Council bans ‘Blackpool’ from dance competition name

Paul Killick originally called his event ‘The Blackpool Open’ but renamed it ‘The Open’ after he said he received a letter from the council’s legal representatives.

The title of ‘The Blackpool Open’ is among 17 trademarks for dance competitions whose ownership the council has claimed.

Blackpool’s council said its actions were intended to protect “long-established events”.

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A new dance event in Blackpool at the Tower Ballroom will raise funds for Ukraine in…

But Mr Killick, whose competition will take place at the Tower Ballroom on May 7 and 8, with all proceeds going to the Ukrainian Dancers Fund, called the council’s actions ‘petty’.

He said: “We were inundated with registrations so I couldn’t risk people coming from all over the world and the competition not being able to go ahead.

“So we took Blackpool out of the title, to protect fundraising and because we want to raise money for Ukraine.

“I’m disappointed with this action from the board, especially when Ukraine brings so much to Blackpool. Over the years all of their dancers have come to Blackpool and supported the city.

“This trademark situation is hanging over our heads and it’s so petty.”

A council spokesman said: ‘We are not looking to stop this fundraising event from taking place. We just try to avoid confusion with existing and long-established events in Blackpool.

Former Latin dance champion Paul now trains dancers from all over the world, including Ukraine.

He added: “We have a lot of Ukrainian dancers, who are now in other countries, planning to come to our event in Blackpool.”

The Open will take place over two days this year, but he hopes to expand it to six days next year.

The council was embroiled in a dispute with the British Dance Council after filing a trademark application in February.

Marcus Hilton, chairman and chairman of the British Dance Council, said there had been no consultation on the decision and threatened to withdraw support for the competitions.

Talks to resolve the situation are ongoing.