Situated at the shores of the Irish Sea, Blackpool is famous for being a popular seaside resort in North West England along the Lancashire coast. It is arguably best known for its attractions, such as the world famous Blackpool Tower, and the thrilling Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Additionally, Blackpool is also a viable option to set up your permanent residence in case you are thinking of moving to the UK. Here is the ultimate guide for moving to Blackpool.
Is Blackpool a good place to live? Although Blackpool is not in a particularly affluent location, the house prices are fairly low by national standards, and the living expenses are also not too high. The employment rates in the town have also steadily improved over the years, and the crime levels are manageable.
Whether you have been transferred to Blackpool on a work assignment, or you are just on the lookout for possible places you can move to in the UK, this article is a great place to kick off your research. Read on to find out details on Blackpool, including the best neighbourhood to live in, where to visit when you have a break in your schedule, where to work, and crime levels in the area.
Is Blackpool a good place to live?
Other than the beach and attractions right at our doorstep, there are other reasons why Blackpool is an intriguing town worth considering to live in. Having had the opportunity to experience living in a handful of locations in the UK, I quickly came to the realization that no two places are the same. There are many aspects that determine whether an area is suitable for you to live in, and for Blackpool, these are some of the things you can take into consideration:
Blackpool is made up 3 distinct zones; the North Shore, Central Shore, and South Shore. Each of these zones has several distinct neighbourhoods and different identities.
Bispham is a nice and quiet neighbourhood in the northern part of Blackpool that is not too far from the town centre. The houses here are affordable and some of the nicest within the town. There are important amenities such as shops within a reasonable distance, as well as several schools in this area, including Montgomery High School and Saint Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School.
Layton is another great neighbourhood in Blackpool, with one of the town’s main concentrations of shops and businesses. There are several churches and schools in the area as well, most notably St. Mary’s Catholic Academy and Christ the King RC primary school.
Marton is also worth your consideration, with well-priced houses and good schools in the neighbourhood where children can attend.
Neighbourhoods you would want to avoid in Blackpool include Grange Park and Mereside, which lack the charm and development of the nicer neighbourhoods.
Although the crime levels in Blackpool are slightly higher than the national level, they have steadily fallen in the recent past. The neighbourhoods have witnessed great improvements in security with the introduction of a policing team and NightSafe unit. As of January 2019, crime levels in the town centre had dropped to 191 as compared to those of June 2018 which stood at 348.
Schools and universities
There are many reputable schools in Blackpool, with some of the most notable being Devonshire Primary Academy in Layton, Unity Academy in the Warbreck area, and St. George’s School in Marton.
For further learning, the two main options are Blackpool & The Fylde College and Blackpool Sixth Form College.
The M55 is the major motorway in Blackpool, linking it to the rest of the national motorway. Other major roads include the A583 that links Blackpool to Preston and Kirkham, the A586 that links it to Poulton-le-Fylde, and the A587 that provides linkage to Fleetwood.
Other forms of transport include the Blackpool tramway and the Blackpool South railway station.
Stanley Park is a scenic and family-friendly green space in Blackpool where you are bound to bump into locals of the area and generally have a relaxing day. There are many bars and restaurants in the area as well, such as West Coast Rock Café, which is quite popular with the locals.
Is Blackpool a good place to work?
Blackpool is considered to be a commuter town rather than somewhere you’d work and live. Many of the residents commute to nearby towns such as Preston, Lytham, and Fleetwood.
Nevertheless, there are many available jobs that pay considerably well in Blackpool. According to data collected in 2017, the highest number of employee jobs is in the human health and social work activities industry (21.7%), with wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (15%), and accommodation and food services activities (11.7%), industries coming in as second and third respectively.
Some of the biggest employers in Blackpool include Cox Motor Group, Raytheon Professional Services, and Voiteq companies.
According to data collected from October 2017-September 2018, the levels of unemployment in Blackpool are slightly higher than the national average. 75.6% of people who live in Blackpool are economically active, while 5.9% of the residents are unemployed, as compared to 4.2% in Great Britain.
