Your Blackpool  February/March 2006
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Written By The Community
News in Brief
Libraries stay open longer
Following on from our report last September that Blackpool's two largest libraries would be opening on Sundays, Your Blackpool is delighted to report that the initiative has so far proved a huge success.
   Blackpool Central Library began the new arrangement in September and now regularly attracts 200 people every week who want to use the facilities on a Sunday.
   Meanwhile, Palatine Library and Learning Centre - which started opening on a Sunday in August - is proving to be a hit with families with an average of 150 people attending for the three hours it is open.
   One of the key attractions is the free use of the computers, which have Internet access.
   If the Sunday opening continues to prove so popular then it is likely to become a permanent fixture.
Raising a glass to its former glory
The Blackpool Civic Trust and Blackpool Council are celebrating after a £31,000 Heritage Lottery Fund windfall, which will allow the restoration of a part of the historic Town Hall to its former glory.
   The 'Your Heritage' grant will allow renovation of the George Wragge stained glass window in the Town Hall, which is situated in the Council Chamber on the staircase to the public gallery, and depicts rare images relating to Blackpool's maritime history.
   The window was originally put into place in the very early 20th Century but at some point was painted over (probably for blackout during the war) and never subsequently restored. The new project will see the window fully restored, as well as educating the people of Blackpool about the window's history and its construction.
Upcoming exhibitions
If you are looking for something different to do during the winter months why not pop to the Grundy Art Gallery or Solaris Centre to see an art exhibition?
   The Grundy Art Gallery on Queen Street will be hosting an exhibition from contemporary artist Tanya Axford from January 28 until March 4. Pupils from Blackpool schools will be able to see their work showcased from March 17 to April 22 in the Young Seasiders exhibition.
   The Grundy is open Monday to Saturday 10am until 5pm.
   The Solaris Centre on New South Promenade has a full calendar of exhibitions for 2006. From February 1 until February 28 Harold Bird and Molly Edwards will have their work on show at the Solaris. The Blackpool Art Society will be exhibiting its work in March.
   Entry to both venues is completely free.
   For details of all other exhibitions ring the Solaris Centre on 01253 478020 or the Grundy Art Gallery on 01253 478170.
Hat-trick for Kincraig
play group!
Lhe Kincraig Neighbourhood Play Steering Group is celebrating three recent successes. One of their projects has been judged to be one of the most successful of several national pilots organised in 2003 by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Children's Play Council. In addition to this, they have been awarded First Prize in the Nature Watch category by the Blackpool Environment Action Team (BEAT), and to cap it all, they have been successful in a bid for £25,000 from Living Spaces to continue work on a local pond.
   The group was set up in 2003 to develop and pilot a 'Neighbourhood Play Toolkit'
   - a practical and comprehensive set of resources for improving public neighbourhood play spaces and services for children and young people. Local children and adults were consulted for their views on their local environment and what was needed to improve it for the community. The toolkit will be published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation early next year.
   One of the main issues raised was that of improving and maintaining the natural environment in the area. To address this issue, the local pond and surrounding area is being restored and replanted to preserve natural habitats for plants and animal species. Naturewatch, Kincraig School, Blackpool
Young people benefit from cash injection

(l-r) Joyce Goddard, Chair of the Group, with Layton Smith and Debra Hedley
Council and BEAT all offered support and advice. The grant from Living Spaces is to continue the restoration on the pond area, and further funding is being sought to erect interpretation boards to develop the educational aspect of the pond restoration.
    For more information on the Group please ring 01253 476919.
From glitter to litter

The ladies get ready to dance the night away

The Community Dance Activity Group has been busy getting involved in community activities recently.
    As part of the Festival of Light they braved the weather and danced in an organised event underneath the world's largest mirror ball on South Promenade using their stage name of the Tango Generation.
   The organisers commissioned a local dancer and choreographer to engage more than 30 performers from the local community in a live, outdoor dance show. From traditional tango to contemporary club culture, the mirror ball became a dazzling platform for a programme of amateur and professional dance performance.
   The dancers have also helped to improve their neighbourhood as part of 'Make a Difference' Day. Volunteers were joined by Blackpool Police and Blackpool Council to help clean up Ibbison Court and almost four tonnes of litter was picked up on the day.
   The Group meet each Monday morning for Yoga, and Friday mornings for dancing at Ibbison Court Day Centre. All are welcome.
   For more information contact the Community NOW team on 01253 622098.