The vision for Blackpool

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Blackpool’s Regeneration Framework
This regeneration framework clearly states the vision that the Council and its partners have for
Blackpool’s regeneration. It shows the priorities that will drive change in the town and the key
actions that will help us to reach our vision.

The vision and priorities are informed by our strong understanding of the challenges faced in
Blackpool, and the opportunities for regeneration. The framework is informed by the key
strategies and plans in Blackpool, such as the Sustainable Community Strategy, Local
Development Framework and Blackpool Council Corporate Plan.




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The vision for regenerating Blackpool
Our vision is to create a world class resort destination, based around the
concept of a ‘city on the beach’ – a destination experience; a vibrant city feel
with a living and working heart and a retail, leisure and accommodation offer
to match. Uniquely, this city vibe will be offered in a beach location. Blackpool
will be a great place to visit – a better place to live.
Blackpool will:
 Be a vibrant town, with retail and cultural assets that make it the centre for the Fylde
    Coast.
 Have thriving communities, who take pride in their neighbourhoods, supported by good
    quality housing and a distinctive and high quality public realm.
 Attract more visitors all year round to high quality attractions and events.
 Have a high quality accommodation offer and infrastructure that supports the
    sustainable visitor economy.
 Have skilled and healthy residents, who are in good quality jobs and able to share in the
    increased prosperity of the town.

Regeneration in Blackpool is more than developing the physical infrastructure. It is about
ensuring that all our residents have the skills and opportunities to succeed, as physical
regeneration is unsustainable unless support is given to people to respond positively. This
means that the Council and partners will work to provide quality learning spaces and
experiences to raise aspiration and attainment across the whole population. Health and well-
being will also improve, as partners target the causes of poor health and encourage healthy
lifestyles.

These projects and programmes are included in the Blackpool Strategic Partnership
Sustainable Community Strategy and in key partners’ business plans.

We will achieve our vision by pursuing three key priorities:
  1. Blackpool as a better place to live
  2. Prosperous Blackpool, with good jobs for all, and a sustainable visitor economy.
  3. Blackpool as the commercial, retail and cultural centre for the Fylde coast.

For each of the key priorities, this framework identifies strategic actions that will be
undertaken by Blackpool Council, the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Development
Company and other partners to capitalise on the town’s strengths and opportunities while
tackling its challenges.




