Covid: Blackpool Tower Ballroom gets £1.1m refurbishment

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image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe ballroom should reopen when the last Covid restrictions are lifted

Blackpool Tower's world-famous ballroom is being prepared to reopen to the public after a £1.1m refurbishment.

Dancers hope to be allowed to step on to the dancefloor on 21 June when the last Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Meanwhile the ballroom has undergone its most extensive work programme and deep-cleaning for more than 60 years.

Highly-skilled craftsmen, who worked on projects including the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace, have dedicated more than 21,000 hours over six months.

Project manager Keith Langton said: "It is a project I will never forget and perhaps even a project for me to retire on.

"Everyone wants to end their career on a high, and I don't think I could get a better high than working at the ballroom."

The tower's general manager, Kenny Mew, said he could not wait to reopen.

"This is a once in a lifetime project that I feel incredibly fortunate to have been involved in," he said.

Tower Ballroom at a glance

image copyrightWPA Pool
  • Its 12,000 sq ft (3,567 sq m) dancefloor was first opened in 1894 and comprises of 30,602 separate blocks of mahogany, oak and walnut
  • The last 12 months is the longest it has been closed since 1957 when a fire caused by a discarded cigarette cost £500,000 and took two years to repair
  • It hosts one of the most popular weeks of BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing show where the celebrities can strut their stuff on a dancefloor nine times the size of the studio floor

Source: Blackpool Tower

Each worker has climbed an average of 85 flights of scaffolding every day to restore the ballroom to its original glory.

They discovered newspapers dating back to 1911, old cigarette packs and a walking stick believed to date back to the 1950s during work on angel figures on the ballroom ceiling.

The work on the period plasterwork ceiling was made possible thanks to a £764,000 grant from the Government's Culture Recovery Fund, together with funding from Blackpool Council.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionCraftsmen have dedicated more than 21,000 hours over six months

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