Surface Guard At The Blackpool Switch On | Case Study

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Surface Guard At The Blackpool Switch On | Case Study

Securing Blackpool for the Switch On

Located in the North-West of the UK, Blackpool is a seaside resort is heavily reliant on tourism, welcoming around 18 million visitors each year.

The promenade in the centre of Blackpool is home to multiple attractions such as the air show, firework displays, Blackpool trams, the multiple entertainment piers and also Blackpool’s arena.

Within peak tourist season, you’ll find the promenade is packed full of families, stag and hen brigades and Blackpool’s holidaymakers. Most famous of all the attractions though is the annual light display the Blackpool Switch On.

Project Brief

The Blackpool Switch On attracts thousands of spectators each year, lining the famous promenade from end to end. Following a continually elevated terror threat in the UK and the event being identified as being at risk of attack due to large crowds, Blackpool Council decided to take action to keep their visitors safe and engage with ATG Access to find temporary event security solutions for the promenade.

Project Scope

Blackpool Council approached ATG Access requiring temporary security measures for the Blackpool Switch On. The council had already been liaising with Counter Terror Security Advisors to assess various different product options for the site. We recommended our Surface Guard barrier due to the pedestrian permeability of the system and the speed of deployment and removal. Working with one of our installation partners, the Surface Guard was placed in six areas at either end of the promenade. The Surface Guard was positioned to protect the crowds of visitors attending the light switch on and people queuing to get into the Blackpool Arena to see the Britney Spears concert which was on the same evening.

Surface Guard Barrier At Blackpool Switch On
Surface Guard Deployed At Blackpool Switch On

Blackpool Council had an additional requirement to allow access to the passing trams along the promenade. This was a difficult request to manage due to the tram tracks spanning the width of the promenade. We created a bespoke solution for the requirement – a manually operable gate. This gate utilised ATG’s tested and certified, fibre strap technology.

Blackpool Switch On ATG Access Fibre Strap Gate
The Bespoke Fibre Strap Gate

The finished gate spanned 9 meters and was attached to two permanent bollards installed at either side of the tram tracks via hinge pins. The gate is fully manned during events being held on the promenade so that the gate arm can be opened by security personnel to allow access to passing trams and emergency service vehicles.

The gate will now be installed seasonally to protect visitors. Out of season, the gate will be removed and placed into storage. The bollards at either side of the tramways will then be fitted with an aesthetic sleeve. The response from the general public regarding the security installation has been overwhelmingly positive, with one attendee saying “I was there last night with my children, felt very safe. Well done Blackpool”. Click here to read more views on the security at the event.

Contact Us

To find out more about renting or buying the Surface Guard for an event, you can contact us by filling out one of our contact forms, emailing us at, or calling us on 08456 757 574.