Blackpool’s £13m entertainment museum hits major milestone and when it’ll open

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The museum, set to open in April 2023, will allow visitors to get up close with the entertainers who put Blackpool on the map such as comedians, dancers, acrobats, performers and larger-than-life characters

 

An artist impression of Blackpool's Showtown museum
An artist impression of Blackpool’s Showtown museum (Image: Blackpool Council)

Construction has finally began on Blackpool’s first ever museum showcasing the resort’s fun and entertainment.

Work has begun on the £13million museum, named ‘Showtown’, after a lease was signed by Blackpool Council, Coolsilk Property and Investment Ltd.

The Blackpool attraction, located in the historic Sands Building on the Golden Mile, next door but one to Blackpool Tower, has been working with Bamber Bridge construction firm, Conlon, who are laying the groundwork for the museum.

The museum is set to open in April 2023.

Coolsilk’s co-owner, Peter Swann, said: ‘”We are delighted that the museum will be developed alongside our Sands Venue Resort Hotel – Blackpool’s first 5-star hotel when it opens next year.

“Our resort will create 91 luxury rooms and penthouses, restaurants, spa, conference space, existing themed Wild West Diner and soon to open cocktail bar.

“We can now look forward to hosting this exciting new Museum and look forward to working with the council to attract even more visitors into the resort”.

The museum will allow visitors to get up close with the entertainers who put Blackpool on the map – the comedians, dancers, acrobats, performers and larger-than-life characters who turned a seaside resort into the home of show business.

Left to right; Michael Conlon, Chairman of Conlon Construction Ltd; Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen,
Chairman of Blackpool Museum Trust; Alan Cavill, Director of Communications and Regeneration for Blackpool
Council and Marcus Walker, Director at Coolsilk Property and Investment Ltd
Left to right; Michael Conlon, Chairman of Conlon Construction Ltd; Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Chairman of Blackpool Museum Trust; Alan Cavill, Director of Communications and Regeneration for Blackpool Council and Marcus Walker, Director at Coolsilk Property and Investment Ltd (Image: Dave Nelson)

Darren Lee, Commercial Director at Conlon Construction, said: “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.

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

The themed exhibitions will be the first permanent displays in a UK public museum relating to circus, variety and ballroom dance and will hold more than 800 objects from Blackpool’s collections.

There will also be items on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum and several private partners.

Speaking of working with Conlon Construction, Blackpool Council leader Lynn Williams said: “As Blackpool’s first museum of fun and entertainment we wanted to work with a company that truly understands our product and is on board with all the excitement that is to come.

“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.

“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.”

Estimations project that Showtown will attract about 300,000 local, regional, national and international visits each year; engage with 7,500 local school children annually; create around 40 full-time jobs and 20 training placements and play a critical role in Blackpool’s re-imagining.

Funding for the £13m Showtown includes £4.4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £1.75m from the Coastal Communities Fund, £4m from the Northern Cultural Fund, £1.5m from the Lancashire Economic Partnership Growth Deal and £1m from Blackpool Council.

To find out more about Blackpool’s latest museum, please visit the Showtown website here.