£1.5m to help Blackpool’s most deprived areas

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A £1.5m project targeting residents living in Blackpool’s most deprived areas is to be extended to the central area of the town.

The Transience Programme has already proved successful in helping improve people’s lives in South Beach and Claremont.

Coun Gillian Campbell

Coun Gillian Campbell

It runs alongside licensing schemes which are working with landlords to improve the standard of rented accommodation in these neighbourhoods.

The programme, run by Blackpool Council, operates alongside the licensing measures by providing support around health, money, benefits and employment.

People are given advice about where to find training, which benefits they can claim and are put in touch with local health services.

Initial contacts with tenants in central Blackpool will be made by knocking on doors, which started yesterday.

Living conditions, life expectancy and employment rates are all poor and neighbours have to put up with unacceptable levels of anti-social behaviour on an all too regular basis

The central area project will run over the next two years and is part of a programme also including South Beach and Claremont funded by a total grant from central government of £1.5m over three years.

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “There are certain areas of Blackpool where communities aren’t working.

“Living conditions, life expectancy and employment rates are all poor and neighbours have to put up with unacceptable levels of anti-social behaviour on an all too regular basis.

“A lot of these problems stemmed from poor housing conditions, but we also need to work with those communities to help them get their lives back on track.”

An additional licensing scheme for central Blackpool came into force in July.

Since selective licensing was launched in South Beach in 2012, the council says crime and anti-social behaviour in the area has been cut by 15.5 per cent.

More than 500 schedules of work have been issued for landlords to improve their properties and make them safer.

Coun Campbell added: “Our licensing schemes are leading the way across the country and are recognised by other councils and housing organisations as one of the best methods for improving living conditions.

“But when we introduced the scheme I was very keen it didn’t work in isolation as just an enforcement tool to tackle bad landlords.

“We needed to support residents to build some roots in an area and become established and upstanding members of the community.

“The transience project is doing that, having some great successes in South Beach and Claremont, and I’m looking forward to the positive work that it can do in the Central area of town too.”

To find out more about the transience programme in South Beach, Claremont or Central areas of Blackpool, contact 01253 476211.