ILLUMINATING… Blackpool Council’s decision to extend the town’s famous illuminations by two months has paid off. The authority has reported high footfall since the lights were switched on in September and Centre for Cities puts the Lancashire town top of its recovery index. “Key indicators such as car parking, inbound rail, and mobile phone monitoring data indicate that Blackpool’s tourism industry has enjoyed a remarkably strong recovery to date,” the council said.
TOILET TRIM… Plenty of us will have experience of having our hair cut in the bathroom; the less said about 2020, the year of DIY trims, the better. For those keen to relive the halcyon days of Lockdown One, a new hair and beauty salon is set to open inside a former public toilet on Barlow Moor Road. Enjoy.
THE TREES HAVE EYES… Anyone who has visited Crown Street Park in Liverpool of late may have noticed the rather unnerving art installation plonked on the grass. As part of this year’s Liverpool Biennial art exhibition, sculptor Daniel Steegmann Mangrané has created a piece depicting the eye of a feral dog encased in a concrete tree. The sculpture is intended to “reinforce that nature is not without perception or feeling”, according to documents submitted as part of a planning application to make the sculpture’s residency in the park permanent. It’s the stuff of nightmares, but that is probably the point.
HAT MOX… Dotted around the ground floor communal area of the recently opened Moxy Hotel in Spinningfields are nods to the building’s past life. Invicta House, the retained part of the development, used to be a hat factory. On one of the walls is a display of hats perched on top of metal model heads. How does one prevent drunken revelers from getting silly with the headgear? Industrial strength Velcro of course. Challenge accepted.
COCOONS… The famous grey boxes that have obstructed pedestrians in Manchester for the last few months are beginning to hatch. A number of the boxes appear to have given birth to the kind of super-modern, touchscreen tech that could easily be confused for a footballer’s fridge. Less of an eyesore than the grey boxes? Sure. Any more welcome? Probably not.
GOODWILL… Partners on the £130m New Victoria development in Manchester have teamed up with charity Lifeshare, providing it with a place to host its annual Christmas project. Muse Developments, Vinci Construction, and Pension Insurance Corporation have offered Lifeshare the use of its site cabins at the 520-home development over the festive period. From there, Lifeshare can provide homeless and vulnerable people with hot meals, companionship, medical and personal care, and shower facilities in a bid to reduce isolation and bring people together over the Christmas period.