The £13m museum will be created on Blackpool's famous Golden Mile. Image: Keith Edkins, Wikimedia Commons

Regeneration fund invests £4m in new Blackpool museum

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 28.03.2018
Three projects to benefit from £15m Great Exhibition legacy funding
A new museum in Blackpool is one of three cultural projects to win a grant from the government's £15m Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, which was set up to enhance cultural provision in the north of England and build on the legacy of this summer's Great Exhibition of the North.

The museum, which is provisionally titled Amuseum, has been awarded a grant of £4m, bringing it significantly closer to achieving its £13m funding target. Plans for Amuseum were drawn up last year after a more ambitious project to create £26m museum in the town's Winter Gardens was scrapped by Blackpool Council due to the financial risk.
 
The Amuseum is to open in 2020 and will be on the town's Golden Mile. Billed as a blend of museum and visitor attraction, it will tell the story of Blackpool's development as the UK's first seaside town, featuring artefacts, film, music and live performance. The museum has also raised £400,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with a conditional £4m to come.

Blackpool Council's deputy leader Gillian Campbell said: "We are now seeking additional funding from the Growth Deal and Coastal Communities Fund to help complete the funding that needs to be achieved. We will continue to work hard to complete this complex funding jigsaw."

Meanwhile, cultural and heritage venues across the Lake District will benefit from a grant of £3.29m for a regeneration project to strengthen the visitor experience, increase accessibility and improve exhibition spaces.

The project will cover Windermere Jetty, Dove Cottage, the Wordsworth Museum and Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum and is intended to bring 150,000 additional visitors to the region, which was designated a World Heritage Site by Unesco last year.

The third project to be awarded funding is the former Odeon cinema in Bradford, which was awarded £4m to help transform it into a live music, entertainment and events venue.
 
The Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund is part of the government's Northern Powerhouse strategy to boost innovation, skills and economic growth in cities and communities across the north of England. The three successful projects were selected from a total of 11 bids.

The remainder of the fund will be used to support the cultural sector and creative industries across the region. More detail on how it will be spent will be announced in the summer.

England's minister for arts, heritage and tourism Michael Ellis said: "These exciting projects will provide a true cultural legacy for people across the north that increases tourism, boosts local economies and creates jobs for the future."

The Great Exhibition of the North will open in Newcastle and Gateshead on 22 June.

Comments

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Jonathan Gammond
Access , Wrexham County Borough Museum
30.03.2018, 22:06
I reckon the seaside towns of Margate, Brighton and Weymouth as well as Scarborough and Whitby might make the case that they were the UK's first seaside holiday destination. You only have to go swimming off the south coast or the Pembrokeshire coast and then take a dip in the Irish Sea to be a little sceptical of Blackpool's claim; let alone compare the weather and the beaches. John Walton of the University of Central Lancashire has described Blackpool as the world's first working class resort, perhaps that is what Blackpool's PR team are actually suggesting, which is a very different claim. However, it is great news the town is getting a museum. I hope it is as good a museum as the Atkinson in Southport, the classier resort down the coast.