Clore supports the cultural shift in Blackpool

LeftCoast has been successful in its bid to the Clore Prize Fund and has been awarded a major prize to further the cultural shift taking place in Blackpool.

As part of the celebrations of fifty years of the Clore Duffield Foundation eight prizes were awarded to innovative arts projects at a high profile ceremony at the Natural History Museum in London on Tuesday evening.

Blackpool’s bid was the only successful award in the north of England putting the town on the map as ripe for cultural investment and innovation. The bid impressed the judging panel which included Foundation Chairman Dame Vivien Duffield, Head of BBC News James Harding, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre Jude Kelly OBE and Director of the Tate Sir Nicholas Serota.

The project, led by LeftCoast’s Artistic Director Michael Trainor and Blackpool Council’s Head of Culture Polly Hamilton (both Clore Fellows), aims to create a new space which reimagines the traditional bed & breakfast experience for the future by putting arts and culture at the heart of the business model.

The space will be a fully functioning social enterprise with artists being commissioned to create every element of the traditional B&B experience from a virtual landlady to the bedroom decor, creating the first Art Bed & Breakfast.

Michael Trainor, Artistic Director of LeftCoast, said: “It is a huge achievement for Blackpool to have secured this investment against the best of the UK’s cultural leaders. We’re honoured to have been selected by the Clore Duffield Foundation to receive this prize and it is a testament to their confidence in Blackpool and the seismic cultural shift taking place here.

“B&Bs are an incredibly important part of the visual landscape and popular culture of Blackpool. AB&B is an opportunity to celebrate all that is good in the B&B tradition and reimagine them in a more creative future.”

Sue Hoyle, Director of the Clore Leadership Programme, said: “Dame Vivien Duffield’s vision, courage, generosity and loyalty has inspired others to be generous in their support of the Clore Fellowships. Across the UK and beyond, a great many individuals and organisations have contributed to both leadership programmes, as funding partners, speakers, mentors and secondment hosts. Their involvement has been vital to our success of the Fellowships. Now this success is being celebrated in an exciting range of winning projects for the Clore Prize, in which Fellows aim to make a difference to people’s lives through culture and social action.”

As well as the cultural element the project will also involve new social enterprise Jobs, Friends and Houses in the building renovations. The organisation works with drug and alcohol addicts through abstinence recovery, providing them with sustainable employment through renovation projects and support to find housing and friends.

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