Blackpool 'missed out' on V&A museum says councillor

The V&A museum in Dundee
The V&A museum in Dundee
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Blackpool has allowed potential multi-million pound investment in a new museum to "slip through its fingers", a councillor has claimed.

Blackpool has allowed potential multi-million pound investment in a new museum to "slip through its fingers", a councillor has claimed.

Coun Maxine Callow said Dundee in Scotland had recently opened a branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum - something Blackpool had once been in talks to secure.

She told a full meeting of Blackpool Council that when the Conservatives were in power dialogue was held with the V&A with a view to bringing a version of the museum to the resort.

Coun Callow said: "What went wrong, when we lost control, with all the dialogue we had in place with the V&A? They were so anxious to come to Blackpool.

"Good luck to Dundee, and they are an area of deprivation. But that should have come to Blackpool.

"Why did we let this slip through our fingers?"

Council deputy leader Coun Gillian Campbell said the Dundee scheme had largely been funded by the Scottish government.

She said: "While we haven't got the relationship we once had with the V&A, we do have an arrangement in relation to artefacts and displays.

"But we will have a museum hopefully here soon."

The £80m V&A Museum opened earlier this month in Dundee with funding coming from sources including the Scottish government, Dundee Council, the Lottery Fund and private fundraising.

The initial cost was £45m but rose sharply during the development process to £80m.

Blackpool Council launched talks with the V&A more than 10 years ago to bring an off-shoot of the museum to the town.

But spending cuts brought discussions to a halt in 2010.

Blackpool is now set to open a £13m museum in early 2020 as part of the redevelopment of the former Sands building on Central Promenade into a five star hotel.

Coun Campbell said: "This museum will providing a focal point for local people to understand and enjoy Blackpool’s seminal, pioneering and above all, entertaining role in national and international popular culture."