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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Further Positive News - For Blackpool and the Fylde Coast

John Woodman

Blackpool's bid for government funding to renew its town centre economy and employment profile has been successful with over £50 million assigned to new projects put forward by the Council Executive and supporting partners. In particular a very large IMAX venue is to be built as part of further development at Hounds Hill - the largest visual experience in the UK so we are advised.

The short list of approved and funded initiatives in the town was announced this week - all part of the regeneration scheme alongside existing projects including the tram extension, and new office building (with anchor tenant) to be built next to the initial phase of Talbot Gateway announced this week. Quite seperately Blackpool Transport Services Ltd. - wholly owned by Blackpool Council, are continuing with plans for a new generation of electric powered buses to replace much (if not all) of the existing fleet. This in turn calls for investment in upgraded facilities at Rigby Road to serve the operating and maintenance requirements of all electric vehicles (in addition of course to trams which the town has continuously hosted ever since the dawn of electric power in the 1880s).

Demonstrator run on the Promenade in 2020 of an all electric bus - for BTS evaluation. Photo John Woodman

Further investment and faith in Blackpool's future is boosted by the recently completed trans-atlantic cable link running from New York's financial centre to the city of London which comes onshore amid the sandhills of Blackpool's coastline. This brings about ultra-fast communication and sensitive financial data between Europe and North America - with the Fylde coast becoming the enabling 'gateway' for this pivotal technology link. Development of supporting services in and around this new physical connection will result in futuristic skills needed locally.

Whilst tourism and coastal lure will continue to draw millions annually to the Fylde, with all of the traditional accoutrements familiar to successive generations of visitors; the pressing needs of new technologies and all important environmental challenges mean that the town with its neighbours is set to secure a new and sustainable economic well-being for decades ahead. This is the direct result of seeds being sown by visionary planners alongside focussed education and skills training programmes pursued in tandem with with the Fylde's centres of excellence. All in all a positive embrace of the future. There is also the by product of Brexit and EU's simmering disdain for Britain's departure from overlordship by a Brussels nomenclatura. Staycation holidays omitting tedious airline processing and arbitrary regulations are already influencing spending decisions of British families in 2021 (and probably thereafter). All the more reason for Blackpool to upgrade its act with new hotels and smart holiday accommodation. Insertion of quality restaurants would also not come amiss.


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