In Episode 10 of the High Point podcast, Vanessa Toulmin and Paul Anderton, members of Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust, take us through the history and plans of renovating of ‘The Albert Hall of the North’ which has hosted concerts from Elgar, Julie Andrews, The Who, and the Rolling Stones.
In its heyday, Morecambe Winter Gardens was a sparkling example of the entertainment venues that were the essence of British seaside towns. With lavish interiors and striking features, the original complex combined swimming baths, an aquarium, the winter gardens and restaurants. After a decline in British seaside holidays, by 1982 the whole complex was closed to the public.
The only part that still remains is the theatre, which dates back to 1897. With help from DCMS’s Culture Recovery Fund, the Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust and the dedicated group of volunteers are a step closer to achieving their aim: to fully restore and reopen the glorious Grade II building, so it can be at the heart of Morecambe once again.
With Vanessa and Paul, we discuss:
- The Legal issues the Trust encountered when taking ownership of the building.
- How covid affected the renovation process.
- Renovating a historical venue to accommodate modern equipment.
- Historical Performances.
- Raising £4.5 Million.
- How the Theatres Trust advised and continues to support them.
- The importance of building a community of Morecambe.
Find out more about Morecambe Winter Gardens on their website here.
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