New partnership will support Blackpool arts scene

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A Blackpool Cultural Partnership is to be set up in the town to help the  arts sector recover from the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

Initiatives already underway include a project to open a creative hub on Topping Street in the town centre, while opportunities to provide studios where artists can live and work are being explored.

The council has agreed to support the establishment of the partnership, but it will be run independently.

It follows an inquiry into Blackpool’s arts and cultural scene by members of the council’s tourism, economy and communities scrutiny committee.

Blackpool's art scene ranges from the Grand Theatre to amateur creatives

Blackpool’s art scene ranges from the Grand Theatre to amateur creatives

A survey as part of the town’s Heritage Action Zone programme in March this year found “a wealth of creative talent currently working in Blackpool, from amateur enthusiasts and community groups to professional artists and creative businesses.”

In total £2.3m was received by organisations in Blackpool from the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund in response to the pandemic, while £300,000 had been paid out to 73 cultural-led businesses by the council’s Business Recovery Fund.

Coun Kath Benson, cabinet member for community engagement, aspiration and community assets, told a meeting of the council’s executive: “Culture and art are not something we always associate with Blackpool, but we have a wealth of talent which we should be extremely proud of.”

Arts Council England has recently announced Blackpool is one of 15 priority places in the north of England where it wants to develop new opportunities

for investment, as part of the publication of its three-year delivery Plan for 2021 – 2024.

It is hoped setting up the Cultural Partnership will play a key role “in developing a vision and maximising investment in the sector.”