Morecambe Winter Gardens.
Morecambe Winter Gardens.

Behind the scenes as Morecambe's Winter Gardens restoration work continues

Work to bring Morecambe's historic Winter Gardens theatre back to its former glory is continuing at pace - with potatoes even being used as part of the painstaking process.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 3:45 pm

It is hoped work will be complete in time for the Grade 2* listed theatre to open for Easter.

More than £1m has already been spent on the restoration work in the last 12 months, with work including repairs to the roof, steel structure and plasterwork, as well as replacing stolen lead from the roof with a different material.

A box has also been replaced thanks to an Historic England grant - and the unusual use of potatoes to smooth out the plasterwork.

Prof Vanessa Toulmin, chair of Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust, said she is pleased with the progress being made.

"We have still got a long way to go, but the latest work is progressing well and.this work will future proof the building," Prof Toulmin said. "We have a very detailed schedule and by the time we are finished the whole infrastructure of the ground floor will be done.

"We are continuing our pledge to the people of Morecambe that the Winter Gardens will be a jewel in the crown of the region.

"The support we get from our national funders demonstrates the support for the Winter Gardens as a national treasure."

This year marks the theatre's 125th anniversary, with plans already being drawn up for the summer - and it is hoped work will be finished ready for the theatre to reopen at Easter.

Between April and October 2021 - when the theatre was permitted to be open during the pandemic - around 11,000 visitors went through its doors, and it is hoped people will flock to the venue to see its renovation work this spring.

"We are hoping to get the support of the people of Morecambe as much as we have had recently," Prof Toulmin added.

"We aim to have the Winter Gardens as an all year round venue.

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