Council explores China link

Coun Simon Blackburn says he is exploring a link between Blackpool and a Chinese city

Coun Simon Blackburn says he is exploring a link between Blackpool and a Chinese city

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Blackpool Council’s leader says he is exploring setting up a link between the resort and China.

Simon Blackburn made the remarks after the council admitted it is spending less money on links with its twin town of Bottrop, in Germany.

However Coun Blackburn said talks were ongoing between the council and the Chinese Consul General, which is based in Manchester, about the possibility of setting up a link with China.

But he stressed any such connection would have to be set up at no cost to the resort’s taxpayers.

Coun Blackburn said: “Following conversations with the Chinese Consul General, we want to further explore links with China, as there are huge potential benefits in terms of tourism and industry, but this could only proceed if it was at absolutely no cost to the taxpayer.

“These negotiations continue.”

Blackpool is currently linked up with the German town of Bottrop, but just £2,600 was spent on trips between the two last year due to financial pressures in both England and Germany.

The idea of a link between the resort and China was originally touted by the Blackpool Chinese Community Association.

Its chairman, Peter Liu, has earmarked the seaside resort of Sanya, on the island of Hainan, as a potential twin town.

Mr Liu said: “It’s a very popular and quite modern resort in China, but I don’t know if (Blackpool Council) will go for it or not.

“I’ve not been to Sanya before but to me it seems like a lot of Chinese cities now which are really being regenerated to accommodate the newfound wealth in the country.

“Blackpool has spent millions regenerating itself and maybe there are lessons to be learned from each other.

“From a cultural point of view there’d be a lot of benefits and business-wise there must be something we can learn too.”