Blackpool tourism BID wins with 90% of vote

A new Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) is to be launched in Blackpool after tourism businesses voted overwhelmingly in favour.

The ballot result, which revealed support from more than 90% of voters, means that the private sector-led TBID can play a key role in supporting the resort’s post-COVID recovery plan by generating around £1m of investment over the next five years.

The business plan that supported the ballot process demonstrated how a collaboration between private and public sector could be used to focus on protecting and developing a vibrant tourism economy.

In its prospectus, the TBID promises to deliver marketing and events activity to increase footfall, spend, dwell time and overnight stays, and give businesses a greater say in what is happening across the tourism sector.

The TBID area, which includes more than 250 businesses on the seafront as well as those operating around the Stanley Park and Marton Mere areas, becomes the second Business Improvement District to be formed in Blackpool.

The existing Town Centre BID is long established and recently won another five-year mandate to support town centre traders.

Kate Shane, TBID project lead and head of Blackpool Cluster for the Merlin Entertainments Group, said: “It is brilliant to see our tourism industry recognise the importance of a structured recovery programme and the role that a tourism-focused Business Improvement District can play within that.

“By working in partnership with leisure, accommodation, retail, food and drink businesses, and statutory authorities we know we can deliver a strong, cohesive, business-led growth strategy for Blackpool.”

Cllr Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This is an opportunity to stimulate investment in Blackpool’s tourism economy and help realise its future potential.

“Throughout this pandemic, partnership working within our tourism and hospitality industry has been a key element of recovery planning. The formation of a TBID can now take that on to a sustainable footing.”

The TBID will come into effect from July 1. A formal board will be appointed over the coming weeks.