DCSIMG

Plea for more resort events

Peter Kay at The Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool and (below) Coun Maxine Callow.

Peter Kay at The Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool and (below) Coun Maxine Callow.

  • by Shelagh Parkinson
 

A FORMER Blackpool tourism chief has called for more to be done to attract prestigious events like the Royal Variety Show back to Blackpool.

Coun Maxine Callow, who was cabinet member for tourism when the Conservatives were in control of Blackpool Council, says it is vital the resort keeps the pressure on to bring top shows in.

She said: “The Royal Variety Show should not be seen as a one-off. It alternates between London and somewhere else so why shouldn’t we try to get it back?

“It’s no good sitting there and saying we have had it. We should be looking at future years, whether that’s for the show to return in three or four years time.

“We need as much good publicity as we can get.

“We also need to keep pressing to get Strictly Come Dancing back to Blackpool because this is also something the town cannot do without.

“I would also like to see the switch-on star for the Illuminations announced earlier because this helps the hoteliers to get their bookings in advance.”

Coun Callow was speaking out after receiving written replies to questions she had raised at the last full council meeting.

In response, Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism on Blackpool Council, said work was being done to keep Blackpool in the running for high profile events.

He said: “Talks are ongoing with the BBC and Merlin regarding the possible return of a Strictly Come Dancing show in 2013.

“This is a priority, but the final decision will always rest with the BBC.

“The Royal Variety was a one off. There was certainly no intention by any party involved for it to be permanently located in Blackpool.

“We remain in discussions about opportunities, but it is unlikely to return to Blackpool for some time.”

Blackpool Opera House successfully hosted the Royal Variety Show in 2009, which was attended by The Queen.

Tourism bosses have previously said Strictly can create more than £20m of prime time exposure for the resort.

The 2011 final filmed at the Tower Ballroom attracted around 12 million viewers.

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