The Blackpool Walk

The Blackpool Walk… Reclaiming Blackpool’s dance heritage as a force for positive change: proposing an alternative to levelling up which utilises sport to break the health-wealth cycle in the most deprived communities.

Borne from a study into the link between financial hardship and poor health, The Blackpool Walk proposes a new tourist destination for the third most deprived town in England. This scheme is offered as an alternative to Blackpool’s current, somewhat unsuccessful, levelling up plans.

The seafront location offers a gallery space housing exhibitions which celebrate Blackpool’s rich performance history, in addition to a 238-seat performance space which sits as a fourth pier off the promenade. The wider masterplan proposes a network of satellite dance centres, each named after the wards in which they are located, which provide accessible and inviting community outreach dance sessions – aiming to improve the health and wellbeing, and therefore prospects, of local residents. Aesthetically, the building is inspired by the construction of the Blackpool tower and the rollercoasters of the Pleasure Beach.

The name for this project was inspired by Al Bowlly and Felix Mendelssohn’s 1938 song ‘The Blackpool Walk’ – the lyrics of which encapsulate what I hoped to achieve with the proposal for a community-benefitting tourist destination.

‘They’re all doing the Blackpool Walk, it’s become a whole town sport…they’re all coming from near and far, to learn the steps, and here they are.’