Project Background

  • Feasibility for a Museum began in 2013
  • Blackpool Council awarded Round One funding from Heritage Lottery Fund in 2014
  • Team and consultants appointed 2015
  • Engaged with over 13,000 (2015-2016)
  • Submitted Round Two application March 2017 for a new Museum in the Pavilion, Winter Gardens

In July 2017, Blackpool Council decided that it was unable to proceed with the Museum Project in the Winter Gardens. Unfortunately, the scale of the matched funding target was too great at a time when the Council  is under severe financial pressure.

Despite this decision, the Council still has the ambition to build on the excellent work done to date. The team has been tasked with developing the Museum for a new site in Blackpool town centre.

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Museum Vision

The Museum will blend the best of museums and visitor attractions – a museum, with a funny side. It will be filled with artefacts, film, music and performance. It will tell the story of the UK’s first mass seaside holiday resort and its role in the development of British popular culture and entertainment, including rarely told stories of magic, variety and circus.

As well as celebrating Blackpool’s nationally resonant heritage and unseen collections, it will showcase collections from partners including the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and EMI Archive Trust.

The Museum will play a critical role in the region’s regeneration: creating jobs, bringing in visitors, and improving the health, mental wellbeing and aspirations of local people.

The project is central to building local pride and aspirations and helping to secure a new future for this iconic seaside resort. It will attract 296,000 annual visits; create 40 FTE museum jobs, £12.5m additional expenditure, and an annual GVA of £6.5m.

It is part of a major redevelopment of a landmark building on the Blackpool Promenade. It will create more than 2500sqm of museum space including 1200sqm of immersive, interactive, family friendly exhibits, 100sqm of dedicated learning spaces, as well as a range of other public facilities and staff spaces.

Plans include a 150sqm temporary exhibition gallery that will host temporary and touring displays about local themes and national popular culture, developing audiences, exploring stories and bringing new displays to Blackpool.

It will support two strands of skills development; performance skills including comedy, dance, magic and circus acts, and work and life skills through work experience programmes, apprenticeships, careers advice, resilience-based wellbeing activities, and professional development for staff and volunteers.