Vital £450k cash boost for Blackpool's Grand Theatre 'battered by storms and climate change'

The Grand Theatre, in Blackpool
The Grand Theatre, in Blackpool -Credit:Sean Conboy

Blackpool's Grand Theatre will benefit from a slice of £24.2m Arts Council funding, which will go towards vital restoration work.

As part of Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme, the Grand has been awarded £450,000. This is to address the Grade II-listed building’s crumbling 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

According to bosses at the venue, 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.


It 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.

"We are hugely grateful to the Arts Council for this significant and very timely investment" -Credit:Sean Conboy
"We are hugely grateful to the Arts Council for this significant and very timely investment" -Credit:Sean Conboy

“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.

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.”