Funding starts to add up for Blackpool Museum scheme

Councillors have been reassured Blackpool's proposed new museum will be sustainable with the funding package set to be finalised in coming months.

Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 1:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 2:53 pm
A consultation day for the Blackpool Museum project

The council is due to find out in May if a bid for another £1.75m towards the project from the Coastal Communities Fund has been successful.

Meanwhile the second round bid for £4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund is due to be submitted in May or June after the application got through the first round of the process.

There are already funds in the pot including £4m from the Northern Cultural and £1.5m earmarked from the Lancashire Economic Partnership Growth Deal.

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A consultation day for the Blackpool Museum project

The council is putting in £1m and a fundraising campaign hopes to draw in £100,000 from other sources which support museums.

The figures were given to members of the council's audit committee. Chairman Coun Paul Galley asked what was being done to ensure the museum would be viable.

Alan Cavill, director of communications and regeneration, said: "We have used experts to put together a business plan. It is not over ambitious in what it's trying to achieve with an expectation of around 160,000 paying visitors a year."

Mr Cavill said costs would also be mitigated by actions including the relocation of the council's own heritage service to the museum.

Last week, the council's planning committee approved a revised planning application for the Sands Hotel on Central Promenade which will house the museum.

The museum will reflect Blackpool's history with more than 800 objects set to be exhibited covering circus, magic, variety and ballroom dance.

There will be gallery space for loaned exhibitions including from the Victoria and Albert Museum based in London, while work is also being done with comedy scriptwriters to capture the spirit of the resort.