On Air Now


6:00am - 10:00am

Now Playing

Mumford & Sons

I Will Wait

Work to begin on restoring Morecambe Winter Gardens floor after £45,000 target reached

The team at the Morecambe Winter Gardens are delighted after they reached a £45,000 fundraising target to restore the theatre foyer's mosaic floor.

Work will now begin on the full restoration of the amazing foyer tiles, ceramic floor and features inside the Grade II* listed venue on October 23.

The theatre raised the money through an online funding campaign and received money from a grant, tombola, cake sales, donations and events including a stand-up comedy night by Lancaster-born TV comedian Jon Richardson.

The cash raised enabled the Winter Gardens to match-fund a £2.8m grant they received from the government and is a major boost towards a five-year plan to restore the building as a fully-open working theatre.

Years of neglect, vandalism and damage have meant the foyer floor has to be covered and protected, with fears that it would sustain more damage unless the work was carried out swiftly.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, chair of the Winter Gardens Preservation Trust who own the building, thanked all friends, supporters and lovers of the Winter Gardens for backing the campaign through the online fundraising platform Spacehive.

Here is Professor Vanessa pictured with the designer and TV personality Wayne Hemingway after the theatre was named one of the best British seaside places and experiences earlier this year

"We have just received official notification from Spacehive today that we have reached our target," said Professor Toulmin on Tuesday.

"A special thanks to all our donors and each and everyone of you has received a personal thanks from the Winter Gardens.

"We are delighted that we have reached our target of £45,000 for the cost of our beautiful mosaic floor and the work will start on the 23rd October with updates posted regularly.

"The funding was achieved through individual donors, over 170 of them from all over the UK, with many of them having a strong love or association with our beautiful building.

"We reached our target through a major grant from the Pilgrim Trust which was a highly competitive two process application but one that we felt strongly matched the criteria of this wonderful charity.

"We must also thank our dedicated volunteers who raised over £5,000 through a Teddy Tombola, cake sales, fundraising events and just spreading the word locally and going door to door.

"Also the team from St John's Hospice and Jon Richardson for the wonderful event that raised £3650 towards our target.

"This £45,000 was the final piece in the £400,000 we had to raise to match our £2.8m pound grant from DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and the Arts Council and we are delighted that we have achieved this target, the only volunteer-run organisation to do so.

"So we will continue to fundraise for our theatre, we will continue to restore and bring it back to life for the people of Morecambe, Lancashire and the North West and beyond and of course for future generations to enjoy the glory of what is without doubt one of the jewels of Morecambe.

"Thank you so much as well to the local businesses that supported us, The Inn Collective, Morecambe BID, Silverdale Seaview Holidays and all those individuals who contributed from £5 to £3000, and thank you Elsie Kennedy and Mike Peel for your generosity.

"We look forward to welcoming you back into the Winter Gardens next Easter and you will be invited to a special preview of the newly restored floor and also the new staging which we hope to have in place.

"I am so proud to be part of something special for my hometown and overwhelmed by the support of all. Next time you see this entrance this will be uncovered and the full glory will be revealed."

The 125-year-old theatre closed in 1977 but has been able to open regularly in recent years thanks to the restoration efforts of volunteers.

The Winter Gardens team aim to increase the theatre capacity, first to 1200, then to 1600, enabling the venue to attract big-name live music acts.

Professor Vanessa was born in Morecambe into a travelling show family who worked on the Winter Gardens fairground. She is also the Director of City and Culture at the University of Sheffield.

Read more: "One last push" to raise funds for historic Morecambe Winter Gardens floor - Beyond Radio

FEATURE: Morecambe Winter Gardens launch crowdfunder for foyer restoration - Beyond Radio

INTERVIEW: Winter Gardens chair aims for venue to become "biggest between Preston and Cumbria" - Beyond Radio

More from Local News

Recently Played Songs

  • 8:16am

    I Will Wait

    Mumford & Sons

  • 8:10am

    Silent Night


  • 8:07am


    Thuli Cox