Blackpool synagogue merger talks fail

Talks to bring Blackpool's two dwindling congregations under one roof have broken down.

Meetings were held over a 12 month period between the town's Orthodox and Reform synagogues with a view to both operating from the Reform shul's building in Raikes Parade. The United Hebrew Congregation's Grade II listed building is 100 yards away in Leamington Road.

"We would like it to happen if it can come about," said Reform president Leon Tax.

"We want to find some way of bringing the two communities together." The Reform shul "is larger than we need and maintenance is an issue".

UHC president Frank Freeman declined to comment.

With its high ceiling, the Raikes Parade building could potentially accommodate a second synagogue. Planning permission has been granted for a mezzanine floor.

Last updated: 4:04pm, March 4 2010