Blackpool gets £4m to create seafront dance space

Blackpool has been awarded a £4m grant to create a 20,000-capacity performance space as part of the Government's new Sea Change programme for coastal resorts.

The Lancashire resort was one of only three destinations in the first £10m round of funding from the department for culture, media and sport, along with Dover and Torbay. These are the first grants to be awarded in the three year programme, which will give £45m to coastal resorts and is being led by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

The £11m Tower Festival Headland project will receive further match funding from Blackpool council, urban regeneration company ReBlackpool, Defra and the North West Development Agency. A £5.4m programme of events funded by NWDA, the council and private sponsors will include dance, theatre, music and comedy.

Cllr Maxine Callow, cabinet member for tourism and regeneration at Blackpool council, said: "Today is a crucial day in Blackpool's future and takes us one step closer to realising our dream of becoming an innovative, inspirational and world renowned destination.

"It is brilliant to know that Government shares our vision and have provided vital funding for this scheme. The Tower Headland will provide something we have never had in Blackpool before.

"We are currently in a position that we cannot hold some major events and performances as we don't have appropriate outdoor space available.

"Not only will the headland play host to the biggest events Blackpool has ever seen it will also provide a fantastic opportunity for community groups and schools to put on smaller performances."

Margaret Hodge, culture and tourism minister, added: "The Sea Change scheme is all about kick starting regeneration through cultural investment in our seaside communities, helping to preserve their heritage and encouraging new and exciting projects."

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