Plans afoot for new gay village

Mark Seargent of KAOS bar, Queen Street, Blackpool
Mark Seargent of KAOS bar, Queen Street, Blackpool
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BIG plans are in the pipeline to improve the resort’s gay village.

Bar owners and hoteliers will meet at the town hall on Tuesday to discuss ways in which they can re-establish the identity of the gay village and attract more tourism into the town.

Mark Seargent, general manager at Kaos on Queen Street in central Blackpool, who has organised the meeting, said his aim is to make the town more desirable to rival competition such as Manchester and London.

He said: “The gay scene has been keeping the town going through the winter, it’s an important part of Blackpool’s economy.

“We have gay-owned accommodation which is first class as well as venues for everyone from cabaret bars to super club Flamingo. I’ve always championed Blackpool, it’s got a bright future.”

Mr Seargent said he wants to preserve the respect in gay venues.

He added: “Generally gay people are more peaceful and less pre-disposed to aggression. What we’re starting to see on Queen Street is more testosterone coming our way. We have got to preserve the respect.

“We want to make the area a more peaceful and pleasant place to visit.”

Representatives from Blackpool Accommodation for Gays (BAGS) and Natalie Wyatt, head of VisitBlackpool, will attend the meeting.

She said: “The meeting is to find out what their aspirations are. We have a gay offer in the resort but we don’t have a point of contact to push marketing campaigns forward.

“It’s an area worth tapping in to, there is scope and mileage in it. The idea of having gay venues is to provide a safe place for gay people to go.”

Blackpool Pride is now firmly established in the events programme. This year’s event has moved back to North Pier on June 11 and 12.