Category Archive: News

Blackpool Tower wins heritage award

Blackpool Tower 2016

More than 120 years after it was built, Blackpool Tower has won a heritage award.

The structure was given the first North West Civil Engineering Heritage Award by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). ICE said the tower was “possibly the most instantly recognisable work of civil engineering in the country” and “all about having fun”.

It beat 12 other entries including Manchester’s Victoria Station.
The £44m redevelopment of the railway station won instead the Large Project Award at a ceremony held in Cumbria on Friday.

Blackpool TowerOther contenders for the heritage award were Thomas Telford’s Nantwich Aqueduct in Cheshire, John Rennie’s Old Tram Bridge in Preston and the 200-year-old Wigan Flight of 23 locks on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

North West regional director of ICE Darrell Matthews said the tower was “a really interesting nomination” because civil engineering was usually associated with “highly practical things like railways and bridges” whereas Blackpool Tower is “all about having fun”.

But he added: “There’s no doubting the engineering skill that went into designing and building it, so it’s a very worthy winner. The Blackpool Tower is possibly the most instantly recognisable work of civil engineering in the UK.

Chris Hudson from ICE’s Lancashire branch said: “Blackpool Promenade itself is a fantastic showcase of civil engineering old and new – the piers, the sea defences, the tramway – and they’re all amazing works of engineering in their own ways.

“But Blackpool Tower literally stands tall. In fact it’s 518 feet and nine inches of monument to civil engineering genius.”Blackpool Tower award

  • The seafront tower opened in 1894 and more than 3,000 people ascended it on the opening day
  • Its design is inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • Nine tons of paint are needed to cover the tower
  • The tower is 158m or 518ft
  • The Grade-I listed landmark has been owned by the council since 2010
  • The tower was restored in 2011 and underwent a major 10-month restoration programme
  • On a clear day the tower can be seen from north Wales and the Lake District
  • The glass Skywalk is 5cm thick and can hold the weight of two elephants

Source: BBC

New Premier Inn hotel in Blackpool

 Premier Inn hotel in Blackpool

New plans for £10m Blackpool hotel

Leisure giant Whitbread is poised to submit reworked proposals for a 150-bedroom Premier Inn with a Brewers Fayre restaurant on the ground floor on the site of the former Yates’s pub in Talbot Square.

The site of the former Yates’ Wine Lodge is the perfect location for a new Premier Inn hotel in Blackpool.

The original application for the site was thrown out byBlackpool Council’s planning committee in April because councillors were unhappy with the design.

Concerns were also raised about the lack of parking.

The new plans will go on display today at the Houndshill Centre for residents to see.

Nick Johnston, acquisition manager for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, who is leading the development for Premier Inn, said: “Blackpool is an iconic seaside resort in the UK, and with this comes high demand for high quality and affordable accommodation.

“The site of the former Yates’ Wine Lodge is the perfect location for a new Premier Inn hotel in blackpool.

“It is close to the world famous Blackpool Tower and North Pier and is metres from Blackpool North train station and town centre.

“Our plans will bring more people to Blackpool, increasing footfall and benefitting many local businesses and tourist attractions.”

Whitbread, Premier Inn’s parent company, is proposing to invest £10m in the new hotel and Brewers Fayre restaurant.

A total of 65 year-round new jobs in a variety of roles would also be created.

Mr Johnston added: “We were disappointed by the committee’s decision to refuse the original application in April.

“Since then our design team has worked hard to ensure we can deliver the quality building the site deserves.

“Premier Inn is committed to investing in Blackpool and I am confident the new designs will be an asset to the legendary British town.”

A public exhibition on the revised plans is being held today between 1pm and 6pm at 17 Victoria Street, which is one of the exterior units at Houndshill, when the scheme will be on display and members of the development team will be on hand to answer any questions on the proposals.

The new application is then expected to be submitted later this summer.

There is still no parking provision but a detailed highways assessment will be submitted, and it is anticipated most guests will travel by train with those that do arrive by car using existing town centre car parks.

