Arts group Left Coast is hoping to start work on converting a rundown guesthouse into an arts-themed b&b later this year.
The project received a grant of nearly £100,000 in the latest round of funding from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund and expects to announce its final tranche of funding later in the summer.
The aim is to revamp the former Ocean Hotel, between Banks Street and Springfield Road on Central Promenade. Blackpool Council spent £203,000 purchasing the property last year , and will lease it to a community interest company set up by Left Coast. The ground floor of the 22-bed hotel, which has been vacant for some time, will be converted to an arts hub for use by the community, with the bedrooms also set to be individually arts-themed. It is hoped the b&b will help to support the burgeoning Fylde Coast arts scene, while at the same time offering visitors a different experience. The ground floor will host art exhibitions and events which residents will be able to visit.
It is hoped the scheme will help to change perceptions of Blackpool by adding to the resort’s cultural offer, as well as creating opportunities for local artists. Michael Trainor, artistic director at LeftCoast, said: “Planning permission is in place and we are in the process of talking to a wide range of local and international artists about what we will put in there. “We were delighted to receive funding from the Coastal Communities Fund, and expect to announce our final piece of funding this summer. “We will operate as a community interest company so profits will go back into creative projects on the ground floor.”