Lancashire is a county of contrasting landscapes, diverse heritage, unique wildlife and stunning countryside. In 2017, the winner of Channel 4’s Best Place to Live in the UK was South Ribble in Lancashire thanks to competitive house prices, a thriving jobs market and good accessibility to other cities such as Liverpool and Manchester. Preston to London is also commutable by train in 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Lancashire’s ten year City Deal programme has seen huge investment in road infrastructure, new housing projects, contemporary landscaping in villages and the development of The Lancashire Enterprise Zone sparking huge business investment opportunities in the county.
Lancashire is home to award winning outdoor spaces. Worden Park in Leyland was awarded its 20th consecutive honour in the Green Flag Awards in 2016, making it the only park outside of London to be awarded the title every year since the scheme began. There are rugged peaks and tranquil lakes in the north, rolling hills and moorland in the east and a beautiful award winning coastline.
Lancashire offers an array of shopping experiences for everyone. From historic farms markets and Victorian stalls, factory outlets, mill shops and all the high street favourites, department stores and independent boutiques.
The county is full of colourful and creative attractions from master glassblowers to the biggest collection of illustrated books outside of London. Visitlancashire.com is a starting point for researching days out in Lancashire.
Living in Lancashire
If you think of Blackpool as a land of deckchairs and sticks of rock then think again. Through a multi-million pound programme of regeneration, the town’s traditional seaside landscape is steadily being transformed. Emerging in its place is a spectacular, contemporary environment fit for residents and visitors well into the 21st century and beyond. It’s definitely worth a second look.
Location and Getting Here
Blackpool is a seaside town located on The Fylde Coast in Lancashire, in the North West of England. It has excellent transport links, with its own airport and the dedicated M55 motorway leading directly from the M6 into the southern end of town. There are also good rail connections. As a guide, London is 241.2 miles away, Birmingham 127 miles (The AA Route Planner).
Blackpool has a resident population of around 140,000. The town has a higher than average number of residents aged 60 years+ (25.8%) and a high percentage of disabled individuals in the workforce – 25.1%. The black and minority ethnic (BME) population (1.6%) is small by regional and national standards. For more information about population characteristics go to www.blackpool.gov.uk and search ‘Blackpool Figures Online’.*
*All figures are taken from the 2001 Census
Industry – Where do people work?
Blackpool is first and foremost a tourist resort, and the local industry has developed to support this. As a result, the town is home to a variety of hotels, entertainment venues, attractions, shops and eating places. Other employers exist in light manufacturing and local government.
Cost of Living
The fact that Blackpool is a town not a city and located in the North of England, makes it a relatively inexpensive place to live. House prices are a fairly good indicator of how much it costs to live in any given location – in Blackpool, the average asking price is £146,741* (November 2017).
Where to Live – Finding a Property
As well as Blackpool, The Fylde Coast offers a number of neighbouring villages and towns that are great places to live. They include St Annes and Lytham to the south, Cleveleys and Fleetwood to the North and further inland, Thornton, Poulton-le Fylde and the more rural Hambleton.
However, if you are not looking to live on the Fylde Coast there are number of places within a reasonable commute such as Preston, Chorley, Ribchester, Leyland and Longridge.
Schools on the Fylde Coast fall under two local education authorities: Blackpool and Lancashire. There are also a number of private and independent schools in the area. At www.findmyschool.com, you can assess primary and secondary schools based on performance ratings supplied by Ofsted.
Sport and Leisure
Blackpool’s outstanding sporting facilities include three 18-hole golf courses, an athletics track and stadium, go-kart tracks, sea and fresh-water fishing, swimming pools, public and private gyms, more than 50 grass and hard tennis courts, two ice-skating rinks and many cricket, rugby and football pitches. Stanley Park, beautiful landscaped with its own boating lake, visitors centre and art deco restaurant, is well worth a visit.
You could also visit a number of places within Lancashire such as The Ribble Valley, Preston Docks or Ribby Hall Hotel and Spa. Whatever it is you are looking for Lancashire can offer it.
The great thing about living in Blackpool is that at any time of year, you’ll never be short of something to do. A trip to the beach is a must but there’s also the Zoo, the Pleasure Beach, Madame Tussauds, the Sea Life Centre and The Blackpool Tower Dungeon. As the summer draws to a close you can look forward to the stunning World Fireworks Championships and of course, the world-famous Illuminations.
A number of ventures linked to the town’s regeneration is helping to redefine Blackpool as one of Lancashire’s foremost creative centres. More about these is available by searching ‘Arts Development’ at www.blackpool.ac.uk. A wide variety of productions are staged at the town’s three theatres; other cultural venues include the Grundy Art Gallery, the Solaris Centre and our own Gallery (which recently exhibited works by Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin).
From fish and chips on the pier to fine dining, Blackpool has it all. The town centre has an array of international restaurants to suit every taste and budget while many of the resort’s hotel restaurants happily welcome non-residents. A good example is The Big Blue Hotel’s Blues Bar and Brasserie, recently voted Hotel Restaurant of the Year (Blackpool Tourism Awards).
The recently redeveloped Houndshill shopping centre and subsequent arrival of Debenhams and other major high street names, has dramatically improved the Blackpool retail experience. Boutique shopping is available at nearby Lytham while markets and outlet shopping (Freeport) can be found further north at Fleetwood. There is also a number of retail parks in the region.
The town and surrounding areas are served by a number of reliable bus routes – for timetabling information, go to www.blackpooltransport.com. Blackpool’s tramway is hugely popular with residents and visitors alike – currently, it’s undergoing extensive redevelopment as part of the town’s ongoing regeneration. If you’re feeling fit, you could always hire-a-bike from one of the many bike stations located throughout the area.
When you want something different, the cities of Preston, Manchester and Liverpool are within an hour away by road or rail. Blackpool is also located close to areas of stunning natural beauty, such as the Forest of Bowland and the world-famous Lake District.
To discover more about Lancashire and the surrounding area, what’s going on and the services on offer, visit the following: