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Access Fylde Coast

Celebrate Purple Tuesday with Access Fylde Coast

Celebrate Purple Tuesday with Access Fylde Coast

Access Fylde Coast is an exciting new project. It’s playing a major part in boosting tourism and supporting the local economy across the Fylde Coast. They’re doing that by making it an outstanding location for people with disabilities.

Events with Access Fylde Coast

Access Fylde Coast has organised events this year which highlight accessibility. Access Fylde Coast is a pioneering project, spearheaded by Disability First and funded by the Coastal Communities Fund. Boosting Tourism, Bolstering The Local Economy and Breaking Down The Barriers of Disability.

Business Networking Breakfast Event

The pioneering Access Fylde Coast is hosting a series of events to encourage businesses to help change lives by providing a positive customer experience to disabled people.

  • Releasing a community song and video – featuring local people with disabilities and local businesses.
  • Lighting up landmarks across the Fylde Coast in Purple.
  • Hosting a special event to help businesses.

The project, launched in April this year, is set to put the Fylde Coast on the map for giving a warm welcome to people with physical, sensory, learning disabilities and mental health conditions.

Purple Tuesday

The events are part of Purple Tuesday, an international-wide initiative held on November 12 every year. This year the Fylde Coast is set to be on the map as the first major centre outside of London that’s making a big push.

On November 6 Access Fylde Coast is hosting an event to give businesses the opportunity to find out how they can expand their customer base. An extra UK-wide £249 billion revenue stream is potentially there, through the Purple Pound. That’s the spending power of disabled people and their families.

Business Networking Event

November 6 at the Carlton Best Western, Blackpool, from 7.30am-10am

Purple Pound Business Networking Event, hosted by Access Fylde Coast
Purple Pound Business Networking Event, hosted by Access Fylde Coast

Businesses will hear from and can talk to fellow Fylde Coast business owners who’ve already made small changes to enhance their welcome offer and provide a better customer experience for disabled people. Thanks to free help from Access Fylde Coast.

The project has already helped more than 200 businesses across the region. This free networking event will provide a great opportunity for businesses to get together to make Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde a positive and inclusive destination for all.

“We’re pleased to have been able to help so many businesses across the Fylde Coast to make small changes. They don’t just make a massive difference to disabled people, but also see the business profit too,” says Alan Reid, CIO of Disability First, the Blackpool charity, which has spearheaded the Access Fylde Coast project.

“For example, one shop owner spoke to the lady in her wheelchair rather than the person with her. The lady came back and said she would purchase from the shop owner rather than her competitors. Not because of price, but because she was the only one who addressed her directly and asked how she could help.”

He adds: “It’s not rocket-science. Small changes, such as attitude, which is free, make your business more attractive to customers. Through our free online training and access guides, we want to help as many businesses as possible to make a difference.” The song and video will be released at the business networking event on November 6th.

Register for your FREE tickets here

Campaign for Chairs

Here at Visit Fylde Coast we understand how important it is for people to be able to sit down while they’re out and about.

Campaign for Chairs with Visit Fylde Coast and Access Fylde Coast
Campaign for Chairs with Visit Fylde Coast and Access Fylde Coast

Not only is it a help to the customer, it’s also financially beneficial to the retailer. Being able to rest awhile enables the customer to carry on shopping, instead of leaving to find somewhere where they can sit down.

So we’ve joined forces with Access Fylde Coast to launch our Campaign for Chairs. If you know where the chairs are pop us an email and we’ll add them to the list. Let’s make the Fylde Coast the most comfortable place in the country to shop!

Internationally Acclaimed Street Dance Crew visits Cleveleys

ILL-Abilities opened the stage for Kylie Minogue at Lytham Festival. The following day they inspired young and old alike at Cleveleys seafront.

Their free, “No Limits” workshop on 13.7.19 saw the group performing their energetic, breath-taking moves. Plus youngsters joining in, at Cleveleys Plaza.

“I was told I would never be able to walk, yet alone dance,” says Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli, founder of the international dance crew.

“My father always taught me that your first failure is not to try,” says Luca. He also runs inclusive dance workshops globally to inspire others not to place any limits on themselves. Luca believes that dance is the ultimate form of self-expression and anyone can participate in their own way.

“My whole life I was told I would never be able to walk, let alone dance. Today, I live my life to dance, I live to share my passion with others. I live to encourage limitless possibilities by doing things our own way through the belief of NO EXCUSES, NO LIMITS.”

What does Access Fylde Coast do?

