockdown transformation at Lemmy’s Bar in Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool (Image: Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool)

Waterloo Music Bar in Waterloo Road has had a particularly hard time after it failed to secure government funding to help it get through the Covid crisis.

Throughout the pandemic loyal customers and musicians have joined a campaign to save the bar from closure with Music Venue Trust getting involved.

Staff have come up with all kinds of creative ideas from selling merchandise to wild and wonderful ideas for virtual events to help raise funds after a year with no income.

Lockdown provided the opportunity to add to the already meticulously decorated bar and its infamous Motorhead-themed Lemmy’s bar.

Owner Ian Fletcher said: “The Waterloo Music Bar can’t wait to open it’s doors again on May 17, and our team are very excited to welcome everyone back to see what we have been doing through lockdown.

“We have the one and only Lemmy’s Motorhead-themed bar in the UK and our entire venue is packed with music memorabilia and artwork. We can only operate at reduced capacity from May until June 21, which means our early gigs are mostly sold out, but we have an epic year of music coming up, just checkout our website for dates and tickets.”

International graffiti and street artist, Chris Fenn AKA Seca One Art, has painted a spectacularly colourful mural of grapes and flowers on the front Nook Wine bar set to open in May 2020
International graffiti and street artist, Chris Fenn AKA Seca One Art, has painted a spectacularly colourful mural of grapes and flowers on the front Nook Wine bar set to open in May 2020 (Image: Nook Wine Bar)

Lockdown also saw the creation of the town’s smallest wine bar. Tucked away down Cheapside, a former sandwich shop, the Hideaway, was transformed into Nook wine bar, a small but mightynew bar for 2021.

Spectacularly painted with a colourful mural by Blackpool’s International graffiti and street artist Seca One Art, the bar will not be just another “stuffy wine gaff” and will be focusing on serving premium and unique wines from all around the world.

Owner Jake Whittington, who also owns Dirty Blondes and Paradise Coast said: “Nook will be Blackpool’s first wine and charcuterie venue, so there’s a lot of excitement, and pressure, around the project.

“The tired old building has had to have extensive work done for such a small place. We were really aiming to get open for the 17th, but we may be running a couple of weeks behind.

“Opening a bar in lockdown is a challenge to say the least, suppliers and contractors are running at a reduced capacity so it certainly makes for an interesting time! We’re really looking forward to be welcoming guests as soon as possible, I think everyone needs a glass of wine after this year! ”

Madame Tussauds, Blackpool during lockdown two
Madame Tussauds, Blackpool during lockdown two (Image: This is influential)

Excitement is building at the news that some of Blackpool’s biggest and longstanding attractions will be able to welcome customers back including the Tower, the Dungeons and Madame Tussauds.

After operating at a reduced capacity at times the well-loved destinations had to close completely during the third national lockdown.

Now the iconic landmarks can begin to come back to life.

Kate Shane, Head of the Blackpool Cluster for Merlin Entertainments, said: “We’ve been counting down the days until we can reopen our doors at The Blackpool Tower attractions, Sea Life and Madame Tussauds, so it’s great to have the green light for this to go ahead.

“Our teams are overjoyed to be back and this week they are busy with final preparations for our attractions opening on the May 17 alongside final rehearsals for The Blackpool Tower Dungeons and Circus which open on Saturday May 22.

“We have all been separated from our families and friends for over 12 months, so we simply can’t wait to reconnect loved ones and help them make magical new memories together.

“Our attractions were created for fun, so we’re counting down the days until we can see the smiles and hear the laughter of our guests once more.”


Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach will also be able to get back to normal with visitors able to experience more fun at the fair.

After re-opening on April 12 it has been receiving guests on a daily basis however the lifting of restrictions means its guests can enjoy more.

A Spokesperson for Blackpool Pleasure Beach said: From 17th May we will be able to reopen our both of our hotels, The Big Blue and The Boulevard, which will see many more visitors coming to the resort.

“In addition to this the White Tower restaurant and our indoor attractions Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Pasaje Del Terror and will open again and provide much more for our guests to enjoy.”

For more information on where to visit in Blackpool come May 17, please visit Visit Blackpool.

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

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

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.