Plans for a new museum celebrating Blackpool's tourism history have taken a major step forward after securing a potential £8.4m in funding.
A £4m bid from Blackpool Council was one of three to share in £15m being handed out by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Announcing the award today, the Government department said the money would be used 'to create a museum in Blackpool that will celebrate the town’s history as the UK’s first mass seaside holiday resort'.
It comes as the Heritage Lottery Fund agreed a grant of £400,000 up front to support the development of the project, with the prospect of a further £4m to actually make the museum a reality.
The resort's plans for a new Amuseum, the working title given to the project, would see it open in 2020. It has been billed as the biggest new museum development in the North West and is expected to attract 300,000 visitors a year.
It is planned to be incorporated into the redevelopment of the Sands Venue, next door but one to the Tower. The new five-star hotel and leisure development will be known as the Palatine Building.
The council said it will be a 'dynamic and celebratory space - a blend of museum and visitor attraction, filled with artefacts, film, music and performance'.
Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This is great news and we are delighted to have secured such significant funding. This is a major step forward to help deliver this exciting project.
“These announcements are extremely welcome and are critical pieces in a £13m funding jigsaw.
"We are now seeking additional funding from the Growth Deal and Coastal Communities Fund to help complete the funding that needs to be achieved. We will continue to work hard to complete this complex funding jigsaw.”
Michael Ellis, minister for arts, heritage and tourism, said: "The museum will be a wonderful celebration of Blackpool and its special place in the history of British popular culture.
"This £4m investment will help boost tourism and provide a lasting legacy to the people of Blackpool.”
Northern Powerhouse minister, Jake Berry, added: “These investments will have a transformative effect, benefitting local communities by creating new jobs while increasing tourism from across the UK and further afield.”
The money has come from the £15m Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund. Other successful bids were in Bradford and the Lake District.