TWO of Blackpool’s headlands have undergone a transformation with grass now covering large parts of the seafront.
Lawns have been laid at Waterloo and St Chad’s headlands in South Shore as part of a £1.5m upgrade.
The new look has been welcomed – as long as it is maintained.
Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said: “I think it looks absolutely fabulous and is certainly a vast improvement on the tarmacadam we had before.
“I know it wasn’t what was originally planned or wanted, but with all the cuts you have to do what you can.
“My only concern is how is the council going to maintain it. But it is lovely to see people lying on it and children playing football.
“It is completely different to what we are used to.”
Tony Jones, of The Lyric Hotel, opposite St Chad’s Headland, said: “It looks really nice and the greenery adds something different.
“Why don’t they think about putting something like a putting green on there?
“The only problem is, it is going to be full of dog dirt within weeks.”
Stephen Fazackerley, of The Arthington Hotel on St Chad’s Road, said: “Now the grass is there, will it mean none of the events which took place on these headlands, which were well visited, will happen?
“Are we going to be forgotten in South Shore? We would have preferred the inland beach, at least it was something free for visitors to come and do.”
Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and culture on Blackpool Council, pledged the area would be looked after.
He said: “We hope that the Waterloo headland will be finished for people to enjoy this weekend and then St Chad’s during next week.
“We’ve already received positive comments about the landscaping so I hope it will be a really popular space for people to use.
“The area will be cleaned and have the grass cut on a regular basis to ensure it remains looking clean and tidy.”
Work on the scheme began in March this year.
It has been externally funded using money from the original £100m for the sea defences, plus extra funding secured from the Department for Environment.
Originally the headlands were earmarked for a £6.5m scheme including a skateboard park, BMX area, a cafe and events space but the development fell victim to funding cuts last year while a Lottery bid for £25m for the People’s Playground failed in 2007. Raised lawns are also proposed for the Manchester Square headland.