Victoria and Albert Museum off to Blackpool?
By Martin Bailey. News, Issue 198, January 2009
Published online: 21 December 2008
LONDON. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is looking to establish an exhibition centre in Blackpool. To be branded “V&A at Blackpool”, it would be in an iconic new seafront building near the Blackpool Tower.
Although the V&A will take the lead on appointing an architect and programming the exhibitions, Blackpool Council (and its regeneration agency ReBlackpool) will be responsible for funding the capital and running costs. The Blackpool exhibition centre would present V&A-generated exhibitions, most of which would also be shown in London. Technically, it would not be an “outpost” of the V&A, since financial responsibility would lie with Blackpool Council.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which provides core funding for the V&A, is enthusiastic about the idea. However, the V&A wants assurances that any government money going to the Blackpool project will not divert funds away from its main South Kensington museum.
A Blackpool Council official confirmed to The Art Newspaper that the “V&A at Blackpool” is under consideration, although no decisions have been taken. The V&A said a feasibility study is nearing completion and there will be discussions on funding in the next few months.
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