MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

Fylde has once again been in the national and international spotlight this week due to two major tourism events in St Annes and Lytham.

The St Annes Kite Festival has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years and the sight of hundreds of colourful creations flying above the sands is always breathtaking.

And it seems the world has taken note with pictures of the event appearing in the London Metro and on news websites from the United States to the Middle East.

The kite festival has become one of the largest tourism events in Fylde in recent years and thousands of people attended the celebration on Saturday and Sunday, with conditions almost perfect for flying.

St Annes is a traditional seaside resort which has always relied on income from tourism so it is great to see the community coming together to put on such a successful event, which I am sure had the tills ringing in businesses across the town.

As I write this, the event arena for Lytham Festival is nearing completion on the Green with former-Oasis star Noel Gallagher’s internationally-acclaimed band High Flying Birds due to play on the main stage tonight.

In recent years, Lytham Festival has become one of Fylde’s success stories, employing dozens of staff and bringing in countless visitors to the area, spending their money in local shops, hotels and eateries.

On Saturday, Canadian rock legend Bryan Adams will take the stage and it is to the credit of the organisers Daniel Cuffe and Peter Tayler that they can attract acts of such calibre to a more intimate festival setting.

A Marketing Lancashire report last year showed Lytham Festival and the town’s 1940s weekend helped support 2,167 jobs in Fylde – with £214.3m of spending in the borough through tourism.

The research came after 40,000 people visited Lytham for the Wartime Festival – with 60,000-plus attending the festival the weekend before.

Those are staggering figures and prove that a strategy of hosting quality events will always bring visitors to an area and help support employment and business.

This week, OFCOM has handed a stark warning to BT that it may be broken up if it does not ensure the roll-out of high-speed fibre broadband across the UK meets targets.

I was one of a group of MP’s who wrote to the regulator after receiving complaints from constituents over their inability to access a quality service and am pleased to see OFCOM taking such firm action.

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