Blackpool, England Plans to Create a Gay Neighborhood

Blackpool, England Plans to Create a Gay Neighborhood

The town of Blackpool in the United Kingdom has unveiled plans to create a LGBTQ+ village quarter to be build on an existing queer-friendly neighborhood of bars, small businesses, and guest housing. 

With around 15 LGBTQ+ bars and businesses throughout the city’s main streets, 17 years of Blackpool Pride history, and a warm and accepting atmosphere, the development is a natural next step. The expansion may include the placement of decorative rainbow plaques around the city along with a focus on small businesses and building economic opportunity.

The BBC reports that chairman of the North Shore Business Group in Blackpool, Tim Allan stated, “ ‘It is about recognition of diversity and Blackpool has a very long LGBTQ+ history and we need to celebrate that.’ “ 

The Blackpool Council has been in talks with community representatives and organizations including the Renaissance Charity, LGBT+ Facebook Friends, Blackpool Pride Festival and more to take steps toward creating this vision. 

For guidance, the council, local police, and community groups visited Manchester’s Canal Street where their Gay Village features LGBTQ+ culture and nightlife.

The development of this neighborhood represents a win not just for the queer community in Blackpool, but also the greater Blackpool area which is considered one of the most underserved in the U.K. The initiative seeks to reinvigorate the community and economy. Though there is already established nightlife, the project seeks to revamp the city’s daytime activity. 

The designation of the neighborhood would not have a name like Manchester’s “Gay Village” but rather a mantra: “Be Who You Want To Be.” 

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