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Morecambe Winter Gardens

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Morecambe Winter Gardens

The Winter Gardens
Exterior of the Winter Gardens in Morecambe, December 2009
The exterior of the Winter Gardens in December 2009, taken from the promenade.
Address Marine Road Central
City Morecambe

54°04′20″N 2°52′16″W / 54.07211°N 2.87102°W / 54.07211; -2.87102Coordinates: 54°04′20″N 2°52′16″W / 54.07211°N 2.87102°W / 54.07211; -2.87102

Designation Listed Building Grade II*
Architect Mangnall and Littlewood
Owned by The Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust Ltd
Opened 1897
Closed 1977
Other names Victoria Pavilion Theatre
Current use Under restoration

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,[1] and a campaign for its restoration has been ongoing since 1986.


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.[2][3][4]

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.[1] 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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]


External links

  • Detailed historical record about Morecambe Winter Gardens

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