Festival will unveil vision for museum

Staff and volunteers for the Blackpool Museum Project speak to members of the public about their memories of Blackpool.  Pictured clockwise from left are Wendy Stevenson, Barry McCann, Rachel Sykes and David Evans.

Staff and volunteers for the Blackpool Museum Project speak to members of the public about their memories of Blackpool. Pictured clockwise from left are Wendy Stevenson, Barry McCann, Rachel Sykes and David Evans.

6
Have your say

Town hall chiefs are set to confirm a £2m contribution to the Blackpool Museum project which will have its first major unveiling next month with a two-day festival.

The event on Friday August 28 and Saturday August 29, between 11am and 4pm, will give people chance to see the first public plans for the £21m attraction.

Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn

Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn

It will be inside the Pavilion Theatre at the Winter Gardens - where the museum will be constructed.

The festival will include a Blackpool Tower building challenge, a 1920s singing booth and large screen projections of Blackpool through the ages.

Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said: “I have always thought it was a real shame a town as well-loved as Blackpool didn’t have a museum.

“So a few years ago, I sat down with fellow council officers and asked for us to look in to what we could create that would properly tell ‘the Blackpool story’.

An artist's impression of the Blackpool Museum

An artist's impression of the Blackpool Museum

“We have come so far since that day.

“A first round of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund has helped us begin to turn our ideas into reality and I am extremely excited that people will soon be able to see how the museum could work for the first time.

“As part of our application, we will be bidding to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the money to build the final museum. As part of that bid, the council is required to make its own contribution.

“We have known about that aspect of the bid from the outset and have ring-fenced the necessary money for this particular, very worthwhile, purpose.

“Not only will this museum be a great addition to our long list of top-class attractions, it will also create real, full-time jobs and bring more people in to the fabulous Winter Gardens.

“We also hope locals will enjoy the story that the museum tells which will help to foster even more civic pride in this great town.”

Last May the Lottery gave £1.2m to the development phase, with a total funding pot of £1.6m including £240,000 from the council and the equivalent of £137,000 of voluntary resources.

Another £2m of council funding was ringfenced for the actual delivery of the museum, a figure which is set to be ratified by the executive committee when it meets on Monday.

A team of eight staff has spoken to more than 2,500 people in Blackpool and across the country to develop the museum.

At the festival, interactive sessions and workshops will be interspersed with a programme of 10 minute talks from Blackpool historians and enthusiasts.

Large screens will project British Pathé films of Blackpool throughout the ages, and there will also be films of the general public recalling their past memories of Blackpool and beyond – growing up and living here as well as visiting on traditional family holidays.

A second round submission for the final money for the museum is scheduled to take place in February 2016, with a decision expected later that year.