Share your views on Blackpool ‘culture hub’ plans

The public is being invited to share its views on the plans unveiled for Blackpool’s proposed culture hub. Michael Davies reports.

Images have been unveiled to the public showing a proposed new extension to Blackpool’s Grundy Art Gallery and link to the neighbouring Central Library. Residents can now share their views on them.

The £10 million project – which is yet to secure funding – will create what’s being billed as a “culture hub” in the town centre and form part of the Be Who You Want to Be initiative, which aims to improve social, economic and health statistics in the Claremont ward and celebrate the area’s LGBTQ+ heritage.

The addition gallery would be built in the existing car park next door

Architects Ellis Williams revealed initial images and plans of how the project could look at a public meeting on Thursday, 8th February. Planning approval is expected to be sought within the next few months, with funding to be found after that. The actual construction work could take as little as 18 months, transforming Queen Street and Abingdon Street with exterior changes alongside internal work including a new gallery and the redevelopment of large parts of both buildings.

The library’s archive on the top floor would be redesigned and renamed the Showtown History Centre, with a flexible space created on the ground floor for workshops and events. A new doorway would link the library to the Grundy, where a major gallery space would be built on Queen Street car park.

Plans for the Showtown History Centre on the top floor of Central Library

Blackpool Council estimates visitor numbers could increase by around 60,000 a year. Council leader Cllr Lynn Williams, who represents the Claremont ward, said: “The Grundy and Central Library really are hidden gems in Blackpool and have so much potential. It is vital that we develop them and make them as accessible to as many people as possible to provide even more opportunities and services for local residents and tourists.”

What do you think of the new plans for the Grundy and Central Library? Be sure to have your say by filling in the public consultation here and let us know in the comments.

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