Union deal is show of confidence in Blackpool

VisitBlackpools Mandy Tythe-McCallum R John Hannett, General Secretary of Usdaw with signed commemorative bricks
VisitBlackpools Mandy Tythe-McCallum R John Hannett, General Secretary of Usdaw with signed commemorative bricks

One of the country’s biggest unions has backed Blackpool by signing up for conferences right up until 2024.

Shopworkers’ union Usdaw has agreed to extend its Annual Conference Deal with the Winter Gardens long after the new £25m conference centre is due to open.

And to mark the deal, union general secretary John Hannett has signed a commemorative brick which will form part of the new conference and exhibition centre.

The union, which is the UK’s fifth biggest and the fastest growing with over 430,000 members, has hosted its ADM in the resort regularly since being first formed in 1947.

It has also met in Blackpool exclusively every year since 1991.

Mr Hannett said: “Even before it was officially formed in the mid-1940s, Blackpool was a popular destination for a number of trade unions which merged to become Usdaw.

“Since 1947 our delegates have always found it to be a fantastic place to meet, debate and vote on important union matters and I fully support the union’s decision to commit to Blackpool for at least the next six years.”

Michael Williams, managing director of the Winter Gardens, said: “Organisations like Usdaw have been part of the fabric of Blackpool’s business tourism offer for over 70 years, so it seemed fitting to get a commemorative brick signed which will physically become part of the new conference centre’s foundations.

“These bricks also symbolise how the Winter Gardens complex is literally building for the future to accommodate larger and more diverse events.”