Lancashire

Amuseum: Blackpool Council reveals second resort museum plan

Artist impression Image copyright Buttress
Image caption A planned £26m museum within the Winter Gardens was scrapped in the summer

Blackpool Council has revealed plans for a new museum located in a hotel complex currently being developed on the town's promenade, five months after it shelved a similar project.

Amuseum, in the Sands Venue Resort, would cost £10.4m, £3.9m of which would come from the council over ten years.

The proposal comes after the Labour-led authority scrapped plans for a £26m museum in the Winter Gardens in July.

Conservative leader Tony Williams said he did not think it was "sustainable".

The "revised" plan builds on "extensive work already completed" in support of the axed project, a council spokeswoman said.

The new venue would "blend the best of museums and visitor attractions" and tell the story of the resort and its role in the development of British popular culture, according to plans.

It would create 40 jobs and attract 296,000 visitors a year.

'Better spent'

A report to the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said the project would be funded by the council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the LEP and the government's Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund.

In March, Blackpool Council revealed plans for The Museum of Blackpool within the Winter Gardens, but this was pulled a few months later due to an £8m funding gap.

The council spokeswoman said the scale of matched funding for the Winter Gardens museum "was too great at a time when the council is under severe financial pressure".

"Despite this decision, the council still has the ambition to develop a museum so the project team are developing a revised proposal that builds on the extensive work already completed; reviewed and revised for a new location," she said.

Mr Williams said he did not believe a museum "in this location will return the money this venture is costing".

Blackpool has a "duty" to protect its history but "the money could be better spent", he added.

If approved, the Amuseum would open in June 2020.

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