Cigarette art gallery gets go ahead to be resort's latest attraction
A bid to open a gallery of cigarette art in Blackpool has been given the green light by town hall planners.
Retired pharmacist Negweny El Assal has secured planning permission to use a former bank at 100 Central Drive in the resort to display his collection of collages made from discarded tobacco butts.
Negweny collects cigarette ends from the streets around his Palatine Road home and has so far picked up around 120,000 as part of a one-man clean-up campaign.
He has then transformed them into framed mosaics which he plans to exhibit as part of what would also be an educational initiative to persuade people to give up smoking.
No objections were received to the application and in their assessment of the scheme planners said it would comply with policies designed to promote healthier communities.
They added "no adverse impacts on residential (or visitor) amenity is anticipated" while the location was considered "highly accessible" with plenty of parking nearby.
Negweny, who goes out daily to pick up cigarette butts, also hopes his project will help Blackpool meet stricter new European rules on the disposal of cigarette ends which are a plastic polluter.
He said: “My gallery would be for an exhibition of my art and also so people could learn what is in a cigarette and hopefully that would convince them not to smoke."
His artwork includes a skull picture comprising 7,500 cigarette ends, as well as images of the pyramids. a sunrise and a donkey.
A no-smoking sign has been made using old roll-ups and cigarette filters, comparing used and unused filters to show the impact of smoking.