Blackpool Museum project receives HLF support

Six sites awarded £72m
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Rebecca Atkinson
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A new museum in the seaside resort of Blackpool is one of six projects confirmed as having achieved a first-round pass for Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) support.

Lottery funding of £72m has been earmarked for the organisations’ respective bids.

These include £13.6m to develop plans for the Blackpool Museum at the Pavilion Theatre in the Winter Gardens. It’s hoped that the new museum, which will tell the history of the town, will be a flagship visitor attraction and a catalyst for increased investment.  

Simon Blackburn, the leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We want to do something completely unique that you would only experience here. It will not be a conventional museum – it will be a dynamic and celebratory space, a blend of museum, visitor attraction and theatre, filled with artefacts, film, music and performance.”

The council intends to apply for a further £20m to implement the project following the development stage.

HLF has also earmarked for £12.8m to develop a new history centre in Plymouth, which will house the city’s collection of archives, film and artefacts.

Elsewhere Beamish, the Living Museum of the North in County Durham has received initial support for a £10.7m bid to create a range of immersive exhibits, including a 1950s town, a Georgian coaching inn offering overnight stays and a therapeutic day centre for people living with dementia.

The museum says the project will transform the site and create new jobs and skills training opportunities, including 50 four-year apprenticeships.

Nottingham Castle has also received support for its £12.9m HLF bid, to improve its displays and open up a set of caves beneath the site.

The other two projects to receive a first-pass HLF bid are Canterbury Cathedral (£11.9m) to conserve the site and create a new visitor centre, and Bath Abbey (£10.4m) to undertake urgent conservation work and create new underground facilities.  

Carole Souter, the chief executive of the HLF, said: “These projects will enhance and re-energise some of England’s best-loved places. They will build on the stories of the past and offer new opportunities for the future.”
 
“Every year the Heritage Lottery Fund looks at a number of applications for major projects requesting £5m or more of our money. Demand for 2014 was higher than ever. We’ll be working closely with all six of our successful applicants as they develop their plans.”



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