BECK has been awarded the fit-out works for Showtown, Blackpool’s brand-new museum of fun and entertainment.  The exciting new museum will feature the first permanent displays in a UK public museum on circus shows, magic, illuminations, dance and the seaside.  For BECK, the project will include showcases, exhibit lighting, joinery setworks, graphics and scenic works.

Showtown will span two floors of the Sands Building, a prominent site close to Blackpool Tower.  Formerly known as the Palatine Building, it is being redeveloped into a hotel and leisure complex.

The museum will celebrate Blackpool’s influence on the nation’s entertainment industry with displays, films and family activities, mixing the best aspects of museums and visitor attractions.

Showtown will offer a ‘behind-the-scenes’ glimpse of the entertainments, amusements and personalities that put Blackpool on the showbusiness map.  Over 800 objects will be displayed from Blackpool’s extensive collection, alongside loans from the V&A Museum and private owners.


The displays will be split into six key themes, each one celebrated with its own gallery:

Beside the Seaside

Tells the story of how Blackpool transformed itself into a bustling seaside resort and will feature both traditional and contemporary takes on a visit to the beach.

How’s Tricks?

Reveals how Blackpool became such an important centre for magic.  Visitors will meet magicians, join in with magical tricks themselves and enjoy integrated interactives.

Roll Up! Roll Up!

Enthusiasts can visit the ‘Big Top’ and meet Belle, the elephant, to find out about Blackpool’s unbroken tradition of circus performance since the 1850’s.

It’s Showtime!

Looks at Blackpool’s history of popular entertainment and variety performances which moved from music halls, onto the stage and finally onto television screens.  Blackpool’s skyline will reveal the stars and their stories.

It’s Better with the lights on

Highlights the world-famous Illuminations pioneered by the town and created in Blackpool.  Visitors can try their hand at designing them, in an interactive experience.  Plus find out how many celebrities have turned them on.

Everybody Dance Now

Dancing is, and has always been, one of the Blackpool’s greatest attractions.  The town is regarded as the home of ballroom, hosting regular dance festivals and competitions of international acclaim.  A display case with dancing mannequins will celebrate its rich history of dance.


Finally, the museum will feature a fully adaptable, state-of-the-art, temporary exhibitions gallery. Two exhibitions per year will be created in-house and explore themes of popular culture, entertainment and Blackpool’s heritage. The temporary exhibitions will allow the museum to work with local community groups, responding to current trends and topical events.

Susan Ashworth, Showtown Project Manager for Blackpool Council says: “We are delighted to be working with BECK  for our Showtown exhibition fit-out.  We know we have a fabulous exhibition, here, that is ready and waiting to be created within the Showtown galleries.  We know, too, that BECK will do us all proud.  We are really looking forward to seeing the designs take shape so we can welcome in our visitors.  Exciting times!”

Chris Lawrenson, Board Director at BECK says: BECK is thrilled to join the Showtown team and be a part of this iconic & fun filled project. We look forward to working with Blackpool Council and Casson Mann over the next 12 months, to deliver a museum that showcases Blackpool’s entertainment history and heritage, as one of Britain’s premier seaside resorts.”


Image courtesy of Casson Mann.