The Access Fylde Coast project helps businesses in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre to be accessibility friendly to visitors and local people.

  • Enhancing disability access and awareness to boost tourism and bolster the #FyldeCoast economy.
  • Bringing high-profile performers to the Fylde Coast. Enhancing events with accessible toilets, British Sign Language translation and more to make events accessible for everyone.

FACT: Businesses that are helpful and accessible to disabled people will attract more customers.

Access Fylde Coast will help your businesses to maximise its customer base. Do that by making products and services available to people with long-term health conditions and disabilities.

Making it easier for people with health conditions and disabilities to access hotels, retailers, tourist attractions and events will enable you to benefit from additional spending. An estimated £14.8m is expected to be generated over the next three years – shouldn’t your business be part of it?

The project has been made possible thanks to £985,922 funding from the Coastal Communities Fund.

Accessible Toilets

Everyone needs public toilets when they go out. For many people knowing where they are is vital in planning a journey. Bladder and bowel problems create hidden disabilities for many thousands of people.

Visit Fylde Coast is compiling a list of toilets across the Fylde Coast.

Changing Places are special toilet facilities where disabled adults can be changed. Find out where the Changing Places toilets are on the Fylde Coast.

The same website can be used to find Changing Places toilets anywhere in the UK.

Volunteer with Access Fylde Coast

Volunteer with Access Fylde Coast
Volunteer with Access Fylde Coast

Access Fylde Coast is looking for local people to volunteer for three different types of role –

The Buddy – Will support and accompany disabled residents and visitors to events. That’s events supported by Access Fylde Coast plus other accessible events, and trips to the theatre and cinema.

Event Stewards –  Will attend local daytime and evening events to welcome attendees. You’ll talk to people, signposting and providing them with information on the Access Fylde Coast Project and the useful Blackpool Transport Travel App.

Access Guides – Will be based in or around Fylde Coast Tourist Information Centres. Their role will also be to offer advice about Access Fylde Coast, and promote the travel app. The access guide will be disability champions, providing information and a signposting service to help visitors and local people with disabilities/accessibility issues.

Becoming an Access Fylde Coast volunteer:

No experience is required as training will be given. However you will need good communication skills and an awareness of disabilities and equality. Volunteers must also be honest and reliable. A DBS is required for the Buddy role (Access Fylde Coast will cover the cost).

You must also be willing to undertake an induction and short training sessions. Volunteers will be given full support and training on Disability Awareness, Safeguarding and First Aid. Plus, you’ll get regular updates, support and expenses from the Access Fylde Coast Volunteer Coordinator.

Get a FREE Access Guide for your Business

Get a FREE 30 minute advice visit for your business from an access champion. They’ll give you free ideas and tips on how to make your business even more accessible and increase your customer-base.

Get in touch to book your visit. Phone 07938 502033 and please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!

Get Help for your Business from Access Fylde Coast

You can get support with:

  • FREE sessions to find out how to welcome people who have a disability
  • Access FREE assessment of your premises to ensure they are disabled access friendly
  • There’s FREE support from a host of volunteers who can help you to prepare
  • Plus FREE grants to improve your business
    …and much more

Make sure that your business is taking advantage of the untapped spending power of the ‘Purple Pound’.

What is the ‘Purple Pound’?

The ‘grey pound’ is used to describe the spending power of older people. The ‘purple pound’ is the spending power of disabled people and their families.

It’s thought there are around seven million people of working age who all have some kind of disability. 

Collectively, those people and their families have a lot of spending power between them. So much spending power that’s reckoned to be worth around £249bn to the economy. That’s the ‘purple pound’.

Hidden Disability

When someone says ‘disability’ the first thing you may think of is a wheelchair. But that’s far from the whole story. Many disabilities and long term health conditions are invisible. They also control people’s lives in wide ranging ways which you might not imagine.

Making your business welcoming and accessible to everyone is not only a ‘nice thing to do’. It’s also a great way to make your business more profitable.

The purple pound is fast becoming a spending power that your business can’t afford to ignore.

More about Access Fylde Coast

Trailblazing project to bring £14.8m to local economy gets underway with high-profile backing

A FYLDE coast charity has launched a trailblazing £985,522 project to boost the local economy by making Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre an outstanding location for people with disabilities. It’s gained high-profile backing locally, even within its first few weeks.

Access Fylde Coast is spearheaded by Blackpool charity Disability First. It will help break down the barriers of disability. That includes hidden disabilities, such as sensory, mental health and learning disabilities. It will help business across the district benefit from an estimated £14.8m* of additional spending from disabled visitors.

