Hello, I'm Chrissie. I can't get over how lucky I am to be living at the seaside - I still love living at Cleveleys after being here for more than 15 years. I hope you enjoy my slightly cock-eyed look at life - come back regularly for a look at living beside the seaside, our mad family life and my view on local and topical current affairs. The weather often features, along with the very different things that you get to see and do when you live somewhere like this.
I would like to think that Blackpool Council have been reading my blogs when I am always moaning about the state of some of the properties in Blackpool and how they let the town down. I don’t think it will be because of me of course, unless they are sick of me going on about it and thought we’ll shut her up in some way.
The reason I make this comment is because businesses in Blackpool are set to get a £1 million pot of money to do up some of the worst properties. 'Hallelujah to that' I say, and not before time. The town is turning round into what we all know it is and can be, with huge investments, new hotels going up, lots of redevelopment, and is at last starting to look good. Apart from of course the hot spots that we all complain about.
The Council have launched the plans to overhaul the streets where millions of pounds is being spent on regeneration, so traders in Topping Street, Deansgate, Edward Street and Talbot Road are being egged on to apply for funding.
I bet there will be a race to the money pot, or at least there should be, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and all that!
The idea is to improve the front of the properties to make the key areas of the town more attractive and don’t they need it. I have kept saying that what a mess Talbot Road will look when the new trams are working. Old and decrepit is what a lot of the shops look like, it's not a good impression for visitors or locals on what will be a main route through town!
Other businesses which have a negative impact on the area, such as betting shops or those offering high interest loans, aren’t eligible. Blackpool Council is providing £100,000 and the rest is coming from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.
The scheme is part of a programme of works including improving roads leading into the town centre, up Talbot Road to the station, along with a programme of building works. Businesses are to be encouraged to contact a member of the team who will help them to improve their properties to the tune of 95% of the building costs, so that’s a fair offer don’t you think.
The things that the Council would give grants to are such as structural work, brick work, roofing, guttering and new doors with no cap on the amount of the grant as each case will be looked at separately. The owners of eligible properties are going to get a letter in a few days. With the scheme running until March 2020, if it was me for example, I would snatch their hands off because as we all know, the state of the shops leaves a lot to be desired in a lot of areas!
If you rent your shop, permission must be granted by the landlord, but I bet they would say ‘yes please’ unless they are mad. Someone to pick the tab up for their declining properties, I would say so wouldn’t you! Gambling shops, cigarette and alcohol shops or anything else that is detrimental to the area won’t be allowed to have a grant, which perhaps is a double edged sword, because if the rest get spruced up won’t they stand out like a sore thumb? Just saying.
Applicants also must have a freehold interest in the property and a valid lease for at least five years. So with the streets that I’ve already mentioned, hopefully those areas will start to improve. Who knows but the council aren’t going to give away a lot of money unless you have been vetted are they, that would be mad.
Whatever happens, huge investment in all the grot spots is really needed. As we drove round the roads at the back of Sainsbury’s we commented that it looks so run down with a lot of ‘shady’ looking characters about the place as there is on other similar streets.
Sadly visitors tend to judge the town on what is prominent in Blackpool, all the awful areas such as Central Drive etc.
Such a lot has and will be done in the future to improve the town and make people see it as a great place to live and a fab holiday destination, but that is one mighty big task involving a lot of money, time and effort. So we shall just have to wait and see shan’t we!
I'm sorry if you read this at the end of the last blog (and the one before), but it's important so I'm going to keep repeating it for those who haven't seen it yet.
If you rely on Facebook to tell you when the next episode of my blog is online, you need to know that they're changing the way they show you news.
They are reducing the posts that you see from 'Pages' (the ones that you 'Like') in favour of posts from friends and family and Groups (that you 'Join')
This is their blog post on the subject:
Jane has set me a new group up so that hopefully you'll keep seeing my posts. Even if you already like my Facebook page, please join the group until we all see what effect this latest change is going to have. It also means that we'll be able to talk to each other more easily too - which will be nice.
Join Chrissie Bloggers new Facebook group - at this link www.facebook.com/groups/ChrissieBlogger
The very best way to make sure you catch all of my posts is to get your own Visit Fylde Coast email newsletter.
The previous weeks blogs are all linked on there, along with loads of other interesting things and the coming week's events list too. Sign up for your email newsletter here http://bit.ly/vfc-signup
We've got the same problem with all of our Visit Fylde Coast Facebook pages, so Jane has set up a new group so that our community can continue. Please tell everyone who you know to join it:
Join the Visit Fylde Coast Group - www.facebook.com/groups/visitFyldeCoast