£50k theatre boost will help repair roof

Winter Gardens bosses have been successful in a �50,000 bid for the historic Pavilion Theatre.
Winter Gardens bosses have been successful in a �50,000 bid for the historic Pavilion Theatre.

A £50,000 boost from the Government for Blackpool’s Winter Gardens has been welcomed.

The funding will help restore the complex’s historic Pavilion Theatre.

Managing director Michael Williams

Managing director Michael Williams

The 137-year-old theatre was placed on the Theatre’s Trust’s ‘At Risk’ register in 2014 – an indication of the vital need for investment to protect the venue’s long-term future.

Communities Minister Brandon Lewis announced the Pavilion Theatre – part of the world famous Grade II* Winter Gardens building – was among 77 projects across Great Britain to receive a share of £3m coastal revival funding.

Michael Williams, managing director of the Winter Gardens, said: “This is wonderful news and testament to the hard work done in putting together a compelling bid. It is also recognition of how vital such historic theatres as the Pavilion are.

“Although still a very beautiful and atmospheric place, the Pavilion is in need of significant repair and restoration.

Although still a very beautiful and atmospheric place, the Pavilion is in need of significant repair and restoration

“The roof needs attention to protect the interiors and this funding will ensure the works are completed as soon as possible to prevent any further issues.”

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This funding is a welcome boost towards our long-term aim of creating a museum for Blackpool which would be located in the Pavilion Theatre.

“Not only will the museum create a new tourist attraction to boost the Blackpool economy, it will also safeguard this beautiful theatre to ensure it continues to be used for decades to come.”

Created as a concert hall in 1878, the Pavilion was converted to a theatre in 1889. A major re-building took place in 1897, resulting in a splendidly opulent apsidal-ended music hall.

The beautiful plasterwork, designed by J M Boekbinder, was completed in 1904. In the 1920s it became a picture palace and by the 1950s was used for summer shows.

Household names such as Morecambe and Wise and Tommy Cooper performed there.

Blackpool Council is currently formulating plans for a multi-million pound, interactive heritage museum – situated within the Pavilion – which will tell the story of how Blackpool became one of the world’s biggest tourist resorts.