BLACKPOOL Grand Theatre is to receive £360,000 funding from the Arts Council to turn into a regional centre for contemporary dance.
The regular funding will be delivered as £120,000 a year for three years as part of the Art Council’s National Portfolio which recognises buildings of national significance.The award marks the first time any arts organisation on the Fylde has secured this type of regular income.
It also comes against the back drop of major Government cuts to Art Council funding which has seen budgets slashed by 30 per cent.
The cash will be used to not only encourage promising young dancers - but also to develop a new generation of contemporary dance audiences.
Neil Thomson, Grand Theatre general manager and chief executive said: “We are delighted our plans for The Grand have been recognised by the Arts Council as being of sufficient national importance to attract this level of funding.
“It will allow us to broaden our artistic programming and plan ahead with a greater degree of confidence in this genre.”
“The theatre will work with other organisations in the town and the region to commission new work using local dancers, composers and choreographers – harnessing the talent that already exists in the area.”
This means that the theatre will produce shows for the first time ever as it normally only ‘receives’ touring productions.
The Grand will also be able to attract the very best contemporary dance companies to Blackpool to perform and run workshops for local performers and students.