Frontierland site fencing 'biggest blot' on Morecambe Prom from Heysham to Happy Mount Park

Morrisons supermarket - which owns the former Frontierland site on Morecambe Prom - has come under fire for failing to maintain and improve the look of its perimeter fence.

Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 4:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 4:29 pm

In a letter to Morrisons, which has a store behind the site in Hilmore Way, Morecambe Town Councillor Jim Pilling said the business had a moral obligation to improve the look of the blue fencing.

He said: "The people of Morecambe have had to suffer the carbuncle that is Frontierland for over 20 years.

"During this time, Morrisons have made a lot of money from these people, many of whom will have to pass the site when using your store.

The blue hoarding has been part of the promenade street scene for many years.
The blue hoarding has been part of the promenade street scene for many years.

"Along the whole seafront, from Heysham down to Happy Mount Park, this is by far the biggest blot on the landscape.

"You have a moral obligation to put this right, especially in a time when there are exciting developments planned for the town."

This week, Morecambe artist Bob Pickersgill installed a mural on the blue hoarding in tribute to Morecambe actress and comedian Dame Thora Hird.

Coun Pilling said this was the kind of thing Morrisons should consider funding to brighten up the fencing.

Blue hoarding surrounds the former Frontierland site in Morecambe.

Bob said: "When I did the Auntie Wainwright shop at 190 Euston Road at Christmas lots of folk on Facebook suggested I did a painting on the Frontierland hoardings to make the place look better and raise awareness of the mess that is there.

"I thought about this and I knew there was a wish for Thora Hird to be recognised along with Eric Morecambe.

"This I did and fixed it yesterday.

"I realise this is only temporary.

One of the fence panels had fallen onto the pavement last week.

"And a poster will be put by the side of my painting to try to raise money for that."

Last year, Morecambe Town Council said it would conduct a feasibility study into purchasing the former Frontierland site - which closed in 1999 - and developing it for leisure purposes.

The council said this could include compulsory purchase of the site from Morrisons.

The new Thora Hird mural, by Bob Pickersgill.

Read the story HERE.Coun Pilling added in his letter to Morrisons: "No doubt, for business reasons, you have decided to hold onto the land as it is until a final decision has been made on the Eden Project, but surely, in the interim, you should take steps to make the very visible perimeter fence look much more attractive.

"As you know, it is located on a very visible part of the town, and the visual impact for both residents and visitors creates a very negative impression.

"At the very least, you should consider brightening up the perimeter fence, perhaps with suitable artwork.

"Morrisons are the landowners and are the ones who have the responsibility to the residents (many of whom are your customers) and the visitors to show off our town in the best possible light."

Site developers Opus North received planning permission for the £17m Bay Shopping Park on the site in 2014 but the plans came to nothing and expired in 2019.

In October the same year, Lancaster City Council issued a challenge to the site's owners to reveal plans for the site.

The Frontierland site lays derelict.

John O'Neill, manager of Morecambe BID, said: "Obviously Morecambe has been waiting for this issue to be long resolved, and we all thought it was a few years ago when planning permission was granted however market conditions change.

"Morecambe BID would love to see the site dedicated to leisure, whether it's in the form of hotel, entertainment and a conference centre, or an additional site for Eden-related activities but it's important the site doesn't sit empty for another five years.

"Given the pandemic we believe the site doesn't lend itself to more intensive retail but my feeling is that we'll definitely see movement once Eden gets funding from the government."

Morrisons has been contacted for comment, but has so far not responded.