Blackpool is one of the most deprived towns in the UK. It has more children pro rata in care than anywhere else and has more male suicides.
In inner Blackpool 50% of properties are privately rented, with the area dominated by small flats and bedsits in former guest houses. These flats by the sea attract new residents from cities across the country often running away from uncomfortable situations and attracted to Blackpool because they remember family holidays there and because of the cheap housing.
This is contributing to a vulnerable and transient population with over 80% of tenants receiving Housing Benefit and 40% of landlords receiving rent directly because of tenants’ vulnerability
The Blackpool Pride of Place partnership is a group of people from the business, voluntary and public sectors who have come together to promote economic development and tackle some of the area’s challenges.
Launched in July 2017 following a Prince’s Seeing is Believing visit a local strategic Board was established in September of this year, chaired by Christine Hodgson, chair of CapGemini UK, who was born in Blackpool.
The Board includes leaders of local and national businesses, the council, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the voluntary sector. The local team is Baroness (Jo) Valentine, Andy Charles (previously working in Blackpool as a Business Connector) and Stuart Noble, the local Police Chief Superintendent.
A programme of work is now underway with the long-term ambition to increase economic activity, tackle some of the key social issues, reduce pressure on public services and help build a flourishing voluntary sector. The hope is that the Pride of Place partnership will also help attract new investment into Blackpool and provide sustained support and development to make the area a success by drawing on the best of the three sectors to deliver the right solutions.
How will it happen?
Many initiatives have now started and are in different stages of development.
- Refreshing and turbocharging the tourism offer – we have made progress on some specific proposals such as zoning the town, testing a park and ride and preparing a co-ordinated plan for the opening of the new Conference Centre in 2019. The Fylde Coast Responsible Businesses Network – launched in October 2018 aims to encourage business to be the best they can be and to join with other businesses, bringing together their collective strength and to be a force for good in their local community.
- The Fylde Coast Responsible Businesses Network – launched in October 2018 aims to encourage business to be the best they can be and to join with other businesses, bringing together their collective strength and to be a force for good in their local community.
- Producing a Town Prospectus – created in October 2018, the 2030 Agenda prospectus sets out the partnership’s vision and strategic objectives.The prospectus also invites national Government to work together with the partnership to address long-term embedded challenges and to take advantage of opportunities.
Click image to download the prospectus
- Born and Bred Network – we are starting to establish a network of alumni for Blackpool and the Fylde Coast, who will influence nationally, help drive activity locally, promote funding requests and help to find good people to lead activity.
- A Social Innovation Campus – we will aim to create living accommodation for motivated, skilled young people from Teach First, Police Now and other similar schemes who recruit people with new ideas on how to tackle some of Blackpool’s social challenges.
- The Claremont Project – has been established to tackle the concentration of deprivation in inner Blackpool through community intervention.
- A Housing Campaign – establishing a group of national housing experts to act as advocates, providing expert scrutiny, reviewing options for large-scale intervention and campaigning to amend the national policy.
As this unique collaboration in Blackpool learns more our hope is to expedite the sharing of the knowledge to other communities.