The site has been empty since the former Yates’s Wine Lodge was demolished following a devastating fire in February 2009.

The council’s planning committee refused the application for the site between Talbot Road and Clifton Street, after raising concerns about how guests and deliveries would access the site.

Councillors also said they did not feel confident in the design of the proposed six-storey building.

Talbot ward councillor Mark Smith urged people to go along to the exhibition to see the plans.

He said: “I’m pleased Whitbread has listened to the concerns of the committee and are engaging more with the community to get their views on the new plans.

“This is an iconic site and while it is important we get investment here, it is also important that we get something which is right for Blackpool.

“I hope lots of people will go along to the exhibition and take a look at the plans and make their views known to the development team.”

There is already planning permission in place for a Tesco Express and eateries on the site but that scheme came under fire for failing to have enough ‘wow’ factor for the site, and has never progressed.

Blackpool’s beaches have been granted Seaside Awards


Blackpool’s beaches

The national awards, announced by Keep Britain Tidy, have rewarded Blackpool South, Blackpool Central, Blackpool North and Bispham for their high standards of beach management, as well as their nearby facilities.

It also commends the Council’s beach patrol work to help beach goers stay safe while also advising them on how to protect the local environment and keep it clean.

It is the second successive year that all four beaches have been granted the award, which celebrates some of the best beaches in the country.

John Blackledge, Blackpool Council’s Director of Community and Environmental Services, said: “This is fantastic news and it proves that, wherever you go on Blackpool’s coast, you’re sure of an award winning beach.

“A huge amount of work goes into making Blackpool’s beaches as clean and as enjoyable as possible, both for tourists and locals, so it’s great to see it recognised in this way.

“Our council officers do a tremendous job clearing the beach twice a day to make it as clean and safe as possible, which is an incredible feat when you think just how busy it can get when the sun is out.

“But a thank you is also in order for all those people who take their litter away with them after they have finished on the beach. Every set of entrance steps leading to the beach between North Pier and South Pier offers a large litter bin for beach users to dispose of their litter during and, more importantly, when leaving our beaches.

“If we are to continue to win these types of awards and keep our beaches clean then we need everybody to do their bit and look after the local environment. A list of all the things that people can do to help our beaches can be found on

In order to keep Blackpool’s beaches clean, dogs are currently excluded from the beach between South Pier and North Pier until 1 October.

Blackpool to London train service is relaunched

Blackpoll to london virgin trainAt the end of 2014 just before the Christmas holidays Blackpool saw the re launch of a direct Virgin Trains service to the capital.

The Blackpool to London train service is back after eleven years of absence. The previous direct service ran until it was cancelled in 2003 due to a lack of demand.

The new train service will depart from Blackpool at 05:25 and is due to call also at Kirkham & Wesham, Poulton-le-Fylde, Preston, Wigan North Western, Warrington Bank Quay, Crewe and Nuneaton before arriving in London at 08:34. The return service from London Euston departs at 16:33 and arrives back in Blackpool at 19:31.

At the same time Virgin Trains also introduced the London to Shrewsbury train service.

The new services are part of a range of improvements on the West Coast Main Line route that coincide with the award of Virgin Trains’ extended franchise.

Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Patrick McLoughin, MP and Daniel Kawczynski, MP travelled on Monday’s 0639 Shrewsbury to London departure, to mark the occasion, both having been instrumental in getting the green light for the new services.

Patrick McLoughlin commented, “This is another sign of the renaissance in Britain’s railways, and we are already seeing more services, more passenger journeys, and more jobs being generated by the industry. Our rail network is a key part of our long term economic plan which is why more than £38billion will be invested in maintaining and upgrading the network over the next five years.”

To celebrate the launch, characters including Sherlock Holmes, a Beefeater, Pearly King and Queen, and Covent Garden street performers delighted crowds on Blackpool Pier and outside Shrewsbury’s Market Hall, highlighting that travellers can now travel direct to London Euston in just 2hrs 36mins from Shrewsbury and 3hrs 9mins from Blackpool.

