‘Triple whammy’ hits business for Toast Café Bar and Grill boss

Lee Davy, manager of Toast, says scaffolding on the next door Lloyds Bank is putting off customers

Lee Davy, manager of Toast, says scaffolding on the next door Lloyds Bank is putting off customers

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A Blackpool town centre restaurateur says a ‘triple whammy’ has cost him thousands of pounds in lost trade.

Lee Davy, general manager of Toast Café Bar and Grill on Corporation Street, says long term scaffolding outside the neighbouring Lloyds Bank is putting potential customers off visiting his venue.

The filming made us virtually a no-go area

He said: “It has been there for weeks and because there is so much of it, to anyone not familiar with Toast it looks like we are closed for business.”

Mr Davy says the situation has been made worse due to regular traffic gridlocks, and the recent town centre disruption caused by the filming of scenes for director Tim Burton’s new blockbuster Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children have added to his woes.

He added: “I realise that in the long term the film will bring valuable publicity to Blackpool.

“But at the time it made us virtually a no-go area with a major downturn in passers-by and traffic not sure which roads were open and which were closed.

“Coupled with the scaffolding problem, it’s been a triple whammy of bad things for us at a time when we could least afford it.”

With the main summer season just around the corner he says he is hoping things will get back to normal soon.

Mr Davy said: “We have spent several years establishing ourselves as a quality venue in the centre of town but if people think we are closed or they can’t access us easily then all that will have gone to waste.”

A spokesman for Lloyds Bank said: “We’re completing works on the branch building and as such have scaffolding in place to ensure the safety of customers, colleagues and passers by.

“The scaffolding is on the branch building only and doesn’t encroach onto adjacent properties.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this causes our customers and will get the works completed as soon as possible so that the scaffolding can be removed.”

The council maintained its actions would boost trade in the longer term for businesses in the town.

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “The decision to close the Promenade wasn’t taken lightly – and was only done as we felt that it would bring an economic advantage to the town, the people who live here and the local businesses.

“As an attempt to alleviate any traffic congestion, we also opened St John’s Square up for both taxis and buses.

“We believe the benefits of having a Hollywood film crew in town far outweigh any negatives.

“Not only did the cast and crew spend a lot of money in the town while they were here but the publicity boost that Blackpool will get when the film is released should be fantastic.

“That will give businesses the opportunities to attract more customers and increase their revenues.”