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Blackpool in world heritage bid

24 March 2006

Blackpool, home of the pleasure beach and iconic tower, has launched a campaign to be awarded World Heritage Site status.

Following Liverpool's successful bid to get the same recognition in 2004, Blackpool council has produced the town's first heritage strategy, which includes the bid for World Heritage status.

Derrick Ellershaw, company secretary of the Blackpool Hotel and Guesthouse Association, said: "We are all in favour of this. Hotels and B&Bs are integral to the tradition and history of the town, which was probably the first seaside resort in the world."

Blackpool councillor David Owen said the bid supported the council's master plan of making Blackpool a world-class resort destination, a great place to visit and an even better place to live.

Ellershaw added: "It's all about the heritage. Part of the plan is to build on the heritage of the guesthouses around the central beach area, retaining the Victorian and Edwardian style but ensuring the quality meets 21st-century requirements."

The strategy, which is currently open for consultation, will be formally launched this summer. Other UK sites that have World Heritage status are Stonehenge, Hadrian's Wall and Cornwall and west Devon's mining landscape.

\* Hospitality operators are jostling for position in Blackpool in the hope it proves the tipsters right and wins the licence to run the UK's only supercasino.

The planned £2.5b regeneration of a 100,000sq m site on the town's Golden Mile coastal strip has already attracted the attention of hotel giant Hilton among others.

Alan Cavill, head of corporate policy at Blackpool council, said: "In total we've had 22 expressions of interest, including the big American casino operators."

By Emily Manson

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