Grant brings Blackpool's Showtown museum another step closer

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The Blackpool Museum Trust has received a £150,000 boost towards bringing the Showtown museum to the resort next year.

The grant has come from the Garfield Weston Foundation and brings the total development fund to just over £12.8m.

Philippa Charles, director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said: “Blackpool remains one of the UK’s most popular seaside towns, which attracts visitors from all over the country each year.

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“Showtown is a really exciting project to be involved with, and we’re delighted to contribute to the completion of the museum and help the team achieve their goals.”

Celebrating ShowtownCelebrating Showtown
Celebrating Showtown

The family-founded foundation donates more than £80m each year to causes across the UK with previous recipients including The Royal Exchange in Manchester and the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, chairman of the Blackpool Museum Trust, said: “This funding will help us to deliver on our promise of a fun and interactive museum that celebrates the rich history of Blackpool.

“We are extremely grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation for their generous donation which will help kick start our progress over the next year.”

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Showtown is due to open next summer inside the Sands Hotel which is being built on Central Promenade.

Funding includes £4.4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £1.75m from the Coastal Communities Fund, £4m from the Northern Cultural Fund, £1.5m from the Lancashire Economic Partnership Growth Deal and £1m from Blackpool Council.

The remaining £450,000 is being raised by the Blackpool Museum Trust meaning the latest donation brings the scheme a step closer to the full cost of just over £13m.

Showtown will be divided into six themed spaces representing seaside, magic, shows, circus, the Illuminations and dance, and filled with objects, film, music and performance.

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Eventually there will be around 800 objects on display including comedian Tommy Cooper’s magic tricks, costumes worn by comedy stars Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise and a rare signed black bowler hat which was owned by film and comedy star Stan Laurel.

In February the museum's first exhibit, a fibre glass elephant for the circus feature, was hoisted into place at the Sands venue.

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