Painting the Town: revitalising Blackpool

An innovative new project is aiming to revitalise Blackpool by painting the town’s business properties in a specially created range of colours inspired by the resort.

The scheme has already recruited 20 businesses and has been backed by Blackpool Pleasure Beach, where it was officially launched today (Thursday).

Ten core colours from the palette and 122 gallons of paint have been used to transform Ocean Boulevard along the promenade, close to the new Boulevard Hotel.

Blackpool-based LeftCoast, an independent arts organisation, in partnership with Johnstone’s Paint, has created the range of paint colours, called ‘Painting the Town’.

The paint has already been made available to local companies and community groups to start the physical job of repainting the town.

The aim is to use the paint range across 25% per cent of the town’s commercial floorspace within the next five years.

The ‘Painting the Town’ range will be commercially available, firstly to trade partners then launched to the domestic market in the future. A percentage of the profits from paint sales will be used by LeftCoast to invest in arts and culture in the town to support resident health and wellbeing.

Each of the 10 core paint colours has its own story – each a homage to individual experiences of the town.

They are called Ghost Train purple, Bandstand white, Ballroom red, Arcade blue, North Pier pink, Herring Gull grey, Salisbury Yellow, Tangerine Coast, Lawson Green and Sea Snail brown.

LeftCoast artistic director Tina Redford, said: “Through the very physical, iterative action of painting the town and the cross-sector collaborations it creates, the Painting The Town programme will empower local businesses to explore the impact of how working together to apply a more colourful approach to Blackpool’s built environment can reshape resident, visitor and investor perceptions for the long term.

“The aim is to do exactly what it says on the paint tin and literally get people Painting the Town, one business, one room, one home at time…starting with Ocean Boulevard at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.”

Tina Redford, LeftCoast artistic director

Amanda Thompson OBE, managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, said: “We are delighted to be working with LeftCoast and Johnstone’s Paint using the architecture of Ocean Boulevard to bring the Painting the Town palette to life, and are honoured that one of the core colours has been inspired by the Ghost Train.”

Twenty companies and community organisations have already been approached to join in with the project, which LeftCoast hopes to extend across Lancashire and the whole of the UK, offering people the authentic Blackpool colour experience through Johnstone’s Paint, and its 1,222 Decorating Centres across the country.

Gareth Jones, national key account manager at Johnstone’s Trade Paints, commented: “Blackpool is a place filled with happy memories for so many people. Colour has played an important role in the town’s heritage and also in evoking these memories for residents and visitors, so we’ve enjoyed using it to inspire and reinvigorate the town.”

LeftCoast has been brought together by a local partnership of organisations including Blackpool Coastal Housing, Blackpool Council, Wyre Council, Blackpool Grand Theatre and Blackpool & The Fylde College. They are funded by Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places Programme and the National Lottery Community Fund.

Adam Beach
Article by Adam Beach
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