A pioneering project

Stephen Brookes MBE, a national disability activist, this week lent his backing to the project, calling it a “pioneering project” that would make huge steps in “putting the Fylde Coast on the map”.

The Blackpool resident is also Rail Sector Champion for the Minister for Disabled People. He said: “It will not just make Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre a place that caters well for people with disabilities, but for parents with young children and for all. Everyone in the area has something to gain from this wonderful project.

“Blackpool Transport has worked on ensuring accessible transport for all. The Access Fylde Coast project will build on that so it’s not just accessible to get here, but is accessible when you are here. This could be rolled out as a best practice model for other coastal resorts across the UK.”

John Child, Managing Director of The Sandcastle, called the project a “fantastic opportunity” for businesses across the Fylde Coast.

A huge step forward

“It’s a huge, positive step forward to have an organisation like Access Fylde Coast now working to promote the wide and varied levels of accessibility that we have to offer in Blackpool and across the Fylde Coast,” said Mr Child.

“As one of the country’s leading accessible visitor attractions we’ve seen the benefits in the investment we’ve made in our facilities and team member training and the positive impact it has had on our business. Supporting local businesses and helping them to develop their levels of accessibility will have excellent benefits for the town and our visitors. It’s a fantastic opportunity and we wish the team every success.”

Alan Reid is CEO of Disability First. He says improvements over the past few years with accessible toilets and ramps to assist people with physical conditions have been good, but that this project would further advance that progress.

Improving local access

“Blackpool has a higher than average number of people living with disabilities and our work with local businesses and retailers to improve the service given to customers with disabilities will not just ensure it is accessible to tourists, but help a large number of residents too.

“We know people get concerned about costs involved – but actually it doesn’t have to be a major cost to help disabled people access businesses. Some people are not sure how to interact with disabled people and so we will support them through free disability awareness training or through access tips. We can show you how a slight change, whether a shop, café or retail set-up, would help people with visible and non-visible disabilities and boost your trade.

“Many of jobs on the Fylde Coast are reliant upon tourism. By making it a more accessible place for all people, our aim is that by attracting more disabled people to the area, we can help local business growth. An estimated £14.8m of additional spending could come from disabled visitors.”

The cash injection of £985,522 from the Coastal Communities Fund for the pioneering project was announced in September 2018 by Jake Berry, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, as part of a Government initiative to invest £250 million in our much-loved seaside areas by 2020 through dedicated programmes to help generate jobs and boost business.

The Access Fylde Coast team launched the new project in Spring 2019

Accessibility App

A new digital app is being developed which links with the popular and widely-used Blackpool Transport App. It makes it easier for people to find disability-friendly places, toilets and special facilities. Plus there’s a new ‘buddy’ system that will see volunteers linking up with both local and visiting disabled people. That way they can fully experience all that the area has to offer.

Have you downloaded the Blackpool Transport App yet? In the ‘Things To Do’ section you’ll find an Easy Read format and a British Sign Language video for many of the popular places here on the Fylde Coast. It makes finding out about attractions across the Fylde Coast that bit easier if you’ve got a sensory disability.

Find things to do with the Blackpool Transport App
Find things to do with the Blackpool Transport App

And, Access Fylde Coast will also be hosting a series of disability-friendly events. They’re showcasing high profile disability performers at major events. Look out for them, including acts at the Blackpool Illuminations Switch On and Lytham Festival.

Disability First was named the most outstanding local charity in Gordon Marsden’s local heroes awards in December 2018. Alan Reid added “This project is unique, exciting and a real trailblazer. Everything we do will aim to break down barriers and make the Fylde Coast a positive and all-inclusive place”.

While you’re here…

Have a look at the Visit Fylde Coast website homepage for more of the latest updates.

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7 hours ago
Blackpool Tower, Lytham Windmill & Fleetwood Dome, will be lit purple tomorrow for Purple Tuesday. We’re making a big push for positive change & encouraging businesses to provide a positive customer experience to all.

Share photos using #fyldecoastgoespurple
4 days ago
Well done to all th finalists at the #LTA19 awards tonight Great job @MarketingLancs
And well done to the #accesible and #inclusive tourism awards finalists
AccessCoast photo


  1. Avatar

    Very welcome news. I don’t use a wheelchair but I do have limited mobility and often need to sit down while shopping. Hoping seating is part of the planning.

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