Mark Whitehead 19 May 2016

Blackpool secures its first Blue Flag

A beach in Blackpool has been ranked among some of the best in the world after being awarded its first Blue Flag.

The stretch at Blackpool South became eligible for the iconic status after being classed as having ‘excellent’ sea water quality by the Environment Agency last year.

Its facilities, access, cleanliness and public safety were assessed to make sure the beach reached the Blue Flag’s standards.

A total of 143 English beaches are now flying a Blue Flag or Seaside Award after today's announcement which also include Brighton Central beach and Hove Lawns.

Blackpool council says heavy investment coupled with work with businesses, communities and public sector partners has contributed to turning the beaches around.

As well as the latest Blue Flag award, Blackpool North beach opposite the Tower, Blackpool Central beach and Bispham beach have also been given Seaside Award status.

Deputy leader 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.

'Now we’ve now got an entire stretch of beach in Blackpool that we should all be immensely proud of.'

As part of celebrating the announcement, a large Blue Flag will fly from the top of The Blackpool Tower today until the rest of the month.

Cornwall claims the most awards with a total of 19 - 11 Seaside Awards and eight Blue Flags, closely followed by Torbay with 13 awards, Thanet with ten, Tendring with ten and Southend also with ten.

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