Lancashire pitches for £15m regeneration fund

Lancashire, with Blackpool at the forefront, is one of 11 regions to bid for a share of a £15m fund launched to help build a lasting regional legacy from the Great Exhibition of the North.

The Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund will make grants of up to £4m available to support major culture and tech capital projects.

Lancashire's bid includes plans to create The Amuseum, Britain’s first museum telling the story of British popular entertainment including Blackpool’s role in one of UK’s greatest creative industries.

Warrington, Cumbria, Rochdale, Humber, Leeds, Liverpool, Sunderland, Sheffield, Tees Valley and York have also put bids forward, including the redevelopment of a former cinema into a live music venue, building four giant brick towers and creating the world’s biggest digital artwork.

Karen Bradley, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport  said: “This £15m fund will mean that as many people as possible benefit from the Great Exhibition of the North and it is fantastic that so many communities have recognised the transformative potential of culture, design and innovation.”

Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry added: “The Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund will help communities show the world how the great art and culture, design and ingenuity of the North shapes all our lives.

"It also gives regions the chance to bid for funding for projects which deliver transformative change for local residents while firmly placing the North at the forefront of arts and culture in the UK.” The fund aims to increase the impact of next year’s Great Exhibition of the North, for which Blackpool was also in the final consideration for host.