Council bosses in a town that was awarded £39.5million from the Government to help boost the local economy says a more holistic approach is needed, as its male suicide rate creeps to the fifth highest in the country.

While Blackpool Council and the Town Deal Board formally accepted funding of £39.5million from the Government’s Towns Fund back in October, the Blackpool Pride of Place partnership (PoP) says a more holistic approach is needed from across Government to tackle deprivation and mental health issues in the town.

Blackpool Pride of Place chair, Christine Hodgson said: "The funding granted by the Government is testament to the hard work of the Blackpool Pride of Place partnership in proving the case for investment in Blackpool.

"We are extremely grateful to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for their support in delivering this first wave of funding.

"However, our mission to improve the lives of people in Blackpool has only just begun – we want to secure a strategic long-term partnership with the Government to really tackle the issues at the root of local deprivation and we will continue to campaign to make this a reality." 

The Blackpool Pride of Place is a unique partnership of local government, business and the voluntary sector.

Created three years ago it has set out a vision and clear plan to develop the economy and tackle deprivation, using business in the community as its national blueprint for the regeneration of Blackpool over the next 25 years.

This vision includes tackling the issues that contribute to local deprivation – such as poor-quality housing and access to healthcare and wellbeing services.

But in order to deliver on this, they are calling for a strategic partnership with government, across all government departments, to tackle deprivation in a holistic and structured way.

Looking to next year, the Blackpool Pride of Place partnership board has said it will continue to work hard to make the case for ‘place-based funding’, through a longer-term working relationship with Government to concentrate on issues such as health and education inequalities, with local services seeing a rise in demand over lockdown.

Ms Hodgson added: "This is particularly relevant as we recognise male health issues during November in a campaign to highlight the male suicide rate in Blackpool which is the fifth highest in the country."