Algae plague pushes up cleaning bill

A cleaning machine blasts away dirt and grime on Blackpool's Spanish Steps and (below) Coun Fred Jackson.
A cleaning machine blasts away dirt and grime on Blackpool's Spanish Steps and (below) Coun Fred Jackson.
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CLEANING the resort’s algae-ridden Spanish Steps is costing £180,000 a year.

Council teams have been washing the steps on the Prom between North and South piers every day throughout the summer months.

Coun Fred Jackson

Coun Fred Jackson

Staff historically cleaned the access points from the Prom to the beach but with more than a mile of continuous steps to clean every day, teams are facing a daily battle to keep one of the jewels in the £70m Prom revamp algae free.

Town hall bosses revealed the figures after it emerged Blackpool Council had set aside £20,000 to pay for unbudgeted cleaning costs for the £4m Comedy Carpet and Tower Festival Headlands.

Council leader Simon Blackburn said the costs were necessary to maintain the resort’s top attractions from being tarnished, amid suggestions the long-term upkeep of them had not been properly considered when installed.

Coun Fred Jackson, Cabinet Member for Streets, said: “The cost of cleaning the Spanish Steps is approximately £180,000 a year.

“This is for a team of two people pressure washing the steps every day of the year.

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“In particularly bad weather the resource is used to intensively clean other areas such as St John’s square instead.

“Historically we have always cleaned the access steps to the beach but obviously with this new design of the Promenade there is a lot more to do.

“During the months of June and July when the algae grows at its quickest additional washing takes place.

“On our coastline algae does develop very quickly and we have to ensure the steps are safe for people to use.

“There is a warning notice at every access point to the beach advising people that the steps may be slippery.”

Click here to read how The Gazette reported on the upkeep of the Comedy Carpet