Blackpool: a user's guide

The Labour Party conference brings pounds 5m to the town. Each year Blackpool hosts 400 other conferences which bring in a further pounds 50m.

There are 3,000 hotels, guest houses and self- catering establishments which can sleep 100,000 guests in any one night - almost doubling its resident population of 150,000.

The most popular tourist attraction in Britain is the Blackpool Pleasure Beach with 7.5 million visitors a year.

The beach is home to the tallest, fastest and steepest roller coaster in the world. At 235ft high the 'Pepsi Max Big One' reaches speeds of 85mph during a two-minute trip which puts riders through a 3.5 positive G-Force.

The Blackpool Tower, which cost pounds 70,000 to build, opened in 1894, stands at 518ft 9in. It attracts 1 million visitors a year. It is lit with 10,000 bulbs.

The Blackpool illuminations light up a six-mile stretch of the coast with 500,000 bulbs costing the town pounds 1.5m a year to run.

10.5 million sticks of rock are sold each year.