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Plans submitted as Blackpool museum scheme takes shape

Artists impression of the Sands hotel which will house the new museum
Artists impression of the Sands hotel which will house the new museum
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Detailed plans for Blackpool's £13m museum have been unveiled taking the project a step closer.

Detailed plans for Blackpool's £13m museum have been unveiled taking the project a step closer.

A full planning application has been lodged for the scheme which is earmarked to open within the Palatine Building on Central Promenade, formerly occupied by the Sands venue and now being redeveloped as a five star hotel.

The blueprint shows a ground floor reception area including a shop, with visitors then taking stairs or a lift to the first floor where the main exhibition area will be.

There will also be temporary gallery space, education areas and a coffee shop on the first floor.

A design statement accompanying the application says: "The layout of the ground floor is open to enable orientation and visibility across the space, and the decoration and finish should be engaging and interesting in order to encourage visitors to purchase tickets to enter the museum."

The main part of the museum will be in the space previously occupied by the Sands restaurant and entertainment venue which is now closed.

The design brief adds "from the small lobby visitors can enter the permanent gallery exhibition" which is a large open space with a regular grid of columns.

Around 40 full-time equivalent jobs will be created including a chief executive, curators, exhibition co-ordinators and ticket sellers.

Most of the funding is now in place for the scheme and it is hoped further grants will be secured by early next year enabling the attraction to open in 2020.

Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “In March of this year we were delighted to announce the museum project had been allocated £8.4m of funding.

"We continue to work hard to secure the additional funding that will be needed to make the museum a reality.”

So far £4.4m has been allocated through the Heritage Lottery Fund and £4m from the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund.

Additional funding is being sought from the Growth Deal and Coastal Communities Fund.

The museum, which is expected to attract around 300,000 visitors a year, will explore Blackpool's role in the development of British popular entertainment over the past 150 years using artefacts, film, music and performance.

It will showcase more than 800 objects including entertainment collections from the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Music Hall society and the EMI Archive Trust.

The proposals will now go before council planners for consideration.