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Grand Theatre reaches final stage in Arts Council bid

Grand Theatre
Grand Theatre
Grand Theatre

The Arts Council announced today that Blackpool’s Grand Theatre has succeeded in making it through to the final stage of its Capital Grant programme. The Theatre bid for £700,000 towards the development of a Blackpool Performing Arts Hub in vacant premises on Church Street.

The Theatre and the Friends of The Grand have already raised £1,000,000 towards the cost of buying the premises and beginning the first phase of construction work that will eventually incorporate a new Box Office, education centre, improved catering facilities and enhanced access to the studio theatre.

David Coupe, Chairman, Blackpool Grand Theatre Trust, said:

This is great news and I would like to thank everyone at the Theatre who has worked so hard to take the bid to this important stage. We have fought off intense competition from major arts organisations throughout England to make it through to the final stage, and we will now submit the detailed proposal for our new Performing Arts Hub before finding out later this year whether we have secured the funding.

Anthony Stone, Chairman, Blackpool Grand (Arts & Entertainment) Limited, said:

When completed, this development will help produce new sustainable income for The Grand, and provide improved services for our customers and performers as well as being a major boost for the town centre.

Neil Thomson, The Grand’s CEO and General Manager, commented:

We worked hard to make the case for establishing a Performing Arts Hub and education centre adjacent to The Grand. Our current Box Office and bar areas were never designed to cater for the large audiences we are now attracting, and this project will also help bring these facilities up to twenty-first century standards while retaining the integrity of our Grade II listed building.

The Grand is no stranger to having received funding from the Arts Council having already developed a Contemporary Dance programme with £120,000 of ACE funding per year for three years (£360,000 in total) and is one of only 693 Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations to receive regular funding from 1 April 2012.

Jane Beardsworth, North West Regional Director, Arts Council England, said:

The Arts Council mission is Achieving Great Art for Everyone. Our capital programme aims to support organisations to become more sustainable and resilient businesses through the consolidation and improvement of existing buildings and equipment. This award will provide better facilities for audiences and artists alike.

Cllr Graham Cain, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Culture, Blackpool Council, said:

This announcement demonstrates how highly the Arts Council regards Blackpool, and we have been delighted to back The Grand’s successful bid. It will be wonderful to have this new facility right in the town centre with the additional jobs and investment it will attract.

For more information about the Arts Council Capital Projects funding visit their website. To find out more about The Grand Theatre go online to www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk, you can also like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter: @Grand_Theatre.

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