The Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust today received the news that they had been awarded £123, 312 from Historic England towards the repair of the historic fibrous plaster ceiling in the Winter Gardens. This is 80 per cent of the overall costs and the Trust are optimistic that the additional £30,000 will be forthcoming from other sources. This brings the total raised by the new management of the Winter Gardens up to £250,000 in the past six months.
The money will cover the cost of project management, structural surveys, repair of the missing and damaged fibrous plaster tiles at the back of the upper gallery known locally as ‘The Gods’. The funding will start the process of bringing the auditorium back to its full capacity as it currently operates at 700 with the final goal being to restore to its original 2500. The plasterwork is part of the most impressive features of the interiors, commissioned and designed by Dean and Co of Birmingham, and one of the most significant factors in its Grade 2* listing. The fragility of the plaster has been one of the main reasons why the Trust has been operating a reduced event policy in order to understand the complexities of the repairs and the costs involved in a full renovation.
Auditorium theatre ceiling detail showing damage to plasterwork.
The photograph was taken by Alun Bull, Historic England