Interior of Blackpool Tower ballroom
© Michael D Beckwith (Creative Commons)
© Michael D Beckwith (Creative Commons)

Historic England Helps to Repair the Home of British Ballroom Dancing, The Blackpool Tower Ballroom

This iconic venue will receive £764,000 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

Funding will enable Blackpool Tower Ballroom to repair plasterwork, giving the legendary venue a new lease of life.

The Blackpool Tower Ballroom is the latest of over 800 heritage sites and organisations to benefit from lifeline grants delivered by Historic England from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. The ballroom will receive £764,000 for repairs to the period plasterwork.

The ballroom, one of the Grade I listed Tower Buildings, first opened to the public 126 years ago, and is considered by many to be the home of ballroom dancing in the UK. Millions of television viewers will recognise the spectacular 19th century venue for its role in Strictly Come Dancing’s annual ballroom special, which airs this evening. 

The £764,000 grant, awarded to Blackpool Council by Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, will enable comprehensive repair and restoration work to be carried out on the iconic venue’s plasterwork ceiling. The work will be undertaken during the building’s current period of closure, providing work to local specialists.

Funding received by Blackpool Tower Ballroom brings the total to £1.6 million that has so far been awarded to heritage sites in Blackpool; part of the £115 million that has been awarded to heritage sites across the country in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. These include more than £39 million in grants awarded to kickstart construction and maintenance projects that have been paused due to the pandemic. 

This important funding is from the Heritage Stimulus Fund - funded by Government and administered at arms length by Historic England. The Heritage Stimulus fund is part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, which is designed to preserve the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.

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.

Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary

We are thrilled to be awarded this grant which will help bring the ornate ceiling of the magnificent Tower Ballroom back to its former glory. The ballroom has provided entertainment for generations of people for more than a century and is a national treasure, not least because of its relationship with Strictly.

We are enormously appreciative that its importance to the cultural heritage of this country has been recognised in this way.

Kate Shane, Head of Cluster Merlin Entertainments

Blackpool Tower Ballroom has played a hugely significant role in the history and popular culture of our country for over 125 years, as a landmark in British seaside architecture and tourism, to the special place it holds in the nation’s heart as the iconic venue for TV’s Strictly Come Dancing.

In these challenging times, our shared heritage is more important than ever. This vital funding will allow essential repairs to take place, providing employment for skilled craft workers and ensuring that we preserve this much-loved ballroom for everyone to enjoy, both now and in the future.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive Historic England
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