The Blackpool Tower Ballroom is the latest venue to receive a lifeline grant of £764,000 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden has announced.
The ballroom, located in the Grade I listed Tower Buildings, first opened to the public in 1894 and has a rich history as the home of British ballroom dancing. Millions of viewers will know the spectacular 19th century venue as the site of Strictly Come Dancing’s annual ballroom special.
Blackpool’s funding builds on more than £115 million which has been awarded to heritage sites across the country from the Culture Recovery Fund, including more than £39 million in grants dedicated to kickstarting construction and maintenance projects that have been paused due to the pandemic.
The £764,000 grant, awarded to Blackpool Council by Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, will enable the legendary venue to carry out comprehensive repair and restoration work on the ballroom’s period plasterwork ceiling. The work will be undertaken during the building’s current period of closure and will provide work to local specialists.
Mr Dowden, said: “The Blackpool Tower Ballroom has been an iconic home for British dance for more than a century. The Culture Recovery Fund will help restore this beautiful ballroom so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come.”
Shirley Ballas, Head Judge on Strictly Come Dancing and three-time Blackpool British Open Professional Latin American Champion, said: “Blackpool holds a special place in the heart of every ballroom dancer all over the world. It is a town steeped in Ballroom dance history and somewhere everyone hopes to dance one day.
“For me, I won my three British Professional Latin Championships in Blackpool, titles that I cherish. I am overjoyed to learn of the Government’s investment to aid in the restoration of one of Blackpool’s historic ballrooms, all of which house the memories and history of the ballroom dance industry. Thank you Oliver Dowden MP, I still owe you that cha cha cha lesson!”
Anton du Beke, Judge on Strictly Come Dancing, added: “How wonderful to hear the news about the investment in the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool. Such important funding to keep the art of ballroom dancing alive for generations to come! Keep Dancing!”
Picture: Blackpool Tower Ballroom. (Michael Beckwith/Wikipedia).