The entrance to the Pavilion in Blackpool's Winter Gardens, where a museum was previously planned (c) Michael D Beckwith. This file is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) licence.

Blackpool plans new museum venue

Jonathan Knott, 14.11.2017
Venue in 5-star hotel complex would cost £10.4m
A new cultural venue that would “blend the best of museums and visitor attractions” is planned in Blackpool.

The venue, called Amuseum, is envisaged as a “museum, with a funny side” that would be filled with “artefacts, film, music and performance”. It would form part of a redevelopment on Blackpool Promenade, alongside a 5-star hotel.

As well as celebrating Blackpool’s own heritage and collections, the venue would showcase collections from partners including the Victoria and Albert Museum and EMI Archive Trust.

The proposals, backed by Blackpool Council, were submitted for ratification to the board of Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) last week. They follow the scrapping of plans for a £26m museum in the town’s Winter Gardens complex in July.

A report by Andy Walker, the head of business growth and innovation at Lancashire County Council, said that Marketing Lancashire and the LEP had considered eight potential schemes wanting to bid for funding from the government’s £15m Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund (NCRF).

Amuseum was then identified as the strongest proposal from a shortlist of three by independent consultants.

The total planed capital costs for the venue are around £10.4m. The project would bid for £4m from the NCRF and the remainder from other sources.

Blackpool Council has committed to spending £3.9m in revenue costs over ten years and the Heritage Lottery Fund would contribute £2.5m over in the first four years, according to the report.

The plans include a 150 sq m gallery that would host temporary exhibitions about local themes and national popular culture.

The venue would also support the development of performance skills including comedy, dance, magic and circus acts, as well as work and life skills.

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