Cedar Square at the heart of Blackpool town centre

Take a look at Cedar Square

Cedar Square is a popular spot to sit awhile in the sunshine, enjoying a coffee and a bite to eat from one of the many cafes. Come and take a closer look at this popular area in Blackpool town centre and the adjoining Edward Street.

Find Cedar Square just off Church Street, at the top end of St John’s Square. Opposite the Winter Gardens building – adjacent to St John’s Church and the side entrance of Abingdon Street market.

Zoom in on Cedar Square with Google maps. Click to explore
Zoom in on Cedar Square with Google maps. Click to explore

Edward Street continues where Cedar Square ends – it’s the road along the back of the old Post Office building. Many of the smaller buildings and shops here have received a dramatic makeover, as part of the Quality Corridors programme.

Cedar Square

There are plenty of places to eat at Cedar Square. Take the weight off your feet, pull up a chair and enjoy watching the world go by! These small, independent cafes and bars cater for all tastes. From a coffee and snack to something more substantial!

In summer 2021, Chrissie and Jane enjoyed the delights of one of these cafes –

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Homer Terrace was built in Cedar Square in 1865. The square’s named after the private house, Cedar Villas, which once stood there. Do you know which of the rows of buildings Homer Terrace is? Please leave a comment below!

Cedar Tavern

This was originally the offices of the Liverpool, London and Globe Insurance Company, opened in 1931. It later became Royal Insurance, then White’s Bar before getting its current name. The building was designed by JC Derham. He also designed the Olympia buildings at the Winter Gardens – you can see the resemblance.

Along with a number of others, it closed in 2008 after the introduction of the government’s smoking ban. The pub stood disused for a long while, before reopening in the years prior to the Covid pandemic. Now, it’s undergoing a major refurbishment which is bringing this good-looking building back to life.

Upstairs the building will become high quality holiday accommodation, while the ground floor will reopen once again as the Cedar Tavern.

Cedar Tavern shrouded in scaffolding in March 2021
Cedar Tavern shrouded in scaffolding in March 2021

The refurbishment project received a grant from the Property Improvement Fund. The £125,000 scheme includes restoration of the roof, new windows and extensive repairs to the external facade.

The faience exterior had been badly neglected over the years. It had been damaged by fixings and such like, and yellowed by the salty, seaside atmosphere. The Tavern is locally listed and within the Blackpool town centre conservation area. What a difference the work has made!

Owners of the Tavern also applied for planning consent to form a roof extension and new rooftop seating area. The views from up there will be amazing!

The big reveal of the refurbished Cedar Tavern when scaffolding started to come down in August 2021
The big reveal of the refurbished Cedar Tavern when scaffolding started to come down in August 2021

Have you spotted Queen Vera’s Road? It’s Blackpool’s shortest thoroughfare, to the side of Abingdon Street Market, joining Edward Street just off Cedar Square. Market traders named the road after an official visit by the year’s Cotton Queen, Vera Greenwood, in 1937.

New Bright Bench for Edward Street

A new contemporary bench, designed by local artist Tina Dempsey, is newly installed on Edward Street.

Tina Dempsey with her new bench, now installed at Edward Street off Cedar Square
Tina Dempsey with her new bench, now installed at Edward Street off Cedar Square

It’s the second bench which Tina’s designed for the town centre. The ‘Fancie Bench’ on King’s Square is already a popular local landmark opposite St John’s Church of England Primary School.

Tina secured the commission through an open competition for artists to submit their ideas for public art works. It’s part of the major improvement works underway across the town centre.

Making the new bench

The project was a collaborative effort with the Blackpool Illuminations team. They put their specialist skills into practice to fabricate the work.

The fibreglass shell was first cast at the Lightworks depot. Tina and artists from the Illuminations team hand painted the designs using an overhead projector to transfer the individual features onto the body of the bench.

Tina’s practice as an artist is all about exploring joy, how it makes us feel and what triggers it within us. Her work explores how art can improve wellbeing and balance.

The new public art enhances the highways and shop front investment. The town centre is becoming more attractive to shoppers, residents and investors. Improvement work is supported by funding from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership under its Growth Deal.

New Look for Edward Street

You’ll have seen a big transformation in Edward Street. From the new paving and benches to upgraded shop fronts and the general improvements. It’s all attracted some great new businesses to this street, such as the Upside Down Café and Common Bar and Kitchen.

Why don’t you take a look next time you’re in the area? We’ve watched the gradual transformation of the shop fronts taking place. The work’s made a striking difference – and revealed some interesting finds too! Look at this old name plate – found under years of coverings and now exposed for all to see.

Building sign discovered during refurbishment work at Edward Street Blackpool
Building sign discovered during refurbishment work at Edward Street Blackpool
Building sign discovered during refurbishment work at the fabric shop at Edward Street Blackpool
Building sign discovered during refurbishment work at the fabric shop at Edward Street Blackpool

While you’re here…

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