Amid fears of changes to the school curriculum that could stifle creativity and hold back emerging talents famous Fylde faces share their views.
Actress and ex-Coronation Street star Nicola Thorp:
“Education in the arts is vital, not only for those who eke out a profession in the creative industry but for students who want to pursue any career.
“Funding cuts for the arts means cuts to self-expression, teamwork, confidence, creativity and culture.
“The skills I have acquired from GCSE to degree level in drama have not only meant that I have been fortunate enough to have a career as an actress, but have also given me the confidence to engage in politics, public speaking and more.
“I’m proud to be sandgrown. Blackpool has a proud creative past, and we must do all we can to secure it’s creative future.”
Music journalist and member of post-punk band The Membranes John Robb:
“One of the great legacies of the UK in the 21st Century, what we are known around the world for, is our arts culture.
“For example, in Russia people are obsessed with British art culture.”
“The investment in the arts that you put in, you get back.
“How much money do, for example, The Beatles make for the British economy? You go to Liverpool and it’s one of the biggest tourist destinations in the UK and that’s a great example of arts paying into the economy.
“As well as the economic benefits, there’s the health and social aspect.
“It makes people feel good about themselves, and you can apply what you learn through the arts to all the different aspects of life.
“The arts are social, political, economic. It’s a stupid move to take them out of schools.
“When you see what art can do to somebody – it empowers them, opens their eyes to the world, it’s an incredibly powerful, spiritual thing.”
Musical theatre star Jodie Prenger:
“I have first hand experience of seeing how performing arts brings out kids through working in shows like Oliver!, Annie and Les Miserables.
“And that’s just the ones who are ‘making it’ – but everyone has to start somewhere and that place is so often in school.
“It builds confidence, initiative and creativity in kids.
“How can the arts be thought of as such a throw away thing? These are the qualities which make people.
“Seeing kids grow in the arts is extraordinary.
“Entertainment always has been for decades what Blackpool is about – it’s in our blood, it’s what the town has been built on.
“It would be a great shame to see this happen, to lose where these future stars might come from.
“I understand, of course, maths and English – we need these subjects – but we cannot let go of what has made Blackpool and made so many, many children’s lives.
“I always loved the arts at school, and always knew I would go into entertainment in some way, but even for those who don’t go into the arts, creativity is needed in all forms of work, as is team work and thoughtfulness.
“They’re all things which we need in day-to-day life, whatever job we do.”