Blackpool set for new museum and mixed leisure attraction
''The Great British Talent Show' - CGI from the Blackpool Museum Project
It is an understatement to say that it has been a very hard year for museums in the UK, which have been largely shut due to Covid-19. Future Cities Forum is therefore looking at how they can recover from the pandemic, with vision and investment for the continued economic prosperity which they create for their cities and towns.
Blackpool's new museum which is dedicated to showcasing the legacy of popular entertainment in the town was due to open this year but has been delayed because of the pandemic until 2022. It is planned as an immersive experience that captures the spirit of the town with tributes to the entertainers who put Blackpool on the map and turned a seaside resort into a capital of show business.
Differing views of producers, performers, visitors and residents will be included and will feature the first permanent displays in a UK public museum on circus, magic, variety and ballroom dance - filled with 800 plus objects from Blackpool's internationally significant and extensive collections, with those on loan from national partners, including the V&A Museums.
It is to be located on the first floor of the Sands Building which is being redeveloped into a hotel and leisure complex by Coolsilk Property Limited. The Museum will have a ground floor entrance on Bank Hey Street, opposite the Houndshill Shopping Centre and a prominent position on the Golden Mile in the heart of Blackpool.
The Museum will attract c.300,000 local, regional, national and international visits each year, engage with 7,500 local school children annually, support the town's regeneration plans and play a critical role in Blackpool's re-imagining for the 21st century and raise the aspirations of and opportunities for local communities.
Blackpool Council was allocated £4 million in 2019 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the development of the Blackpool Museum Project. The £13 million project has already secured more than £7 million in external funding.
Image below: 'Roll-up! Roll-up!' CGI of proposed modern circus display at Blackpool Museum Project