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Blackpool’s Story                                     improve the health and well being of Blackpool’s
                                                      population.
Blackpool has a resident population of 141,900
and is one of the most densely populated areas in     In the 2007 Indices of Deprivation, Blackpool
the country. It is still England’s most popular       moved from the 24th most deprived area in the
seaside resort, with up to 14 million visits to the   country, to the 12th most deprived. In some areas
resort annually.                                      of the town, this deprivation is particularly severe;
                                                      with 27% of the population located in the lower
Intensely urban and compact in form, Blackpool is     super output areas amongst the 10% most
characterised at its heart by the resort core, some   deprived in the country.
5 km2, containing the iconic Blackpool Tower,
three piers, Winter Gardens, Grundy Art Gallery,      Economy, employment and skills
Grand Theatre, town centre, Golden Mile hosting       Blackpool’s economy has been in decline for the
an array of amusements and arcades, the ever          last few decades, and this has contributed to the
popular Blackpool Pleasure Beach and the              other problems faced by the town and its
famous illuminations. These offer a rich and          residents. Some key indicators demonstrate the
diverse cultural offer in music, performing arts,     issues with Blackpool’s economy:
entertainment, heritage and other varied leisure       Local Gross Value Added per head is 67% of
attractions, with Blackpool a national hot-spot for       the UK level.
performing arts.                                       A lower percentage of people working in
                                                          Blackpool are in managerial and professional
The M55 connects the heart of the town to the             or technical occupations than in the rest of the
national motorway network via the two-mile                North West and Great Britain.
Central Gateway. Access by the national rail           Median weekly pay for residents in Blackpool
network is through Blackpool North Station, with          is substantially lower than in the North West
local rail services using stations at Blackpool           and Great Britain.
Pleasure Beach, South Shore, and Layton.               Blackpool has a lower percentage of working
Blackpool’s tramway, one of the oldest electric           age people with an NVQ level four and above
tramways in the world, runs for 11 miles from             when compared to the regional and national
Starr Gate in Blackpool to Fleetwood and carries          figures. 20% of working age people have no
around 6,500,000 passengers each year.                    qualifications. This is worse than the rest of
                                                          the North West and Great Britain.
Blackpool International Airport, on the doorstep in    When compared to the regional and national
the borough of Fylde, operates charter and                figures, a greater proportion of working age
scheduled flights throughout the UK and to and            people in Blackpool claim key benefits.
from European destinations.                            In 2008, 34.5%, of Blackpool’s pupils obtained
                                                          five GCSE’s with an A*-C grade, including
Blackpool faces a series of unique and                    English and Maths. This is lower than the
interrelated challenges that need to be overcome          2008 North West average, England and
as part of the town’s regeneration, to drive              Blackpool’s statistical neighbours.
improvements for the town and its population.
Some of the main challenges that will be              The wider Fylde Coast is more prosperous. The
addressed through coherent and coordinated            average weekly pay for Fylde Coast residents in
regeneration in the town are set out in this          2009 was the third highest in the North West.
section.
                                                      Health and Well-Being
The strategic actions contained within this           The health and well-being of Blackpool’s
framework, alongside the work being undertaken        residents is substantially worse than the rest of
by Blackpool Council and its partners, aim to         the country. In 2008, life expectancy for men in
tackle the root causes of these problems,             Blackpool was the lowest in England. Women’s
strengthening the economy and increasing the          life expectancy was longer, but is still the lowest
skills base of the population. Improving the          in England. There are considerable differences in
economy, housing and Blackpool’s assets and           life expectancy in Blackpool. Men in the least
public realm should reduce deprivation and            deprived wards can expect to live nearly 10 years



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longer than men in the most deprived. For
women, this difference is eight and a half years.

Not only do people in Blackpool live shorter lives,
they also spend a smaller proportion of their life in
good health and without a disability. The key
causes of shorter life expectancy in Blackpool are
alcohol related diseases, circulatory diseases,
cancers (especially lung cancer), accidents and
self harm, and respiratory disease.

The work in targeting health interventions will be
strongly supported by the work to reduce poverty
and deprivation, and improve housing, as these
will help to support improvements in the health of
the population.

Housing
The housing supply within Blackpool’s inner area
is acutely unbalanced, characterised by an
oversupply of poor quality private rented stock
that includes at least 3,500 Houses in Multiple
Occupation (HMO) and a lack of decent family
accommodation for rent and sale.

The very large private rented sector in Blackpool
is dominated by poor quality accommodation, and
two thirds of private rented tenants rely on
Housing Benefit, compared with less than 20%
nationally. The limited housing offer in the inner
areas means that there is restricted availability of
family housing. While many properties could
potentially provide decent family homes, the poor
quality of the neighbourhoods mean that the more
economically active households choose more
attractive residential areas elsewhere.

These issues place further pressure on
guesthouse owners as the amenity and character
of local neighbourhoods decline. They are less
able to compete in a declining market and
struggle to meet rising customer expectations.
The result is that many guesthouses are unviable
and no longer fit for purpose.

Disrepair and lack of affordable warmth are
significant problems for older people in the private
sector housing stock. 38% of private homes in
Blackpool are classed as not meeting the Decent
Homes Standard and two thirds of these fail
because of a lack of adequate heating and
insulation.




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Priority 1: Blackpool as a better place to live
Blackpool will be an attractive place to live, with thriving communities and a rebalanced
housing market. There will be more good quality family homes and fewer houses in multiple
occupation. Residents will be healthier and lead longer lives. Blackpool will have a high quality
public realm that emphasises and complements its key attractions.

