Blackpool Grand Theatre awarded Arts Council funding for restoration work

Photo credit: Sean Conboy

Blackpool Grand Theatre will benefit from a share of £24.2 million through Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme.

The Grand has been awarded £450,000 from the Arts Council to repair the Grade 11* listed building’s stonework, replace and repoint damaged brickwork, restore the Victorian iron rainwater goods, and replace large areas of slate and lead on the two acres of roof.

This will ensure the safety of the building and allow audiences and visitors to access parts of the theatre which have previously been inaccessible for some years.

This marks the first phase of funding towards a £15 million Capital Development Plan that will futureproof the theatre, enrich Church Street and improve the experience of customers and visiting companies alike.

Blackpool Grand Theatre Chief Executive, Adam Knight, said: ‘’We are hugely grateful to the Arts Council for this significant and very timely investment in our heritage building, which has been struggling to cope with the impact of climate change and recent Irish Sea storms.

‘’This funding will also return the theatre’s famous dome and iconic pineapple finial to their former glory and enable us to use the funds that were generously donated by the community. This is just the beginning of the journey to restore Frank Matcham’s masterpiece!’’

‘’The Capital Investment Programme supports the Arts Council’s mission to ensure communities across the country have the infrastructure where creativity for everyone can thrive.  Awards from the Capital Investment Programme are to be used towards building works and the purchase of equipment and other assets to improve access, seize on technological opportunities and reduce environmental impact.

‘’This Government funding is part of Arts Council England’s investment to build stronger communities throughout England and will help secure the creative future of towns, villages and communities across England. This funding also aims to build a country filled with creative people and cultural communities.’’

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: ‘’This infrastructure investment will help a whole range of different cultural organisations across England to flourish, increasing opportunities for people to enjoy creatively excellent cultural events close to where they live.

‘’It’s particularly important that we’re making this happen in communities where cultural investment has historically been low.’’

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Libraries, said: ‘’Cultural venues enrich our lives, and it’s vital that their infrastructure matches the excellence of the creative work that goes on inside them.

‘’Our funding is helping both to create new venues and to adapt existing ones to make them more accessible, helping to deliver the Government’s plan to make sure that everyone, no matter where they live or what their background, has access to excellent, life-changing cultural opportunities.’’

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