Blackpool Tower Ballroom to sparkle again thanks to government funding

The Tower Ballroom in Blackpool Credit: Dosfotos/Zuma Press/PA Images

The Blackpool Tower Ballroom has received £764,000 from the Government as part of its support package for the arts.

The famous ballroom dancing venue, which first opened to the public in 1894, is receiving the cash injection as part of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The money will be used to pay for repair work to the ballroom's plasterwork ceiling. Culture Secretary Oliver 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."

The venue, which is famous for hosting ballroom events, has played host to the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing in recent years.

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas Credit: Ian West/PA Archive/PA Images

Wirral-born Shirley Ballas, a judge on the celebrity dancing programme, 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."

Councillor Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Culture, Blackpool Council, said: "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."

Traditionally the dancers would be heading to the Fylde Coast this weekend to take part in Blackpool Week on the programme.

Whilst the pandemic has put paid to those plans, it is understood the show may still nod to the iconic venue.

It is hoped restoration work on the ceiling may begin while the ballroom remains closed because of pandemic restrictions.