Blackpool North will also benefit from the introduction of a daily trip to London Euston (Monday-Friday).

“It’s an exciting time for everyone involved with Virgin Trains,” commented Phil Bearpark, Executive Director Operations and Projects. “With our extended franchise we are able to get back to doing what we do best, offering new journey opportunities whilst still delivering the same high standards of service to our customers.

The support we have received locally has been overwhelming. We couldn’t be more pleased and we are really looking forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure the new services are a success.”

The Blackpool Gazette has quoted, Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport to say that he was delighted by the news.

“I’ve been lobbying Virgin, as well as Network Rail and the ORR for a while now about the importance of a direct train line between London and Blackpool, as I feel it will have a huge impact on the town’s economy. I’m glad that they’ve listened and agreed to put on this direct route.

“This a huge boost to the town and will help to put the town on the map to millions of people who live in London, as well as making commuting between here and the capital a much more feasible proposition to many.”

Blackpool to London train service



The Rocky Gardens at the Cliffs Hotel in Blackpool

The Cliffs hotel Blackpool city This Christmas, the kids club at the Cliffs Hotel in Blackpool will reveal a new look after benefiting from a £20,000 investment to bring it up to date with the wants and needs of the 21st century child.

Officially to be unveiled on Christmas Eve, the new activities area will be named ‘Rocky Gardens’ after the hotel’s mascot Rocky the Rooster and will cater for children up to 14 years of age.

The new zone includes a dedicated soft-play space for babies, an arts and crafts section, all the latest video games and an opportunity to take part in a full activities programme.

Older children will now be able to take part in thrilling Nerf Gun Wars, challenge each other on interactive games on a state of the art X Box Kinnect and play on traditional arcade games that are synonymous with the resort.

Tom Nelder, trainee manager at The Cliffs hotel said: “We really wanted the new kids club to be as much fun as possible.

“The majority of the guests who visit us at The Cliffs hotel are families and we are committed to making continuous improvements to suit modern tastes and demands.”

To create Rocky Gardens The Cliffs hotel canvassed young visitors to ensure it captured their imagination and catered for everyone’s needs from babies to teens.

“The new kids’ club offers everyone a place to have fun, be creative and interact in a bright and safe environment.

Choice Hotels is an independent family owned business which had humble beginnings when it opened its first guest house almost 70 years ago.

With five hotels, three in Blackpool and two in the Lake District, its management team now boasts more than 360 years’ experience in the industry.

Tom added: “The staff at Choice have all worked really hard and as a result we’re able to launch Rocky Gardens a month before we’d planned to.

“We are very proud to have transformed the former kids’ club into a more modern and interactive play area and we hope that it brings hours of fun to all the children who spend time at The Cliffs Hotel.”


The Cliffs Hotel in Blackpool


Blackpool Airport back in business

Blackpool Airport

Blackpool Airport is cleared for take off once more after being granted its licence to fly from today.

The new operating company  “Squires Gate Airport Operations”  is gearing up for a relaunch after the Civil Aviation Authority gave the all clear.

It means the airport can resume limited commercial flights with air traffic control and emergency fire cover.

It is understood that around 33 staff will be back at work at the airport from today with a full official opening and return of operations due next week.

The airport closed down on October 15 with the loss of 100 jobs when operating company Blackpool Airports Ltd went into liquidation.

It spelled the end for the international scale Category 7 commercial operations, such as that carried out by Jet2 which flew to 11 overseas destinations.

But now Squires Gate has been set up to resume reduced services as a Category 3 airport.

Owners of the new operating company, Balfour Beatty, confirmed the licence had been returned and operations were to resume next week.

The news has been welcomed across the Fylde where the closure caused dismay and fears the local economy would suffer a major setback.

