Faded, shabby, and overrun with tourists – residents weigh in on Blackpool. (Image: Getty)

This seaside town might be one of the UK’s most popular summer holiday destinations, but its day-to-day reality is a living hell for residents.

Attracting more than 150 visitors per resident each year, Blackpool is the definition of a resort town.

While in the town, tourists flock to Blackpool’s old-school Pleasure Beach amusement park and the Blackpool Tower, of Strictly Come Dancing fame.

Although tourism provides more than 20,000 jobs in Blackpool, according to statistics from 2022’s STEAM report, locals are divided on their opinions towards holidaymakers, and the town itself.

Read more: UK seaside town ‘now a dump that hasn’t been updated in 30 years’

Man on blackpool street

Dominic has only been in Blackpool for two months. He already wants to leave. (Image: LancsLive)

Speaking to Lancashire Live, many Blackpool residents pointed out the town’s issues with drugs and crime. One such resident was Dominic who, despite moving to Blackpool only two months ago, already wants to leave.

He said that actually living in the seaside town was a “massive shock”, and that it was not what he “expected it to be.” Elaborating, he told reporters that he had fond memories of visiting as a child and “loved coming”.

Dominic said: “I even told the landlord that, it’s 12-month contract but I don’t want to live in Blackpool. There’s a lot of drug users in Blackpool.”

Similarly, Susan – originally from Ireland but now living in Claremont – claimed to have witnessed drug raids and armed response units in her area.

The mum said: “We’ve got children ourselves to defend… you can’t win around here.”

Blackpool Tower Fireworks

It may have some E-Ticket attractions, but residents are unhappy with the state of Blackpool. (Image: Getty)

Most locals interviewed agreed that Blackpool was a shoddy town, in desperate need of a lick of paint. Dominic had much to say on this as well, and commented: “It’s just so run down and half of the buildings need demolishing.”

An unnamed 76-year-old Blackpool resident, who has been in the town for nearly fifty years, said the state of Blackpool made her “really sad”.

She elaborated: “It’s sad, because I’ve been here since the early 70s and there used to be nice shops and all sorts. It’s a waste of money, all the trams that they’re putting up to the new hotel that’s been going on ages.

“I just go to Marks, the bank and that’s it. It’s sad, it’s a sad place.”

However, this resident did point out that Blackpool was still a hot tourist destination, and reliant on this for income.

She said: “It’s terrible, I’m delighted that people are still coming, because in the summer they do.

“I go to Greggs and I sit next to them (summer tourists) and I go ‘oh, I’m pleased you’re still coming’.”

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Blackpool, England

Dilapidated buildings line the streets in some Blackpool neighbourhoods, and drug issues run rampant (Image: Getty)

LancsLive also spoke to two friends, Anne-Marie and Amy, who offered a more balanced perspective on the seaside town. While they agreed that Blackpool had “more impoverished areas”, they maintained that it was still a decent place to live and pointed out the wealth of opportunities locals “had on their doorstep.”

Anne-Marie said: “We’ve got a massive wealth of educational resources and facilities for children. Even for Amy’s son at 12 weeks, to my youngest who’s coming up to 10 – we’ve got the Sea Life centre, we’ve got the Pleasure Beach, the Zoo.”

She did, however, add: “I think that needs to be built on more really.”

Amy, meanwhile, was adamant that Blackpool needed to become less dependent on tourists. Expressing quite a hostile view towards visitors, she said: “When it is tourist time for most of the year, from Easter until Christmas basically, as locals we hide.”

A spokesperson for Blackpool Council, contacted by LancsLive, had this to say: “As a local authority, we are wholly committed to improving the quality of life of our town’s residents, as well as continuing to attract the millions of visitors who come to Blackpool every year because they love it so much.

“Whilst Blackpool is so well known for fun and happy times, like many other seaside towns it is faced with both economic and health challenges including high levels of deprivation, dependency and social need and we are doing much to tackle these issues head-on.

“Working proactively alongside our colleagues in the NHS, as well as other partners we provide a number of health and welfare schemes to try and ensure that families, children and individuals get the help and advice that they need.

“At the same time we also need to look to the future. So we along with partners are investing heavily in Blackpool in a diverse range of development projects to drive economic regeneration, create new jobs to help our communities, and deliver an improved environment for residents and visitors alike.”