Deck chairs set to return to Blackpool Prom after 10 year absence

Deckchairs could be set to make a return to Blackpool Promenade this summer – 10 years after the resort ditched the seaside tradition.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 6:37 pm
Updated Friday, 4th June 2021, 6:38 pm
Deckchairs on the beach in Blackpool's heyday during the 1950s
Deckchairs on the beach in Blackpool's heyday during the 1950s

Blackpool Council sold off its 6,000 deckchairs in 2014 but is now offering space on Central Promenade for a new deckchair concession.

The successful operator will be given two pitches on the Promenade just north of Central Pier.

A Blackpool Council spokesperson, said: “We haven’t operated a deck chair service since 2011. Recently private operators have contacted us as they see potential in taking advantage of the staycation summer we are expecting.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“As a result we formally advertised an opportunity for a deck chair concession on the Promenade. The closing date was Friday and the applications will be assessed shortly.”

Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said she would be delighted to see deckchairs return to the seafront.

She said: “I can’t think of anything nicer then sitting in a deckchair on Blackpool Promenade watching the world go by on a sunny day.

“There are days when the sun is out but the tide is in so you can’t go on the beach – so having deckchairs on the Prom is ideal.

“I hope someone takes up this opportunity and does a really good job of it.

“We have seen beach huts have a resurgence and I think deckchairs could be the same.”

The deadline for would-be operators to submit their application was Friday (June 4) and it is hoped the scheme will be up and running later this month, with a licence granted until November this year and chance to repeat the offer between April and November next year.

Deckchairs would be available to hire seven days a week between 8am and 8pm.

Conditions will include having an attendant in place at all times, keeping the area clean and tidy and abiding by Covid 19 safety guidelines.

When the council sold off its deckchairs it said they had not been used for three years with holidaymakers preferring to sit on the benches built into the remodelled seafront instead.

The stock was sold to Cheshire company Deckchairstripes which aimed to hire out the refurbished chairs elsewhere.

Photographs from Blackpool’s heyday in the 1950s and 1960s show thousands of visitors packed onto the beach on deckchairs.

The council has used North West procurement site The Chest to advertise the concession.