Blackpool News Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment given freedom of Blackpool 14 July 2017 by Visit Blackpool The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment is set to be granted the freedom of Blackpool at a special ceremony next week. The Regiment will be granted freedom of the borough at a special meeting of Blackpool Council on Wednesday. Following the council meeting, which starts at 2pm, the Regiment will parade towards the town hall to be inspected, before carrying on their parade through the town centre, then back for a civic reception with the Mayor. Cllr Chris Ryan, Armed Forces Champion at Blackpool Council, said: “We owe The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, and the Armed Forces as a whole, an enormous deal of gratitude. They risk life and limb to keep us safe and nothing that we do can ever make up for the sacrifice that they make to protect people in Blackpool. “We regularly work with the Regiment on annual events like Armed Forces Week and Remembrance Day, while they continue to help out in our local community and with our local schools. “Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour that we can bestow on the Regiment, and every single member deserves that distinction for their continued work to keep families safe.” Brigadier Peter Rafferty, Colonel of the Regiment, said: “We are delighted to be awarded the freedom of the Borough of Blackpool. The Regiment has long and close associations with Blackpool, which we cherish and look forward to continuing. It is therefore a great honour and privilege for us to exercise our Freedom by marching through the borough. “It provides a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to the people of Blackpool, for the enduring support they show to our soldiers, no matter where they are serving; be it here at home or overseas. We’re very much looking forward to what will be a memorable day.” The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment has strong links with the resort, regularly helping out with the town’s Armed Forces Week celebrations, along with holding regular career guidance classes with schools, local employment fairs and playing a large part of the annual Remembrance Day services. Freedom of Entry is bestowed upon units that have shown excellent service to local people, as well as having an intrinsic link with the town. The honour is on a par with the Honorary Freeman title, albeit for units rather than individuals. The last unit to be granted Freedom of Entry in Blackpool was the 12th Regiment Royal Artillery in 2005, while Jimmy Armfield CBE was named as an Honorary Freeman of the town in 2003. The ‘Freedom of Entry’ grants The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment the right, privilege and honour of marching through the streets of Blackpool on ceremonial occasions with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing and colours flying.