Our Restoration

Follow our restoration as the work is progressing

We are indebted to the following funders who have provided generous grants to allow this restoration work to take place

Historic England for repairs to our historic fibrous plaster ceiling £335,000. Total cost was £388.000 with additional money coming from other sources including the Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust Limited.

The Coastal Communities Fund for our new heating £96,550

The Architectural Heritage Fund for matching our Crowdfunder for the new heating £25,000

Everyone who generously donated to our new heating Crowdfunder £27,000

Theatres Trust for our Governance Review £22,000

We are very grateful to these companies and people who have carried out work for us

Hayles and Howe Limited of Bristol who made and installed the new ceiling panels and carried out repairs to our historic fibrous plaster ceiling

Bay Building Services Limited of Morecambe who installed the new heating system

Clarkson Electrical Solutions Limited of Carnforth who installed the electrical work for the new heating system

Jane Entwistle Technical Director & Conservation Accredited Engineer from Thomasons, Manchester

We would  also thank the Advisory Committee for the Heating – Malcolm O’Neil, Adrian Toulmin, Paul Anderton and Tom Brown, Lancaster City Council and the Winter Gardens Restoration and Maintenance Team for supporting work and joinery

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Preparing to inspect the ceiling - October 2020

The view from the spider is something not seen for many decades in the theatre

See 360 degree views of the auditorium

Click or touch ▶️ on the image to play then click or touch to rotate the view

The top of the ceiling had to be cleaned before repairs could commence - October / November 2020

You can see the team who carried out the work. More than half a ton of dust and debris was removed. A  page from the Huddersfield Examiner dated 12 June 1897 was found above the ceiling.

More preparations before repairs to the ceiling could commence - February 2021

The spider was again needed for this. Temporary supports were put in for the Grand Staircase ceiling. Damaged plaster was removed.

Work to install our new heating system for the ground floor - February / March 2021

The first time in over 40 years that the theatre has had proper heating in it.

Making new ceiling panel sections from casts taken from the originals - February to April 2021

You can see just how large the main panels are from the man lying on them.

The last eight images show the process of taking a cast to make a replacement for the damaged feature.

Repairs to the ceiling supports in "The Gods" - May 2021

A fire damaged the ceiling in the 1940’s and was never repaired. It was just covered over. Now a new framework has been constructed to hold the replacement ceiling panels.

Starting the ceiling repairs - May 2021

Many of the existing hemp rope supports (over 1,000 of them) for the ceiling are being reinforced with steel wires, then wrapped in hemp. Then plaster is applied. This is the same method used to construct the ceiling originally. Every repair has a red tag and number attached to it.

The main part of the auditorium ceiling has had all the holes and other damage repaired using the spider. This is where you can see all the white areas.

Repairs to the ceiling to the front right of the auditorium - May to August 2021

The ceiling here was badly damaged when water got into the building many years ago.

Repairs to the ceiling in "The Gods" - May to August 2021

Here you can see the new panels being installed in “The Gods”. The panels are so large they have to be joined together in sections.

Repairs to the ceiling in "The Gods" completed - September 2021

Now the scaffolding has been removed the repairs can be seen in full.

Further updates will appear here as our five year restoration plan continues . . . . .