Blackpool beach rated one of the world's best with Blue Flag award

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Blackpool beach has been recognised among the best in the world after being awarded its first ever Blue Flag.

The award for the stretch of beach at Blackpool South is considered to be the global gold standard for coastal destinations.

Opposite the famous Pleasure Beach amusement park, the stretch became eligible for Blue Flag status after it was classed last year by the Environment Agency as having "excellent sea water quality".

 Fylde Peninsula Water Management Partners (left to right) Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council Gillian Campbell, LOVEmyBEACH co-ordinator Emma Whitlock , Cabinet Member responsible for bathing water at Blackpool Council Fred Jackson, United Utilities staff member Robert Tidswell and Environment Agency staff member Louise Maxwell, as they hold a Blue Flag which Blackpool South beach has been awarded after it was classed last year by the Environment Agency as having
Fylde Peninsula Water Management Partners and Environment agency staff hold the Blue Flag (Stephen Devlin/PA)

Blackpool North beach opposite the Tower, Blackpool Centralbeach and Bispham beach have also been given Seaside Award status.

To celebrate the announcement, a large Blue Flag will fly from the top of Blackpool Tower for the rest of the month.

Welcoming the accolade, which recognises quality facilities, access, cleanliness and public safety, the deputy leader of Blackpool Council, Gillian Campbell, said: "The amount of investment and effort that has gone into improving Blackpool's sea water over the last few years is nothing short of phenomenal.

"Only four years ago every expert in the country was telling us we would fail the bathing water standards and have to put signs up advising people not to swim.

Fylde Peninsula Water Management Partners with local business owners and staff standing in front of a Blue Flag, which Blackpool South beach has been awarded after it was classed last year by the Environment Agency as having
Blackpool South Beach has veen classes as having "excellent sea water quality" (Stephen Devlin/PA)

"That simply wasn't an option for us and, through hard work with our partners as well as the hundreds of businesses and volunteers who have joined in with the LOVEmyBEACH campaign, we've now got an entire stretch of beach in Blackpool that we should all be immensely proud of.

"To have been awarded our first ever Blue Flag is an outstanding achievement and it's another boost to our local economy as we secure our position as the UK's number one seaside resort.

"Not only is it fantastic to be granted Blackpool's first Blue Flag but to be the only one in the North West is a great honour which means Blackpool has to be the go-to choice for beachgoers this summer."

The Blue Flag award scheme is run across the world but administered in the UK by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

Blackpool South beach has been awarded after it was classed last year by the Environment Agency as having
Local business owners joined in the celebrations (Stephen Devlin/PA)

Keep Britain Tidy's coastal award manager Paul Todd said: "It's great that we're able to award more beaches this year with Blue Flag and Seaside Awards.

"We are also delighted to welcome Blackpool South beach to the Blue Flag Award - the international standard for the best beaches in the world - for the first time.

"Keep Britain Tidy works with people and organisations who share our vision that everyone should have access to quality outdoor spaces where they live, work and holiday.

"The fact that 143 beaches will be flying a Blue Flag or Seaside Award this summer is testament to the continuing hard work of everyone involved. They know that quality beaches are great for the local communities, visitors and local businesses."