SURVEY: Do you have pride in Blackpool?
If so a team of people hoping to improve the fortunes of the resort and its near neighbours need your help.
The public is being invited to help spearhead a new project to boost Blackpool’s fortunes now and in the future.
An event is being held on Friday where the public can share their views on what is great about the town, what needs improving and where they want money investing.
The Gazette is joining forces with organisers to help promote it - by running an online survey to see what is at the top of your wishlists.
Organisers stress this won’t be a talking shop - but a real chance to suggest ways in which you think Blackpool can improve.
The local board will then use their use their collective strength and influence to make the vision a reality.
A Visioning Day is being held on Friday to help create a ‘Vision for the Town’ to form the basis of the masterplan.
It will be held @The Grange community facility on Bathurst Avenue, Grange Park from 1.30pm to 4.30pm - everyone is welcome to drop in between these hours to have their say.
Alison Smith, project manager, said: “We want to gain an understanding from local residents about their sense of pride and collect their thoughts on the future of the town.
“As part of this we want to engage with as many people as possible to get a full range of their views.”
>>>TAKE THE SURVEY HERE
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
A Visioning Day is being held on Friday to help create a Vision for the Town to form the basis of the masterplan.
It will be held @The Grange community facility on Bathurst Avenue, Grange Park from 1.30pm to 4.30pm - everyone is welcome.
WHO IS BEHIND IT?
It is being organised by the Blackpool Pride of Place partnership, which is a pioneering project of Business in the Community (BITC). The Pride of Place is a business led partnership made up of the voluntary, public and private sectors (including Blackpool Council and Lancashire LEP), including, Kate Shane from Blackpool Tower, Merlin, Steve Fogg from BAE, and Frank Heald, Wyre Dock Development.
It said: “We want to build on the existing strengths of the town but create new business, employment, education, housing and recreation opportunities that re-energise and re-invigorate our offer to residents and visitors.”
Carrie Longton is one of Blackpool’s most successful exports.
The 53-year-old grew up on the Fylde coast and went to Elmslie Girls School.
Her life changed forever when she co-founded Mumsnet in 1999, a website for parents in the UK that hosts discussion forums where users share advice and information on parenting and many other topics.
It is now regarded as one of the most influential women’s sites in the UK and has been courted by Prime Ministers and celebrities.
In 2013, Carrie and co-founder Justine Roberts were named the 7th most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4.
So in essence, she is a major player.
And she is one of the people supporting the Pride in Place survey, helping to spread the message that Blackpool is a town worth investing in.
And within seconds of speaking to her you get a sense of the deep love she has for the town.
“I am very proud of Blackpool and I want the next generation to be as proud as I am,” says Carrie, whose father was the headteacher at the old Devonshire Primary School.
“I’m delighted to be involved in this because I want to be able to offer any help I can to make Blackpool as good as it can be.
“People have positive memories of Blackpool and there’s something very special about it.
“My mum died some years ago and my dad moved away 15 years ago so I had not been back until I was invited by BITC.
“I was really impressed with the positive things that have happened in recent years.
“But we are not naive – we know there are many issues, like poverty and social housing.
“So we need to hear people’s views.
“This is not just hot air. There are a whole range of people involved in this from both public, private and voluntary sectors who can make things happen.
“But we need the people of Blackpool to be involved. Unless we take people with us it will never work.
“Everyone has to be part of the decision making process.
“We are kicking off research that will feed the vision for Blackpool for the next 20 years.
“So I urge people to come down on Friday and give us their views.
“And before that, complete the survey on The Gazette website.
“We may not have all the answers but we can come up with some achievable goals and a consensus to make some of the ideas a reality.
“It feels like the time is now for Blackpool and we don’t want to lose that momentum.”