Peter Eckersley, from Westair, which offers aviation services from its hangar at the airport including corporate flights, aircraft maintenance and flying lessons, said it was fabulous news and had come at a crucial time of year.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted to have full service restored and get business back on track and to push forward. Trial flying lessons are a great driver of business for the whole airport, not just us, with fuel costs and landing fees right through the year. With many people thinking the airport is closed it could affect that business here.

“It is good to see the jobs coming back here, and we can’t wait for the official opening to let everyone know we are all back in operation.”


Fylde MP Mark Menzies, who has been lobbying ministers at Westminster for support for the airport, along with the other Fylde coast MPs, said: “The news that our airport is reopening with jobs returning to the site is fantastic, and a good first step in getting it fully up and running again.

“While this is a great start we must not lose sight of our ultimate goal of getting regular scheduled flights operating from the airport again.

“Being realistic, that may take some time, but with the airport now being on a more stable footing it makes that more likely in the long term.”

One of the airline companies which had to cease operations from Blackpool in October was Citywing, which flies to the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland.

Managing director David Buck today said he was pleased that it had got its licence back and that he would be watching developments.

He said: “This is great news. It’s an excellent move forward and excellent for the area. The airport has been greatly missed and I am very pleased at this development.”

Rob Blower, from the Save Blackpool Airport pressure group, said: “I am pleased it’s getting its licence back, its a good start. I would be interested to know if it could get its Class 7 licence back, which would allow jet airliners to fly out from there in future.

“That is what people really want. You don’t know what you have got until its gone and so many people were disappointed when it closed.

“It was bad for the economy.”


Blackpool pleasure Beach precedes £2 million investment

Blackpool pleasure Beach

Bosses of Blackpool pleasure Beach, one of the UK’s top tourist attractions, have announced that the park will be receiving £2.25 million of investment this year to secure its place as a world-class attraction.

Much of the money will be spent on or you all to national advertising campaign to increase visitor numbers, while improvements to the park itself into a new state of the art door gyms ride with artwork inspired by the pop singer Robbie Williams all declared dodgems to be his favourite ride on the previous Blackpool visit, and annual water garden designed by world-renowned sculptors.

Compare All Hotels in Blackpool Now…

Spike Milligan at the Grand Theatre at Blackpool

Grand Theatre at Blackpool

The comedy adventures of Spike Milligan’s war memories are on tour once again and willl be playing at the Blackpool Grand Theatre from 2nd to 6th of February 2010.

Spike Milligan’s “ Adolf Hitler. My part in his Downfall” combines laughter and tragedy, following or an uplifting stay of how determination, comradeship and positivity defeated the Nazis.  The show features classic jazz songs such as Chaltanooga Choo Choo and and has received excellent reviews from top national critics.

Call the box office on 01253 290 190.

If you’re coming over to Blackpool for the show, why not make a weekend of it and stay at one of the many excellent hotels in BlackpoolCompare the best rates on Blackpool hotels now…

Blackpool Hotel Voted Dirtiest in Europe

The Grosvener Hotel in Blackpool has been named and shamed as the dirtiest hotel in Europe by a trip advisor survey which considered over 30million guest reviews to find at which hotels the public found to be the least clean.

Despite claiming to offer guests great views of the famous Blackpool Tower, one guest reported that the windows in his room were so dirty that he could only see the tower when they switched the lights on at night. Click here to read more »

Kitesurfing Championships coming to Blackpool

The British Kite Surfing Association has announced the dates of this year’s Kite Surfing Events, with the final round of the British Championships to be held in Blackpool on the 14th-17th October 2010.

The event will include kitesurfing freestyle and course, as well as freestyle kitelandboard and freestyle kitebuggy.

Kitesurfing Championships in Blackpool

Combined with the other attractions in Blackpool and fantastic night life, it makes for an awesome weekend.  If you plan on visiting Blackpool for the Kitesurfing championships in October, why not check our the best deals on hotels using our hotel price comparison tool.

Check out dedicated Blackpool Hotels Site and Compare to get the best deals on Hotels in Blackpool.

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