Blackpool's key role in David Cameron's premiership
As David Cameron steps down as Prime Minister today, The Gazette looks back at his visits to Blackpool, which played a prominent role in his journey towards holding the top office in government.
For it was at the 2005 Conservative Conference at the Winter Gardens that he made his famous speech which secured him the party leadership.
In 2007 he was back in the resort to congratulate councillors after the Tories won control of the town hall for a four-year term, while as Prime Minister he visited Blackpool Victoria Hospital in 2012 to chat to patients and staff about a new government nursing initiative.
In 2014 Mr Cameron was in the resort meeting crews at Bispham fire station to speak to them about the work they had done after 90mph winds battered buildings across the resort including the Beach House bistro on Central Promenade.
North Pier was said to be a favourite venue for the PM who reputedly had a picture on his desk of him and his wife Samantha walking down it.
Over the years he has also visited Fylde coast businesses including BAE Systems at Warton and Addison Projects engineering plant, at Hillhouse business park, in Thornton.
Blackpool North and Cleveleys Conservative MP Paul Maynard said: “David Cameron always said Blackpool was his lucky town.
“It was here in 2005 he gave his amazing conference speech without notes to secure the Conservative Party leadership and he visited the garden on Grange Park the Bank Holiday before polling day in 2010 where he then went on to become Prime Minister a few days later.
“I have fond memories of David’s visits to Blackpool, in February 2014 just after the storms that has caused damage to the town, with eight hours notice the Prime Minister visited to thank our emergency services and the council for their efforts in protecting lives and property the night before.
“David Cameron will have a lasting and important legacy.
“He took a country which had no money left, he formed a broad coalition with the Liberal Democrats in the national interest, and then went on to win an overall Conservative majority to deliver the referendum so many wanted.”