Success Stories

Creative couple choose Blackpool to set up their latest venture

Posted in Grow | Investing

Jen Allen, one of the UK’s most prominent young artists and her partner Jay Fortune, an internationally acclaimed magician and entrepreneur, have chosen Blackpool to set up their new home and businesses.

Jen’s artwork is in high demand with international collectors including celebrities and legends in the music and film industries. She has painted four royal portraits by commission and is exhibited in over 70 high-street galleries across the UK. Jay has created Marvin’s Magic School, the world’s largest online magic tuition school, ‘a digital Hogwarts for beginners,’ he says. He has also managed Britain’s Got Talent finalists, co-created festivals, written and produced touring shows and performed worldwide to stars of stage and screen.

Jen and Jay on the cover of Life Magazine
Jen and Jay on the cover of Life Magazine

When asked why Blackpool, Jay says, ’Having lived in London, Bournemouth, Bristol, Devon and Hertfordshire, we did an exhaustive search of the country for the most active art communities and councils. Blackpool came out top. We’ve been coming here for years and love the vibe, sense of creativity and the optimism of embracing the arts.’

Jay, also manager of his long-time partner Jen, made a phone call to the Business Support Team at Blackpool Council one of his top priorities prior to relocating. ‘I telephoned Donna Taylor and Lesley Crowe at Blackpool Unlimited and we spoke for over an hour on the phone about my previous projects and I couldn’t believe how open and encouraging they were. Having dealt with many councils and come up against wall after wall of pessimism, box-tickers and computer-says-no’ers it was refreshing to speak with the team about the possible projects we could create and collaborate on.’

Jay, also a designer, has created a new furniture range which combines magic and art into statement pieces of furniture. ‘I looked across the UK for manufacturers, costs and enthusiasm, and again Lancashire and the North-West were the most encouraging and excited by the potential of the new business.’

Jen is equally excited by the creative vibe in Blackpool. ‘Being an artist is often a solitary job, spending hours in your studio day after day creating. I often go for walks along the coast to get inspiration and motivation, and have already become enthused by the diverse range of arts and artists in Blackpool. I’m looking forward to working with the many talented artists in the area and making new friends.’

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