Blackpool’s beaches have been rated among the cleanest in the country in a new report – but not every part of the Fylde coast has reason to celebrate.
Blackpool’s North, South and Central beaches, as well as Bispham – three more than 2013 – were praised for being clean in the Keep Britain Tidy Awards 2014.
Ferry Beach, Rossall Beach and Jubilee Beach in Wyre were also given a Seaside Award, which ensures visitors are guaranteed to find a clean, safe, attractive and well- managed coastal stretch and that water meets guideline standards.
But the success did not extend to St Annes beach.
The Keep Britain Tidy award is also different from the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Beach Guide ratings, which were released last month and specifically test bathing water quality.
They revealed that Blackpool North, South, Central, Cleveleys, St Annes North and Bispham beaches all achieved a “mandatory” rating – the minimum acceptable water quality, while St Annes and Fleetwood failed to meet that standard.
If that continues, warning signs may have to be displayed advising against bathing in the sea from 2016.
But Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration, said the Keep Britain Tidy award was to be celebrated – and showed the hard work the council was doing to improve beaches.
He added: “It is a big success. We have set up a lot of initiatives to improve the quality of the seawater and beaches.
“There is a Fylde Peninsula Group which has been set up, a group called Love My Beach and Turning Tides.
“Lots of groups have worked together to ensure the beaches in this area are the of the highest standard. It is safe to say the beaches are the best they have been for some time.
“We take pride in our beaches being kept clean, and a good place for the family to enjoy on a nice sunny day.
“Winning a Seaside Award for all of our beaches is a great achievement, and proves the council’s commitment to making sure our beaches are clean and tidy for all to use.”
Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: “Last year, we were able to secure a Seaside Award for Blackpool Central, and that was a great achievement, so for us to now have all of our beaches rewarded is brilliant.
“When people come to visit Blackpool, most will make a trip to the beach part of their holiday, so it’s really important we can welcome them on to somewhere that is clean and well-looked after.
“Receiving this award proves that, wherever you go on Blackpool’s coast, you’re sure of an award-winning beach.”
Richard McIlwain, programmes director for Keep Britain Tidy, added: “The continuing quality of management at these beaches is a testament to the dedication, hard work and investment local authorities and other beach managers put in year after year.”