Strategic Actions:
 Rebalance the town’s housing market
 Create thriving and active communities
 Address decline in the worst performing neighbourhoods

To enable and support Blackpool’s regeneration, the town’s housing offer needs to improve
and become more balanced. While some areas of the town are relatively prosperous, other
areas, particularly in the inner core, have suffered from the decline in the visitor economy.

Strategic interventions will be made in key areas to dramatically improve the areas in greatest
need. This will include remodelling former guest houses and houses of multiple occupation to
act as a catalyst to other improvements and encourage small scale developers. Work will be
undertaken to reduce the supply of poor quality private rented accommodation and unviable
guesthouses, while providing high quality housing to meet the needs of families.

To support communities changed and created through the physical intervention programmes,
work will continue to engage with and build sustainable communities that are pleasant places
to live in for residents and places that are friendly for visitors. This will include working with
communities to develop neighbourhood plans that encourage community confidence and
ensure that there are the facilities and opportunities for residents.

The decline experienced in some of Blackpool’s communities will be addressed through the
strategic interventions and the other regeneration projects, which will ensure that the causes
of the decline, such as poor infrastructure, housing and opportunities are addressed. An
example of this will be seen in the Tyldesley Road Housing Intervention Project, which will
provide a mix of high quality housing, and reduce the supply of poor quality private sector
rented accommodation and unviable guesthouses.

Additional housing will be provided around the M55 Growth Hub at Marton Moss. This
development will also provide substantial additional employment opportunities, although it will
complement the regeneration of the rest of the town, rather than compete with it.

The health of the population will be dramatically improved, with health inequalities reduced
and people having healthier, longer lives. In addition to improved health care facilities in the
town that will mean that residents in the town have good access to high quality health care.
More preventative intervention in the town, targeting the main causes of ill health, will support
improvements in the health of the town.




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Priority 2: Prosperous Blackpool, with good jobs for all, and a
sustainable visitor economy
Blackpool’s economy will be underpinned by a sustainable visitor economy, with visitors
coming to the town all year round to high quality attractions and events. There will also be a
higher level of visitor spend. This will be supported by quality accommodation that meets the
needs of visitors. Residents will have the skills to meet the needs of the local economy, and
be in secure and good quality jobs.

Strategic Actions:
  Create a sustainable visitor economy and high quality, year-round reasons to come to
     Blackpool.
  Develop the skills of Blackpool’s workforce.
  Promote enterprise and create jobs.

Blackpool has attractions that have the potential to attract visitors to the resort throughout the
year. These iconic features, such as the Tower, Winter Gardens, Piers and seafront will be
developed and improved, and complemented by the development of new attractions and
events. Distinctiveness will be encouraged through high quality design, public art and
conservation of unique buildings and features.

The purchase of the Tower, Winter Gardens and Golden Mile centre will enable a dramatic
turnaround in these key assets, with investment and better management leading to far greater
numbers of visitors. As key attractions and buildings in the town, revitalising these assets will
mean that the regeneration of the wider town centre is supported and sustained.

The new sea defences will make the beach and seafront more accessible and create high
quality spaces for visitors and events. The Tower Festival Headland will create an open air
arena with a capacity for 20,000 people, while also providing a space with public art and an
iconic comedy carpet. The St Chad’s and Waterloo Headland will provide adventure play
areas for all ages all year-round, while providing a space that can host sporting events.

To ensure that Blackpool’s workforce has the skills required by higher quality jobs, aspirations
and attainment will be increased. The quality of learning spaces will be improved through the
Building Schools for the Future and Primary Capital programmes and further improvements in
Blackpool’s other learning spaces. Vocational learning will support people to improve their
skills and find new jobs, through programmes such as the Build Up project.

