Blackpool

Perhaps the most iconic of England’s seaside resorts, Blackpool is famous for its traditional ballrooms, sparkling illuminations, wide sandy beach and the numerous highoctane amusements which line it.

blackpool

Home to Europe’s largest collection of sharks, the world’s longest indoor waterslide and a huge array of nightlife, Blackpool might not be the first destination that springs to mind for business meetings. Political parties are among those thinking otherwise, however, with Labour holding a party conference here in 2002 and the Tories in 2007.

Its wealth of grand venues for larger events are complemented by a selection of smaller, boutique venues and, of course, those guaranteed to live long in the memory. Blackpool is also home to a large proportion of small businesses as well as big employers in the grocery, automotice and plastics sectors.

WOW FACTOR
Name: Blackpool Tower Ballroom
Address: The Blackpool Tower, The Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire FY1 4BJ
Tel: 01253 622 242
See: www.theblackpooltower.com/ballroom
Dating back to 1894, The Blackpool Tower Ballroom is world famous for its unique dance floor and spectacular gilded architecture. Ballroom dancers still twirl beneath the famous Wurlitzer organ. The venue is available for intimate events, seated dinners for 600 or sensational theatre-style conference seating for up to 2,000. The unique sprung dance floor is designed to enhance dance routines, but can be stiffened to support more traditional conference style events too.

QUIRKY VENUE
Name: Blackpool Tower Eye
Address: The Blackpool Tower, The Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire FY1 4BJ
Tel: 01253 622 242
See: www.theblackpooltower.com/eye

Inspired by the Eiffel Tower, Blackpool Tower opened to the public in 1894. These days its modern 4D cinema shows guests the history behind the icon and guests can climb to the top for panoramic views across the Irish Sea and much of the North West of England. The Tower’s ‘Eye’ venue – featuring reinforced glass floored sections – can be used for private events such as sit down meals and Champagne receptions.

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Name: Ribby Hall Treehouse
Address: Ribby Hall Village, Ribby Road, Wrea Green, near Blackpool, Lancashire PR4 2PR
Tel: 01772 685 858
See: www.ribbyhall.co.uk

Rural-set Ribby Hall Village welcomes thousands of guests annually who stay in its cottage, lodge or hotel accommodation and enjoy the many sport and leisure activities, eateries and bars on offer. Among its many event facilities is its latest addition, The Tree House. The venue has capacity for up to 12 delegates seated around a solid oak table. Four balconies look over the Village’s 100 acres of landscaped grounds. AV equipment is available for hire while refreshments, buffets and threecourse lunches can all be served as part of the package. A further 20 conference rooms are available across the venue.

ON A SHOESTRING
Name: St John’s Business Centre
Address: St John’s Church, Cedar Square, Blackpool,
Lancashire FY1 1BP
Tel: 01253 299 614
See: www.stjohnsblackpool.org.uk

Part of the community church, this venue offers a convenient setting for meetings in St John’s square in the heart of Blackpool. The centre’s facilities can accommodate meetings of up 150 delegates. Room rates for smaller meetings start from £60 for a halfday rate, while full conference facilities are available at a delegate rate of £22.50 per head for meetings of over 70. A discount is offered for block bookings and there is no extra charge for projection equipment, flip charts and internet access. Refreshments and buffet lunches can also be provided.

WIRED UP
Name: Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Address:Ocean Boulevard, Blackpool, England, Lancashire FY4 1EZ
Tel: 0871 222 2121
See: www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com

Perhaps the UK’s most iconic amusement park, Blackpool Pleasure Beach isn’t all fun and games – it also offers conference and banqueting for ten through to 1,800 guests in various high-tech venues. Also on offer is customised dining, bespoke entertainment, social venues such as the Moroccan-themed Attic bar, and team-building activities including the UK’s tallest rollercoaster. Other venues include the Globe Theatre, which has a translucent elliptical stage, the awardwinning White Tower Restaurant, and a private meeting suite for up to 20 delegates. Further options include The Horseshoe – set in the famous casino building – and the Paradise Room which overlooks South Beach Promenade.

SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED
Name: Number One South Beach
Address: 4 Harrowside West, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 1NW
Tel: 01253 343900
See: www.numberonesouthbeach.com

This new five-star boutique hotel boasts sea views and also looks over the new South Beach Promenade, Mirrorball and Solaris Gardens. There are just 14 guest rooms and a suite, all individually furnished, and a restaurant and bar. Meeting facilities are designed to be flexible and take a maximum of 30 theatre-style. The facility provides pads, pens, a flip-chart, 50-inch plasma TV, screen and projector and wifi. Day delegate rates include tea, coffee and refreshments throughout the day, while rates including a two-course lunch are also available.

BLACKPOOL INFORMATION
Contact: Mandy Tythe-McCallum – Business Tourism Manager. Tel: 01253 478216; email: conferences@visitblackpool.com
Getting there: By car, the M55 links the town with the M6 and the country’s motorway network. Trains connect to major cities including London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh from Preston station. Blackpool International Airport (2.5 miles from the city) offers flights to/from cities including Belfast, Dublin, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

See: www.visitblackpool.com