Three major cultural projects across the North of England will receive a share of the £15m Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, Arts, Heritage and Tourism Minister Michael Ellis announced today.
The fund, which was created to build a lasting regional legacy from the Great Exhibition of the North, will support diverse projects in Blackpool, Bradford and the Lake District.
A total of £4m will help transform the vacant former Bradford Odeon cinema into a 4,000 capacity live music, entertainment and events venue.
Nearly £3.3m will enhance the visitor experience at cultural attractions across the Lake District, the UK’s newest World Heritage Site.
A further £4m will be used to create a museum in Blackpool that will celebrate the town’s history as the UK’s first mass seaside holiday resort.
Michael Ellis, minister for arts, heritage and tourism, said: “This £4m investment will not only bring a beloved historic building back to life, but will give Bradford a long-awaited live music venue to put the city back on the touring map. This is an important piece in the regeneration of Bradford and will create a cultural venue to be enjoyed by its young and diverse population.”
Eleven towns and cities from across the North of England bid for a share of the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, which encourages sustainable cultural and creative regeneration in the Northern Powerhouse and will benefit areas with historically low levels of cultural and creative investment.
As well as the three capital projects, a new fund providing access to finance for the cultural sector and creative industries in the North of England will be created.
Exchequer Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “The UK has the most vibrant cultural scene and creative industry in the world today, but we want to ensure that reaches all parts of the country and that every young person has access to cultural experiences and opportunities. That’s why we are investing these resources to ensure there is a lasting legacy for the upcoming Great Exhibition of the North, driving the region’s economic and cultural success.”
Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry, said: “These multi-million pound cultural investments in Blackpool, Bradford and the Lake District represent a major economic and cultural boost for the Northern Powerhouse. From converting a vacant cinema into a state-of-the-art venue to improving access to the UK’s newest World Heritage site, these investments will have a transformative effect, benefitting local communities by creating new jobs while increasing tourism from across the UK and further afield.”