Final bid to transform Morecambe's historic Queen's Market

The man behind the restoration of Morecambe’s historic Queen’s Market is making a final bid to see his dreams for it come true.

By Louise Bryning
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 3:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st July 2022, 10:04 am

After six years of single-handedly restoring the former 1895 market hall, Nick Smith can no longer afford to continue and is making one last attempt to garner support for the Community Interest Company (CIC) which he set up to help develop the building.

Recently, he held another open weekend at the premises, which once housed the Palladium Cinema before being converted into Crystal T’s nightclub and a squash club in the 1980s. Both were closed by 2008.

Nick’s vision would see the building converted into a food hall, a science and education experience, and ideas café for young people.

Nick Smith, owner of Queen's Market in Morecambe.

He estimates such a proposal would cost £1m and create employment for almost 80 people as well as opening up opportunities for many more.

“I want to connect out of the box thinkers who don’t fit into the education system,” said Nick.

“I believe that this project is more important for the people of Morecambe than the Eden Project.“

Nick’s goal for the CIC is enabling ambitious opportunities and unlocking talent.

Inside Queen's Market.

“The reason that talent is so important to me is because of the struggles that I have had in my life being both dyslexic and dyscalculic,” he said.

If successful, the redeveloped Queen’s Market would generate income to be re-invested into the CIC and possibly other projects.

Recently, Nick has created an office space in the building and installed shop fronts in the Back Crescent Street side of the site. He hopes to move onto the Victoria Street shop fronts soon.

He’s also in the process of launching a fundraising venture which would see supporters donating money to have their names written on the ground floor ceiling of the building with the aim of breaking a world record at the same time.

Inside Queen's Market.

Nick is hoping that a significant investor/s will come forward too so he doesn’t have to let the building commercially.

“I am determined not to let the ethos of the project be lost,” he said. “If funds were available today, it could be ready to open fully as soon as planning permission is granted.”

Anyone interested in supporting the Queen’s Market plan can contact Nick via https://www.facebook.com/AlbertHall1895

Inside Queen's Market.
The partially restored interior of the Queen's Market in Morecambe.
Ongoing restoration work at Queen's Market in Morecambe.