“Unemployment remains quite high, skilled professionals continue to leave faster than they arrive, and Blackpool has become a transitory town for many without the right employment opportunities,” he said. “Against this backdrop, mental health issues and social problems have risen.
“And a unique problem has also arisen as a result of falling demand for tourist accommodation, which has created an oversupply of what the council now perceive to be extremely low-quality private-rented accommodation.”
The Duke and Duchess were later given a tour of a former B&B on Kirby Road, was covered in black mould and graffiti, with debris littering the floor and children’s toys left behind.
The Duke and Duchess were asked to walk on planks so as to avoid dangerous rotting floorboards, while water dripped from a ceiling in the living room.
Since falling out of use as B&Bs, the house is one of many that has subsequently been used as multiple occupancy homes, falling into disrepair in a broken market which has seen them take set housing benefit without maintaining properties to a habitable level.
Blackpool Housing Company has since bought them at a market rate of about £40,000 each, renovating them completely before renting them out as warm, safe, family homes to clients including Christina Jackson, who invited the Duke and Duchess into her home for a tour.