MP calls for Blackpool to host the Eurovision Song Contest

A Blackpool MP is campaigning for the resort to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

By Tony Durkin
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 12:27 pm

Blackpool South’s Scott Benton has launched a petition to try and make it the choice when a venue is announced for what has become a giant global music and TV event.

The UK will stage next year’s contest after finishing second this year to Ukraine, who are unable to take up the usual succession as hosts because of the war there with Russia.

Various towns and cities across the country are vying to provide the venue, but Mr Benton feels Blackpool should be the choice – and he’s being backed by tourism and business representatives.

Claire Smith, president of Stay Blackpool

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Work has finished on Blackpool's £30m Winter Gardens conference centre

Mr Benton said: “I was glad to read the announcement that the UK will host Eurovision 2023. Where better to host the competition than Blackpool, the traditional home of British entertainment?

"And with our newly refurbished theatre and brilliant conference centre it could not come at a better time.

“ Where better to host the competition than Blackpool, the traditional home of British entertainment?”

Blackpool South MP Scott Benton

“Hosting Eurovision would provide a massive boost to the town and our local economy. Blackpool would be a fantastic location for Eurovision as we have ample hotel accommodation and first-class venues.

"I will be urging the local authority to put in a hosting bid as soon as possible. This Government has invested massive sums into entertainment venues in Blackpool; let’s show them off to a global audience!"

Claire Smith, president of Stay Blackpool, backed the call, saying: “Can you really think of anywhere better than Blackpool to host Eurovision?

"”We are all about entertainment and the Song Contest is the perfect fit with what we do best – a coming together of performers and music fans which can showcase all that we have to offer, including our hidden gems.

The UK is to host next year's Eurovision Song Contest after Sam Ryder earned second place to Ukraine in Tyrin this year. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

"It’s a fun event which will be the ideal way of showing an international audience just what we have to offer.”

Blackpool businessman and former mayor Robert Wynne said: “I’m all for it. Why should it go to bigger places such as London or Manchester? Some of the best moments of Eurovision have been in smaller UK places, such as Abba winning at Brighton. I think Harrogate has also hosted it in the past.

“I really hope Blackpool can be the location. Our venues might not come up to the audience capacity requirement but our entertainment heritage is second to none.”

The European Broadcasting Union, which organises the contest, has said the host venue should accommodate about 10,000 spectators, be within easy reach of an international airport and have enough hotel accommodation for at least 2,000 delegates, journalists and spectators.

Blackpool businessman and former mayor Robert Wynne.

London, Sheffield and Manchester have already confirmed that they will put in an official bid, while Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham, Aberdeen, Brighton, Bristol, Belfast, Cardiff and Nottingham could also throw their hats into the ring.

The bidding process to decide which city will host begins this week.

The BBC, which broadcasts the contest in the UK, and the EBU will consider all official approaches and will publish the longlist later this summer.

Click here for Mr Benton’s petition.