Access Fylde Coast

The Coastal Communities Fund has awarded Blackpool charity, Disability First, £985,222 from October 2018 to June 2020 for their Access Fylde Coast project, the largest award ever given through this funding stream to a disability specific project.  One of only 16 fast track awards across the country, and one of only two fast track awards given in Lancashire in this round.

Both exciting and unique, this project will play a major part in addressing negative experiences across Blackpool Fylde and Wyre for residents and tourists with health or disability conditions. Disability First wants this project to deliver a change of preconceptions of disability, enhance business customer care and its facilities, use digital applications to support independence and also showcase high profile disabled performers at major events, including the Blackpool Illumination Switch On and Lytham Festival.

Alan Reid the CEO of Disability First said “We were thrilled and very proud to be awarded this grant especially in our 25th year as a charity, Access Fylde Coast will be a game changer”  Improvements have been made over the years with accessible toilets and ramps which assist people with physical conditions but this project is going far wider and will also include the needs of sensory, mental health and learning conditions. The Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre Disability Partnership have been heavily involved in terms of both the consultation body as well as having specialist knowledge on the needs of a wide range of disabilities.

A number of high profile disabled comedians have been in the media this year, Lee Ridley aka Lost Voice Guy helped to change perceptions of disability and went on to win Britain’s Got  Talent. At the other end of the scale, comedian Tanyalee Davis was humiliated for using a train’s disabled space for her mobility scooter. There is still a lot of polarisation when it comes to public attitudes towards disability says Alan: “I want to see the Fylde Coast strive to become a more truly inclusive resort for all”

Access Fylde Coast project has a very active partnership board that started developing this idea in 2017. It consists of Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre Councils, Blackpool Transport, Marketing Lancashire, Lancaster University, Disabled Go, Blackpool BID Coastal Community Teams and the Volunteering Centre. Access Fylde Coast  will help to drive the changes needed to make the Fylde Coast even more welcoming and inclusive for everyone.

We would appreciate your view on the current offer across Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre, for those of all ages with long term health conditions and disabilities.

Please click the survey link below to take part and thank you for your time.

Alan Reid CEO and Jake Berry MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse & Coastal Communities.


Partnership Board members with the Minister, Jake Berry MP


Alan Reid with trustee Jennifer Jaynes


Announcing the award at the press conference at Lytham Hall 15/09/2018


Celebrating the award outside  on the steps of Lytham Hall with the Minister, Jake Berry MP

The Great British Coast has enormous economic potential and this government is determined to see it thrive all year round. That’s why by 2020 the Government will have invested £250 million in our much loved seaside areas through dedicated programmes like Coastal Communities fund to help in generating jobs and boosting businesses. So far, analysis has shown that this has been money well spent with every £1 invested having the potential to create an up to £8 boost to our coastal economies.

To find out more visit: