An iconic ballroom has finally opened, more than 15 months after it was forced to close its doors due to the pandemic.
Regular waltzers, as well as first-time quick-steppers, will be able take to the floor at Blackpool Tower Ballroom once more as lockdown restrictions lifted on Monday
Located in the Grade 1-Listed Blackpool Tower, the much-loved ballroom has recently undergone a massive £1.1m refurbishment, with a team of highly skilled craftsmen dedicating more than 21,000 hours, over a period of six months, to restore the famous venue to its original glory.
The venue, which dates back to 1894 and is known by millions as the home to Strictly Come Dancing’s annual ballroom special, has undergone the most extensive programme of work and deep clean for more than 60 years.
The work was made possible thanks to a lifeline grant of £764,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, together with funding from Blackpool Council, taking the total investment to £1.1m.
The grant, awarded to Blackpool Council by Historic England, has supported the venue to carry out comprehensive repair and restoration work on the ballroom’s period plasterwork ceiling.
General manager of The Blackpool Tower, Kenny Mew, said he cannot wait to re-open the ballroom.
He said: “We absolutely cannot wait to reopen – it’s been a long time coming and it’s now almost a year and a half since we had guests in our fantastic ballroom, so we’re more than ready.
“The works that have been carried out during this time are incredibly special and it’s been a once-in-a-lifetime project that I’m thrilled to have been part of.
“Whether our guests are enjoying an afternoon tea, taking to the dancefloor or simple soaking up the beautiful surroundings, it’s finally time for the public to experience the splendour of the ballroom again.”
The Blackpool Tower Ballroom will be open from 10am seven days a week (depending on scheduled events), with capacities set to gradually increase throughout the summer and some Covid safety measures remaining in place for the peace of mind of guests.
Mr Mew added: “The safety of our guests of course remains paramount, so we will be increasing our total capacity gradually.
“We’ll also be encouraging guests to wear face coverings and to respect each other’s space, in addition to having hand sanitising stations located across all our attractions.
“We have been counting down for a while now and we’re delighted it’s finally here.”