Pigeons deliver £10m benefit to Blackpool

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Visit Blackpool is celebrating after experiencing a £10 million boost to the local economy after thousands of pigeon fanciers “homed in” on the resort for the 40th anniversary of the British Homing World Show of the Year.

The event, which took place at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens from January 21-22, saw over 25,000 pigeon enthusiasts from the UK and Ireland make their annual pilgrimage to what has been dubbed the “Crufts of the pigeon world”.

Organised by the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA), the show is the largest in the world, seeing hundreds of pigeons changing hands for sums as large as £100,000 for a pedigree racing pigeon. This year over 1,000 fancy show pigeons and 3,000 racing pigeons were on show at the event, meaning that each pigeon was worth an average of £2,500 to local business in Blackpool.

Mandy Tythe-McCallum, business tourism manager, Visit Blackpool, said: “The British Homing World Show of the Year is the biggest racing pigeon event in the world. Each year the event brings together thousands of old friends, at what is also the biggest social event in the pigeon fancier’s diary.

“The pigeons are a welcome sight in Blackpool, as the event means a lot to local businesses here, providing a welcome boost for tourism as B&Bs and hotels across the resort fill up for the weekend. This is the 35th time the event has taken place in Blackpool since it started 40 years ago. It’s now part of our heritage, and we look forward to welcoming our feathered friends back to Blackpool for the event in the years to come.”