Polish Gazette in the TV spotlight

THE role played by The Gazette in keeping Blackpool's Polish population in touch with the news will be highlighted on television today.

The Gazette is one of a handful of newspapers in the UK to have created a Polish website for the increasing number of people from that country who have moved here since Poland joined the European Union.

There are believed to be about 5,000 Eastern Europeans working in Blackpool's leisure industry, with the Pleasure Beach one of the major sources of employment.

Journalist Anna Gadomska moved to the resort from Cieszyn in the south of Poland in September 2005. She has been working at the Pleasure Beach, but also writes the Gazette's Polish website

Witryna Polska.

Anna has compiled a report about how she and her fellow migrant workers are coping in Blackpool, which will be shown as part of Inside Out tonight on BBC1 at 7.30pm .

Gazette editor David Helliwell told the programme why the new website had been launched.

He said: "There's obviously a growing Polish population in the Blackpool area and we very much wanted to do something that would meet their needs as far as news and information goes, much as we would do for other communities.

"A lot of people are moving to this area, a lot of people don't speak the language and we really wanted to do something that would help them."

As well as interviewing compatriots Janka Dojcsanova, a waitress, and Leszek Kraska, a cook, both at the Pleasure Beach, Anna also uses the programme to trace Blackpool's historical connections with Poland.

The links hark back to 1950 when a Polish club was opened to serve the thriving Eastern European community which arrived after the Second World War.

Ted Ruman, a Polish airman who settled on the Fylde, joins Anna on a visit to the former Eagle Club in Hornby Road, which closed in 1999. Today it is the Sanuk nightspot on The Promenade which offers entertainment to the young Poles.

Anna concludes: "Polish people have been coming to Blackpool for different reasons for a very long time but I am very happy that this town has been so welcoming to Poles and other Eastern Europeans."

* Inside Out, 7.30pm tonight on BBC1. Log on to www.

blackpooltoday.co.uk to visit Witryna Polska.