The Further and Higher education sectors in the town will develop and support a greater
number of students to gain higher level qualifications. In addition, the move of the main FE
and HE College campuses to the town centre will attract more people to the town on a regular
basis, while making learning opportunities more accessible.

Blackpool will be an enterprising place, where support will be provided for new businesses
when they start up and for existing local business to develop and grow. We will strengthen the
support given to businesses and give them spaces and locations to develop and grow. By
unlocking the potential and entrepreneurial flair of residents and businesses, Blackpool will be
an inclusive, competitive and business friendly town.




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Priority 3: Blackpool as the commercial, retail and cultural
centre for the Fylde coast
Blackpool is key to the success of the Fylde coast economy. The town’s retail and cultural
offer will serve the people of the Fylde coast, with a high quality offer that means people do
not need to travel further afield. This will support the revitalised Blackpool as increased footfall
in the town centre supports the local economy, and will increase prosperity.

Strategic actions:
 Strengthen the town centre as a commercial centre.
 Improve Blackpool’s retail and cultural offer.
 Improve transport infrastructure: road, rail and tram

The Talbot Gateway development is key to developing the town centre as the centre of the
Fylde coast. In addition to providing high quality office accommodation, retailing and leisure
spaces; it will dramatically improve the main gateway to the town from Blackpool North train
station.

Further improvements will be made to the retail offer in the town centre, building on the
success of the Hounds Hill shopping centre in attracting retailers and visitors to Blackpool.

Blackpool will have been recognised as a cultural centre, building on the attractions and
events it already hosts. Blackpool will be recognised for its unique position in mass tourism
and entertainment history, and will have more assets to encourage more people into the town.

Links in and around the town will be significantly improved, as entrances to the town are
improved from the national motorway and rail networks. Investment is being made in
Blackpool’s tramway, one of the oldest in the world, to make improvements to the line and
introduce new modern trams for commuters along the Fylde coast, while retaining some
heritage trams for visitors.

Blackpool Airport will be developed as a key asset for the region, improving connectivity,
encouraging further investment in businesses and helping to unlock the potential of some of
the area’s strategic development sites. The electrification of the rail line between Preston and
Blackpool will make the town more accessible, with faster train journeys to Manchester.

The improvements to Blackpool’s transport infrastructure give the opportunity to improve the
gateways to the town, so that the town is welcoming to visitors and provides attractive and
effective links into and around the town.




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  Immediate activity
  This framework gives a clear vision and identifies the priorities for action over a long period of
  time. The Council and partners are, however, already undertaking key activities to support
  regeneration in Blackpool, and achieve this framework’s vision. Some of these actions are
  listed below.

Rebalance the town’s housing market, create thriving and active communities and address the worst
performing neighbourhoods.
Develop neighbourhood plans        Undertake Grange Park               Pilot HMO and Guesthouse
for Foxhall, South Beach and       neighbourhood regeneration          remodelling
North Beach
Introduce a Selective Licensing    Develop 2 new Primary Care          Develop a purpose built
Scheme                             centres                             psychiatric in patient unit

Create a sustainable visitor economy and high quality, year-round reasons to come to Blackpool
Provide a calendar of year-        Complete the sea defence            Complete and open the Tower
round events that attract a        scheme                              Festival, St Chad’s and
range of visitors                                                      Waterloo Headlands
Purchase key strategic assets
in the town and implement new
management

Develop the skills of Blackpool’s workforce and promote enterprise and create jobs
Complete the Local Enterprise      Begin the Building Schools for      Move Blackpool and Fylde
Growth Initiative                  the Future programme                College FE campus into the
                                                                       town centre

Strengthen the town centre as a commercial centre.
Begin construction work on the
Talbot Gateway site

Improve Blackpool’s retail and cultural offer
Redevelop Blackpool Central        Develop proposal for the V&A
Library                            @ Blackpool

Improve transport infrastructure: road, rail and tram
Complete the Tramway upgrade Develop proposals for Central
                             Corridor phase 3




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