Construction begins on Blackpool’s first museum targeting 2023 opening

Image: Casson Mann

A lease has been signed for Showtown, the hybrid museum and attraction focussing on the area’s rich history in entertainment.

Construction has begun on upcoming Blackpool-based ‘hybrid’ museum and visitor attraction Showtown, with doors planned to open in April 2023.

Originally planned for a 2021 opening, a lease has now been signed by Blackpool Council and construction company Coolsilk Property & Investment, which is developing the Sands Venue Resort Hotel alongside the museum.

The Blackpool attraction has been working with Lancashire based construction firm, Conlon, who are laying the groundwork for the museum.

An exhibition area at Showtown, designed by Casson Mann

In 2019 Blackpool Council was allocated £4 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the development of Showtown, then known as the Blackpool Museum Project.

The investment marked the final capital secured in £13 million of investment which also included The Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, the Coastal Communities Fund and the Lancashire Growth Deal.

It is hoped the museum allow visitors to explore the history of the comedians, dancers, and acrobats who have performed in the local area.

Among pieces set for display are Stan Laurel’s iconic bowler hat, a prop used by comedic magician Tommy Cooper and memorabilia from the Tower Circus, an attraction at the base of the Blackpool Tower which dates back to 1894.

Last year Advisor detailed the process of positioning Blackpool’s first museum to local and visitor audiences, and its work with Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM) to find a name and approach which would guarantee footfall.

From left to right; Michael Conlon; Chairman of Conlon Construction Ltd, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen; Chairman of Blackpool Museum Trust, Alan Cavill; Director of Communications and Regeneration for Blackpool Council and Marcus Walker; Director at Coolsilk Property and Investment Ltd.

Speaking of working with Conlon Construction, Cllr Lynn Williams said: “We are delighted to be working with Conlon Construction, who come with a wealth of experience in the North West, having worked on exciting projects in the culture category, including Harris Museum in Preston and Avro Heritage Museum in Stockport.