The Winter Gardens is a Grade II* listed building in Morecambe, Lancashire. Designed by architects Mangnall and Littlewood, with Frank Matcham as a consulting architect, it was originally built as the Victoria Pavilion Theatre in 1897 and was an extension to the existing Winter Gardens complex, which has since been demolished. The theatre closed to the public in 1977 and was listed the same year. It is considered to be one of Morecambe's most significant features, and a campaign for its restoration has been ongoing since 1986.
photo by zero81
The Victoria Pavilion Theatre was built in 1897 as part of an existing complex. Dating from 1878, the original complex included seawater baths, bars and a ballroom. In the 1950s, the Winter Gardens were taken over by Moss Empires, however declining profits in the following decades led to its closure in 1977. Although the theatre building that remains today was listed the same year, the ballroom building was demolished in 1982.
In 2008, as part of an appraisal of the Morecambe Conservation Area, the Winter Gardens were listed as one of the area's most significant features, as the main example of the remnants of the resort’s nineteenth century entertainment buildings. In 2008, the Winter Gardens were featured on the tenth series of the ghost hunting show Most Haunted. They returned in October 2009, when the Winter Gardens was opened to the public as the live audience venue for the eight consecutive nights of the Most Haunted Live! broadcast.
Preservation and restoration
The Friends of the Winter Gardens were formed in 1986 to represent the interests of the building, and campaigned for its preservation and restoration. In 2006, the Friends formed a charitable trust company, The Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust (Ltd), to purchase the Winter Gardens. In 2009, Lancaster City Council applied for a grant from the government's Sea Change programme, which is intended to promote regeneration in coastal towns. The grant of £4m would have resulted in the trust receiving matching funding from the North West Development Agency (NSWDA), and allowed them to apply for a further £4.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This would have brought them close to the total needed to complete the refurbishment, however in November 2009 it was announced that their bid was unsuccessful.
Thanks to Blue for the organization..........
Thanks for looking
I wanted to visit the building for more than two years, but I was never before in the area of this country. And I would probably not flew there this summer, if would not have been reports that the building is to be restored soon. Meanwhile, I doubt this message; but at least the rumor has had the consequence, finally to realize the visit.
Currently, the former casino can only be visited with permission. Even at night a guard was present.
The building was commissioned around 1900 and it was built between 1904-1910. Because maintaining was too expensive, the casino closed in 1990.
Allegedly, already in 2013 the EU has approved 10 million € for the renovation. If this is true, it is surprising that nothing has happened within the last three years. I asked the town council by email whether there are plans for a renovation in the near future, but I'm still waiting for an answer.
West Park was a nice site, but every man and his dog knew about it and the same shots used to get taken time and again. Reaperman (of http://abandoned-britain.com/ ) and I decided to do a night visit at a time when the place was extremely popular, and use it more as an experimenting ground for natural and artificially lit shots. Our aim wasn't to cover much ground, but to take shots until they came out right!
It was a good experience and co-ordinating the lighting was good fun. Simply lit with torches and 2 coloured gels.