Housing Investment Prospectus, Blackpool City Council

Client: Blackpool City Council
Location: Blackpool

The Economic Planning team was commissioned by Blackpool City Council to produce a socio-economic study (SES) to support the development of a Housing Investment Prospectus (HIP). The purpose of the HIP was to make a compelling case for funding to overcome intractable social, economic and environmental problems facing the Blackpool Inner Area (the BIA). The Council’s view was that the poor quality of the housing stock lay behind these issues. The SES provided the evidence to show the degree to which this was justified.


The focus of the SES was an examination of whether the BIA serves the housing needs of Blackpool residents and the extent to which any misalignments between supply and demand are likely to affect social- economic character of the area and the wider town.

The study found that a key characteristic of the existing housing mix was its bias towards very small household spaces. Given the abundance of HMOs, this indicated the practice of sub-dividing dwellings to provide very cheap housing targeted at those on housing benefit. This was also underlined by the very high rental yield achieved on individual properties.

As a result, the housing stock in the BIA is wholly unsuited to sustaining a community that is balanced in socio-economic terms. Also, the generally cramped conditions are likely to undermine the well-being of households living there. The evidence showed this had led to a self-reinforcing cycle of decline with relatively low life expectancy and household incomes and a high prevalence of anti-social behaviour.

The evidence gathered provided a compelling case for funding to re-engineer the housing stock to address the core issues preventing the BIA (and the wider town of Blackpool) from achieving its full potential.

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