King's Award for Voluntary Service: Morecambe Winter Gardens team honoured
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This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.
The Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust Limited is a registered charity completely volunteer run with no paid staff.
With a board of trustees drawn from the local community and more than 45 volunteers, they operate and restore the Grade II* listed theatre.
Currently on the Buildings at Risk Register, it is one of the premier examples of Victorian seaside architecture but was left neglected and closed for many decades.
Saved by the preservation trust and the former Friends of the Winter Gardens, the building is under restoration, with funding from Historic England, Theatres Trust and DCMS Arts Council.
Over the past three years £4.6m has been raised towards the restoration and revitalisation of the venue.
Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust is one of 262 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.
Their work, along with others from across the UK, is a reminder of all the ways fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them.
The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, the King emphasised his desire to continue the award.
Recipients are announced annually on November 14, the King’s birthday.
Representatives of Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust will receive the award crystal and certificate from Amanda Parker, Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire. In addition, two trust volunteers will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May and June 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s award.
Chair Prof Vanessa Toulmin, professor at the University of Sheffield, said: “I am delighted that our volunteer group’s hard work in helping bring new life to Morecambe Winter Gardens has been recognised.
"The commitment of the volunteers in helping raise vital funds for the regeneration of the venue, assisting with restoration work and helping open the building to the people of Morecambe and visitors to the town has been outstanding.”