Blackpool’s famous Central Beach has won a top award which recognises it as one of the best in the country.
The beach has been handed a Seaside Award by charity Keep Britain Tidy, along with Fleetwood’s Marine Beach and Rossall Beach.
The award guarantees the beach is safe, clean and well-managed.
Along with all other North West beaches, Central Beach missed out on the internationally recognised Blue Flag award, which is given to only the most exceptional beaches in the country.
But Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for urban regeneration at Blackpool Council, said the Seaside Award is an important symbol of Central Beach’s quality.
He said: “At a time when more and more people are choosing to holiday at home, there is not only a demand but also a high importance in presenting and retaining clean, attractive and well-managed beaches.”
“The Seaside Award is a symbol of great achievement and reflects the commitment of the council’s Beach Patrol team who work year round to ensure both visitors and residents can enjoy Blackpool’s beaches.”
Natalie Wyatt, managing director of Marketing Blackpool, said: “This is great news for Blackpool. We are a resort packed with top quality attractions and our golden sands are included in that.
“Holidaymakers and day-trippers love to visit the seaside to enjoy time on the beach and in Blackpool you can do just that with the knowledge that you are relaxing in a safe and clean environment.
“Our partners in resort, particularly at Sea Life Blackpool and the Beach Patrol Team, work extremely hard to encourage visitors and residents to respect our beaches and keep them litter free. That is no easy task and the onus is on us all to ensure Blackpool continues to win awards which, at the end of the day, attract visitors.”
Despite none of the North West’s beaches winning a Keep Britain Tidy Blue Flag, the region did pick up 10 new Seaside Awards.
The awards, formerly known as Quality Coast Awards, mean beaches can fly the Seaside Award flag.
Richard McIlwain, operations director of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Our campaigns to improve the quality of our local environment and we know that communities up and down the country love their beaches and understand what an asset they are for their towns’ economies.
“Holidaymakers and daytrippers want to visit clean, safe beaches and the sight of the Blue Flag or Seaside Award flying gives them the reassurance that they will.” Meanwhile, in Fleetwood, Coun Pete Murphy, Wyre Council’s street scene portfolio holder, added: “What a great boost for Fleetwood’s coastline.
“Awards like this send out a clear message that our beaches are clean and well maintained, something that will always encourage more visitors.
“We’ve worked especially hard this past year to make sure these assets are looking better than ever. Not only has our street cleaning service become more flexible and responsive, we’ve also invested in a beach raker to clean the sand three times a week.”