£3m for new art projects

Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Bosses behind a £3m project on the Fylde coast today told how they are hoping to use the cash to attract top quality works of art to the area’s biggest venues.

The Arts Council England has granted the cash to set up LeftCoast, a new group which aims to promote greater creativity in Blackpool and Wyre.

And organisers want to use the cash to encourage people to come up with new art and encourage some of the best works of art to come to the area.

A dance extravaganza at the Tower Ballroom is among the initiatives being considered.

Newly appointed artistic director Michael Trainor said he hopes to use the opportunity to restore the area’s reputation for the arts.

He said: “Blackpool is famous for putting on the best and most exciting things.

“It has some of the best venues in the UK. We are trying to return to the heyday, in a way.

“We are interested in making Blackpool the place people come to see things first.

“There are a lot of great things happening in Blackpool and Wyre – it is about encouraging more people to experience great art, whatever it is.”

LeftCoast is primarily funded by the three-year Arts Council England grant and is also supported by Blackpool Council, Wyre Council and Blackpool Coastal Housing.

Mr Trainor added: “This is about brings new and exciting work to the area and making it as easy as possible for people to know what is going on.

“We are working with the Grand Theatre to look at the summer season and what we can bring in.

“We are also looking at doing a big new dance piece in the Tower Ballroom.

“Because Blackpool has become so well-known for dance, especially through Strictly Come Dancing, we thought we would capitalise on that.”

The funding for LeftCoast came as one of just 13 grants awarded nationally as part of Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places scheme.

As well as attracting new exhibitions and performances, LeftCoast is also looking to appoint local ambassadors to promote the Fylde coast.

Mr Trainor added: “Blackpool and Wyre are truly exceptional places to live, work and visit and we are passionate about being part of sharing that.”

For more information about the LeftCoast project or for details on getting involved over the next three years, visit www.leftcoastuk.org

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