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Blackpool Grand Theatre : Economic and Social Impact Assessment

ornate Victorian entrance to the Grand Theatre The Grand Theatre Blackpool, opened in 1894, is now one of the few surviving examples of the work of Frank Matcham, the leading Victorian theatre architect. It is a busy, vibrant theatre and in 2006 was designated the National Theatre of Variety.

The theatre works with a variety of partners and stakeholder for support and GVA RGA was commissioned to give current and potential backers firm evidence of economic and social returns on their investment. The theatre also wanted robust research to help it justify work carried out with grants from Blackpool Council and Arts Council England. An extensive research programme was developed, involving consultation with Grand Theatre staff, volunteers, patrons, sponsors, suppliers, promoters and producers. The research included a range of specific questions designed to measure social and economic impact.

The key findings of the report included: that the theatre has a total annual economic impact of £12.2 million at a national level (£9.8 million at the Lancashire level) and is responsible for generating at least 9,000 tourist visits to Blackpool each year. The theatre is a significant tourism and community asset and attracts local residents who would not normally be expected to undertake arts activity. Its presence – and its designation as the National Theatre of Variety – are used as indicators of quality of life in the surrounding area and the volunteer scheme provides important social and training benefits.

The full GVA RGA report is available to download on the Grand Theatre’s website. Please click through the link :  Blackpool Grand

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