484 I Area 1 Seaside VIEWS
Casson Mann designed the exhibition areas for Showtown. Credit: Casson Mann

Blackpool entertainment museum set to open in April 2023

Julia Hatmaker

Lancashire-based Conlon Construction has begun work on the £13m Showtown attraction at the Sands Building on the Golden Mile.

The family-friendly museum from Blackpool Council will be divided into six themed sections: seaside holidays, circus, illuminations, dance, magic and shows. As you explore the exhibits you’ll hear the stories of the comedians, acrobats, dancers and other entertainers who made Blackpool a vacation destination.

484 I Area 2 The Golden Mile

The area themed after the “Golden Mile” at Showtown. Credit: Casson Mann

The museum will have 12,916 sq ft of interactive exhibits and 1,840 sq ft of dedicated learning space. There will also be a 1,614 sq ft temporary exhibition gallery to host touring shows. Including those three areas and other public facilities and staff spaces, the entire museum will be nearly 27,000 sq ft.

Buttress is the architect scheme, while Casson Mann is handling exhibition design.

Conlon began work on-site in early September.

“Blackpool is known all over the world for its history of entertainment and Showtown is shaping up to be the latest world-famous attraction located in the seaside town,” said Darren Lee, commercial director for Conlon.

“It’s a pleasure to work with Showtown and we’re all excited to see the finished result,” he continued.

Showtown Museum Showtown Illuminations, Blackpool Council, C Casson Mann

The “Illuminations” themed area at the museum. Credit: Casson Mann

Blackpool Cllr Lynn Williams said that Conlon truly understood the council’s vision for the museum.

“We are delighted to be working with Conlon Construction, who come with a wealth of experience in the North West, having worked on exciting projects in the culture category, including Harris Museum in Preston and Avro Heritage Museum in Stockport,” Cllr Williams said.

“Conlon Construction recently restored the beautiful Spanish Hall at the Winter Gardens, so we know there’s a shared vision for the look and feel of Showtown, and we are in safe hands with their extensive knowledge of heritage sites.”

Showtown is one of the council’s major capital projects. It is funded in part through the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, Growth Deal via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Garfield Weston Foundation, Coastal Communities Fund and Wolfson Foundation.

Showtown Museum Gallery, Blackpool Council, C Buttress

The temporary exhibition hall at Showtown. Credit: Buttress Architects

When Showtown is complete, it’ll be neighbours to Nikal and Media Investment Entertainment’s £300m map pinBlackpool Central scheme.

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Come on Blackpool!

The Haceinda theme might be a bit too far, as mad as The Manchester pub is.

By Anonymous