Architect Chris Roche is hoping the public will support his proposals for a new museum to showcase Blackpool’s annual Illuminations display
Although lacking both financial backing and the official approval of the local council, his proposed £10 million project has already made the headlines across the North West (BBC News and Blackpool Gazette) and Roche’s practice 11.04 Architects is hoping to create a groundswell of public support for the scheme.
As well as the Illuminations, Roche hopes to attract a Michelin-starred chef to manage a rooftop restaurant and suggests a number of other attractions and themed temporary exhibitions such as Seaside Sauce – The history of the British Holiday postcard.
Roche, who is predicting more than a million visitors in its first year and has suggested an Olympic Theme for the 2012 Illuminations to capitalise on visitors to the Olympic Games in London, said: ‘The potential of the museum is incalculable – providing a 21st Century tourist attraction, celebrating the nostalgia of the British Seaside Holiday, and educating and entertaining new generations of visitors to Blackpool about its history, and the culture of the British Seaside.’
However, despite showing the plans for the six-storey building on the Lancashire resort’s promenade to regeneration company ReBlackpool, Roche has yet to winner favour from the local authority for the scheme which remains unsure about the initial plans.
Helen France, director of tourism for the council, said: ‘I think the issue for us at the moment is that we don’t know how serious the proposal is, we haven’t seen a detailed business plan or understand what is required from the council.
‘We’re more than happy to have conversations with anybody over proposals for Blackpool, but at this stage we’re not sure what this proposal actually means.’