Having read on various social media forums questions about moving to Blackpool; what’s the best areas, what are schools like etc etc….. we thought we’d do a little BLOG on what we think are the main positives and negatives of living in Blackpool. We love Blackpool so may be a little bias but we’re also realists, the town is one of the most deprived in the UK and has it’s problems which perhaps you don’t really get to see if you only visit for a weekend as a tourist. Therefore we’ve tried to be as reasoned as we can in this BLOG to share our views and maybe counter some of the ‘rose tinted spectacle’ views of the town you get if you only visit for brief periods and have a great time (as a local, you won’t be going to the Pleasure Beach every weekend for example) 🙂
As ever, we welcome feedback, let us know what you think, disagree with our thoughts….. great, let us know what you think….. agree with what we think…… well, that’s great…….. see things from an angle or perspective you may not have considered………. brilliant 🙂
Anyway…. enough waffle…….lets start with the positives…..
Always something to do. (Not all attractions close over winter either)
Compared to a lot of towns and cities, Blackpool has attractions over and above what you’d normally find. A lot of the attractions are seasonal however, a lot also stay open for the locals and ad hoc out of season visitors. Coral Island is probably the best example, very tourist centred but stays open all years round, the same applies to both the tower and most of its attractions and the winter gardens too. Other tourist haunts such as Ripleys, The Wax Works and even the Sandcastle all either stay open for most of the ‘out of season’ period or open up on weekends out of season.
Loads of jobs in the summer (Bars, Pleasure Beach, Piers, Clubs, Pubs, seasonal stalls)
Its hard not to be able to get a job during the summer in Blackpool, the population of the town sky rockets as amusements and hotels and cafes, pubs etc all come back to life….. each needing additional staff to help cope with the increased demand created by tourists, if you’ve struggled to get any job in your town, Blackpool may well be the answer. Recently the Piers have been advertising for staff with immediate starts and we’ve heard stories of people coming on even days trips, landing a summer job and not going home.
Close knit community (grows massively over summer but is at its core, still a town)
During the summer season, the population of Blackpool balloons to the size of a city but out of summer, Blackpool is a relatively small town and a lot of the locals have lived in the town for generations, gone to school together and there are few major employers (civil service and NHS the two big ones)… all of which means, locals cross paths, know someone who is a friend of a friend which some may say, gives Blackpool more of a ‘village’ type feel for its residents.
Beach (time alone, exercise, dog walking, etc)
Theres no getting away from it, even Blackpool worst critic would have to concede, Blackpool and the Fylde has a lovely coast line. The ability to get away from everything and walk on the beach is something many cherish and wherever you live in Blackpool, you are never that far away from the beach, as I write this, I know within 10 minutes walk I could be on the beach, something a lot of ‘sand-grown’uns’ (People born and raised on the Fylde coast) take for granted.
More than just a front.
Maybe an odd one……but, one of the major positives of living in Blackpool is what’s behind the prom. Blackpool has a lot more to offer than tourists (in the main) will see…. the wonderful Stanley Park is top of many peoples list but add to that the wider Fylde with the Sanddunes, Lytham Green, Skipool Creek, Windmills, wonderful countryside only 20 minute away……. its the opportunity to balance the rock and rides exciting side of Blackpool and all those showbiz lights, with the more serine quieter side of things also at your doorstep that makes Blackpool ‘special’.
Housing fairly cheap.
How do property prices in Blackpool compare? Buyers paid 38.2% less than the average price in the North West (£172,000) in July for a property in Blackpool. Across the North West, property prices are low compared to those across the UK, where the average cost £238,000.Google search (13 Oct 2020)
…and last of all…….. Blackpool is a comparatively cheap place to live. House prices are well below the UK average, if you have a valuable house in a city, you could feasibly sell up and move to Blackpool mortgage free!! Now… that’s gotta be tempting????
The negative…what?? There are some??
Ok, so you now have an idea of some of our thoughts on why living in Blackpool is a good thing but….. and it’s a big but…… don’t start packing that suitcase straight away, living in Blackpool also has a number of negatives………..
So first off……compared to the summer, Blackpool can be….
Like a ghost town out of season.
Blackpool has a buzz about it in the summer, you’ll have felt it whether you live here or just come as a tourist however, that buzz isn’t there all year round, from the last weekend of the illuminations to the weekend after, the town feels like a totally different place and much of the towns main industry (tourism) closes down. The Pleasure Beach shuts which in turn means a load of hotels close, which means a lot of pubs close, the piers all close…… and so on. Living in Blackpool during the second lockdown could be likened to living in Blackpool out of season. Living in Blackpool you have to adapt and get used to this ‘bi polar’ disorder the town has.
Attract unskilled workers who struggle to find work in other towns.
This one may be controversial but never the less, is true. As Blackpool economy booms in the summer, so does the demand for workers. In summer, there’s loads of jobs available to meet the demands the tourist population places on the town, this then results in a lot of unskilled workers from towns where they can’t find work, coming to Blackpool to fill those summer positions…. that in its own right isn’t a problem, but it does mean that come the end of the summer, those people end up out of work and on benefits in the town. The social issues Blackpool faces are well documented and not something to cover off here but they are a negative to living and working in the town and one which needs to be addressed.
Stag / Hen dos / General tourist gripes.
Blackpool needs tourists. No two ways about it. The town is built to cater for tourists and whilst the local population is reasonable, it is nowhere near enough to support the local economy without a fundamental shift in supporting industries however, that reliance doesn’t mean tourists are able to treat the town as they like without regard, nor that locals have to simply accept the fact that tourist often demonstrate behaviours which are considered anti social….just because they are on holiday. Behaviours of stag and hen dos probably needs little explanation however, with a strategy for the town evolving over recent years to focus more on families, the bad rep of stag and hen dos is not what it was and is (arguably) no longer the focus of aggravation for locals. Main ‘tourist gripes’ currently seem to be focused around litter, lockdown resulted in beautiful clean beaches, promenades clear of rubbish and make locals very proud of the town however, the target of blame for littering has been pointed squarely at tourists, this is fair to a certain respect…. the majority of the town is tourist based in summer and it therefore is logical most of the littering is down to tourists however, it’s fair to say the policing of anti littering policies has been lacklustre and to say it’s only tourists that litter is naive at best.
Living on the coast does have its benefits but one thing a lot of locals complain about is the wind. Sure, on a hot summers day, a cool breeze coming in off the coast can be a God send however in winter, spring and autumn, you can get sunny days which should be a joy to potter around in but end up making you rummage around for your thermals and ‘big coat’ as the wind chill factor makes it feel baltic, this comes as a surprise to a lot of people who have moved from cities.
Lack of high paid professional jobs.
Due to the local economy being built mainly on tourism and the service sector, whilst there are loads and loads of low skilled, low paid jobs out there, there are fewer professional, high skilled jobs available in the town as you find in many towns and cities.
What can we say in summary….well….. like most things, it’s all down to personal preferences. If you don’t like busy places Blackpool in summer would drive you mad, if you hate rowdy crowds of drunken men and women Blackpool probably isn’t one for you, but put that aside, there is a load of reasons why Blackpool has become so popular to move to, especially following lockdown, the lure of miles of sandy beach, the UKs best park (Stanley Park) and for some, just the opportunity to find work, even if just for summer, are high up on many peoples tick lists.
What have we missed? What do you love / hate the most about living in Blackpool? Let us know via our social media channels and give us a follow for our latest BLOGS. As ever, thank you to each and every one of you that has taken the time to read this BLOG.