Blackpool broadens appeal with new venues

The seaside resort of Blackpool, already a popular destination for events ranging from board meetings to national conferences, is targeting an even broader audience by opening the doors to a number of smaller venues.

The development of several ‘next generation’ hotels, mainly at four and five-star standard, provides another dimension to the resort’s extensive range of accommodation to suit all budgets.

Through this long-term repositioning strategy, Blackpool has created a rich blend of contemporary and heritage attractions and cemented its position as the most popular seaside destination in the UK, host to an estimated 18 million visitors each year.

That’s not to suggest that Blackpool is now only targeting smaller events. For those shopping for something on a memorably grand scale, the new £28m state-of-the-art conference and exhibition centre will open in 2020 alongside the historic Winter Gardens, a venue that was once the first-choice destination of all the major political conferences.

These are just the newest additions to an extraordinary selection of unique venues, delegate experiences and world-class attractions including The Blackpool Tower Ballroom, Circus, Empress Ballroom, Opera House, Heritage Tramway and Blackpool Pleasure Beach

In addition, more than £500m has been invested in the town’s infrastructure, which offers seamless transport connections across the resort with a new tramway extension under construction that will link heavy rail to Blackpool’s iconic seafront tramway.

There is also superb connectivity with direct rail services to major cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, and with five additional daily services to the capital due to commence in the early part of 2020.

To help organisations find their perfect venue, VisitBlackpool has launched a new website: MeetBlackpool.com which is a powerful tool created by the official destination marketing organisation to help to re-engage with event organisers and revitalise the resort’s conference market.

Our offer has changed dramatically on the back of hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment and will take another huge leap forward over the next year

Mandy Tythe-McCallum, tourism services manager for VisitBlackpool, said: “The new MeetBlackpool.com platform is an excellent one-stop shop for conference, event and exhibition organisers to see for themselves how the resort has repositioned itself.

“The offer has changed dramatically on the back of hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment and will take another huge leap forward over the next year with the opening of more new hotels and a magnificent new conference and exhibition centre.

“Our message to conference organisers and delegates is to check out the site and take a fresh look at the transformational change that is being delivered here.”

The moves are already making a difference. Since it announced the construction of the new conference centre, the resort has secured the return of the GMB union in 2020 and the Inner Wheel in 2021. The shopworkers’ union, Usdaw, has also confirmed it will return to Blackpool every year until at least 2024.

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