Blackpool is in danger of losing its brightest and best as part of a ‘brain drain’ to London and the major cities, new figures indicate.
The resort sees very high numbers of young people coming in from other parts of the North West such as Manchester, Preston, Blackburn and Burnley.
But, according to a new study from think tank Centre For Cities, the town has still lost more than 250 of its brightest, post-university age men and women to the bigger pay-packets of the UK’s big cities.
Data gathered by Centre For Cities showed in the period 2009 to 2012 Blackpool saw an influx of people from surrounding towns which included:
• Burnley: 396
• Blackburn: 520
• Bolton: 371
• Preston: 487
• Manchester: 1,300
Paul Sweeney, senior economist at Centre For Cities, said: “It can be very tough on towns like Blackpool because the people who leave tend to be the people with the highest qualifications so the longer term implications are not great.”
It lost 254 young people in the 22 to 30 age group to the bigger cities. Almost one in three people in this age group nationally ended up in London.
Mr Sweeney added: “Blackpool is very interesting because it goes against the grain in many ways, and there is a huge influx of people from Manchester.
“It’s difficult to be precise but the availability of houses and rooms and housing benefit may be two of the drivers.”
The figures for long-term international migration into Blackpool, covering everything from EU countries to India and Pakistan, show that contrary to popular belief immigration, in real terms, is falling.
The Office of National Statistics says that in 2003 there was a net influx of 300 immigrants to Blackpool, by 2006 this had been reduced to zero (being exactly balanced with foreign-born people leaving Blackpool) and last year it stood at 100.
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