Blackpool chosen as Arts Council priority area

Blackpool is among 15 places in the north of England chosen to receive priority support from the Arts Council.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 12:01 am

It is hoped to build on the resort’s cultural assets including the Illuminations, the Grundy Art Gallery and the Grand Theatre and develop new opportunities for investment as part the Arts Council’s Let’s Create strategy.

It has prioritised 54 places nationally for special attention as part of a shift away from London and a new focus “on specific places under-served in the past.”

Jennifer Cleary, director in the north for Arts Council England, said: “Blackpool is well-known for its seaside entertainment and in recent years the town’s cultural plans have grown.

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The Illuminations are among Blackpool's cultural assets

“It is fantastic to see a real commitment to culture from Blackpool Council, as well as the appetite that local people, creatives and cultural organisations have towards making Blackpool a North West cultural hub.”

Blackpool Council leader Coun Lynn Williams said the council already worked closely with the Arts Council.

She added: “We are proud in having two Arts Council national portfolio organisations in Blackpool, the Grand Theatre and the Grundy Art Gallery, but know they would benefit from further investment to deliver their ambitions and we have other local cultural organisations keen to develop their work with our communities.

“Covid 19 has hit the cultural sector badly both nationally and in particular places like Blackpool where entertainment and the cultural offer are so fundamental to the town, so this new initiative is very timely as we look to our recovery plans.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic Blackpool has received £2.3m from the Arts Council through the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

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