Blackpool and the new ‘Be Who You Want To Be’ Area

today15th January 2024 4 5


The councils executive is being asked to consider a report and action plan that has been compiled with partners detailing how a Be Who You Want to Be area could be developed.

The action plan follows a number of focus groups, discussions and a survey which was launched by the council and its partners including The Blackpool North Shore Business Group, Renaissance Charity, LGBTQ+ Facebook Friends, hoteliers group BAGS and Pride Blackpool back in October 2023. There is already a long established LGBTQ+ community and history in the area.

The area is particularly important to the council in relation to the council plan, in terms of supporting equality, inclusion and celebrating diversity in our town. In particular, ensuring this area is safe for all to be who they want to be, to socialise and celebrate inclusion, difference and diversity without the risks of homophobic or other discriminatory abuse. It is hoped this will help catalyse the regeneration of the area and also build an inclusive culture in the wider town.

Themes that have emerged from the survey feedback such as diversity, vibrancy, sense of place and the need to improve existing cultural facilities in the area such as Central Library and the Grundy Art Gallery have informed the cultural development section of the action plan.

After analysis and consideration of the survey results and other feedback through focus groups and discussions the following themes have been identified for the Be Who You Want To Be action plan:

Public realm centred around streetscape, sense of place, cleanliness, highways, greening up, street lighting and illuminations
Safety and security centred around CCTV, Street Angels, community policing, premises management, hotel watch, multi-agency workings and operations
Arts, heritage and culture centred around embedding the area into the cultural strategy, public art, development of Grundy Art Gallery and Central Library, working with LGBTQ+ artists and communities, community and visitor events and activities, including street performances and festivals
Young people centred around ensuring the youth voice is a golden thread through themes, stakeholder meetings inclusive and accessible for young people, walk and talk engagement sessions assessing delivery, ideas and perceptions and explore options for a young peoples LGBTQ+ community space asset within the area;
Health and wellbeing centred around accessible health care services to the LGBTQ+ community, particularly mental health, transgender needs assessment, sexual health clinics, NHS talking therapies and social care strategy and policy
Business community centred around establishing channels to market and promote improvement and business achievements, promoting evening and night-time economy, creating the condition for dialogue and development
Marketing and communication centred around review of actions and development of the area in order to develop a meaningful marketing and communication plan;
Governance centred around developing an overarching friends group of the area, sub-groups of the action plan, High Street Accelerator Board, LGBTQ+ Forum and enforcement activity in the area related to public protection and Housing Options service areas.

Written by: GlitterBeam

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