The average earnings by place of work in Blackpool were ₤473.1 in 2018, which was lower than the average earnings in Great Britain, which stood at ₤570.9.
Is Blackpool a good place to buy a house?
If you have been thinking about moving to the UK, moving to Blackpool might be the convenient option you have been looking for. Renting and buying prices of houses in Blackpool are relatively more affordable than those in surrounding areas such as Lytham. As a result, you are more likely to find decent property for a good deal in the area.
Some of the best areas to buy a house in Blackpool are:
– Squires Gate
– Stanley Park
These neighbourhoods are regarded to be relatively safe to live in. Furthermore, they are mainly residential, as well as situated close to essential amenities and facilities such as schools, health facilities, shopping centres, and churches.
Neighbourhoods you should strive to generally avoid in Blackpool due to prevalent issues such as burglaries and petty crime include:
– Grange Park
In order to buy a one bedroom living space in Blackpool, you will need to raise an average of ₤70,000. On the other hand, the average buying price for a 3 bedroom apartment in the town is ₤ 200,000, while the average buying price for a 5 bedroom house is ₤350,000.
As of March 2019, the average price for property in Blackpool stood at ₤122,191. Flats are cheaper on average costing ₤85,796, as compared to the average cost of terraced houses which go for ₤97,075.
Renting a house per month in Blackpool is obviously cheaper. The average rent per month of a one bedroom house within the city centre is ₤478.57. The average rent is slightly steeper outside the city centre, costing ₤495 per month. When it comes to a three bedroom apartment, renting in the city centre is more expensive, costing ₤750. It is relatively cheaper to rent in the outskirts, costing an average of ₤640.
A five bedroom apartment is understandably more expensive to rent, costing an average of ₤923 per month.
Is Blackpool a good place to retire?
There is a thriving community of retirees in Blackpool, with many of them attracted to the town due to the laidback atmosphere of the coast.
Some of the best neighbourhoods to retire to in Blackpool are Bispham and Stanley Park. This could be attributed to the fact that these areas are mostly residential, with quiet and safe streets line with family homes. They are also among the safest neighbourhoods to live in, and the houses are not too expensive.
Grange Park is one of the worst neighbourhoods to retire in due to the high number of people living in the area. There are many businesses in the area as well, and it tends to get overcrowded and noisy. It is also very unsafe, hence it should be generally avoided.
The average buying price of a decent one bedroom home in the two areas is ₤80,000. A three bedroom apartment can set you back ₤180,000. A 5 bedroom apartment is even more expensive, reaching highs of ₤320,000 on average.
You could also opt to rent a retirement home in Blackpool, with a one bedroom apartment going for ₤600 per month, while a three-bedroom will cost you ₤800. A five bedroom apartment costs ₤1000 to rent on average.
Is Blackpool a good place to visit?
Blackpool is a thrilling place to visit, whether on a long vacation or a brief weekend getaway. This coastal resort is brimming with a variety of entertainment options and scenic landscape, and there is something for everyone.
Short break attractions
The picturesque sandy beaches of Blackpool make for a perfect brief getaway in the town. They are ideal for late night strolls for couples, fun picnics for families, and beach games with friends. There are also food stalls and ice cream vans along the promenade where you can buy an array of snacks.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
This iconic amusement park is one of Britain’s most famous. It is considered to be one of the best theme parks in the UK, with adrenaline-inducing adventure rides and marvellous shows for all ages. If you are up for it, consider trying “The Big One”, reputed to be one of the scariest rides in England.
A day at the Blackpool Zoo is a great way to spend your short break. There is a wide range of species to admire while you are here, including elephants and tigers. Visit the charming Gorilla Mountain and penguin pool exhibits for a fun-filled yet educative day.
This is an outstanding landmark that stands at 158 meters. Opened in 1894, the Eiffel Tower inspired structure is a Grade I listed building that offers panoramic views of Blackpool and the Irish Sea.
The three piers
These eye-catching piers have been part of Blackpool’s skyline since the 19th century. The North Pier features a tram and a carousel, while the Central Pier is renowned for its huge wheel. The South Pier stands out due to its family-friendly attractions and rides.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.