Sector Champions

Visitor Economy

More information

About the Group

Martin Long, Napthens Solicitors (Blackpool)
Chair, Blackpool Business Leadership Group

Blackpool Business Leadership Group (BBLG) was established by a small group of business leaders to encourage improved communication between the private and public sectors, and support the wider economic development of the town.

Since then, the group has grown in size and stature. It now comprises scores of business and industry leaders from across the private sector in Blackpool and has become the hub of private and public sector partnership working.

I have the privilege of chairing the group, taking the baton from Howard Lewis (Hilton Hotels) who, in turn, succeeded the BBLG founder, John Barnett (founder of Radio Wave).

Its principal objective has remained largely unchanged - to promote new ways of engaging the business community within the future regeneration of Blackpool and to champion more effective and simplified business support and private sector input into the wider enterprise agenda.

One of its first tasks was to link together various economic initiatives and help develop and contribute to a range of projects within Blackpool’s £14m Government-funded Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) programme.

Over the six years, the group has played host to Government Ministers, lobbied for a better deal for Blackpool and supported a wide range of projects and funding bids.

BBLG is tasked with ensuring that the private sector has a strong voice and has an influential and proactive role in the development of the local economy and regeneration of Blackpool.

The group has cross-sector representation from various sectors including the visitor economy, construction, retail, banking, manufacturing, transport, small business and social enterprise.

It works in close partnership with public sector organisations such as Blackpool Council and NHS Blackpool; educational establishments such as Blackpool & The Fylde College and Blackpool Sixth Form; and representative private sector groups such as the Town Centre Business Improvement District, the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.

The group meets bi-monthly in venues rotated around Blackpool and is increasingly influential. More importantly it is driven by like-minded business people who have the development of the town at their heart. If you have a passion for Blackpool’s regeneration and feel your business has a role to play you may want to get in touch and join us at an upcoming meeting.

Irrespective of whether you can join us or not this website has been created so you can easily catch up on the debate and developments taking place, including recent partnership reports, notes of meetings and news items which have caught the attention of the BBLG group and may indeed be areas we seek to collectively influence. Together, the private and public sectors are determined to transform Blackpool’s fortunes, to deliver new investment and job creation for our local community.