[Place Capital] to oversee restoration of [Morecambe’s Winter Gardens]

We’re excited to announce that we are project managing the restoration of Morecambe Winter Gardens. Along with lead architect Buttress we are aiming for target completion in 2027 as we oversee the latest phase of the restoration of the spectacular Grade II* listed building.

The ornate concert hall dates from 1897 and closed in 1977 after hosting everyone from Elgar to The Rolling Stones.

The main theatre at the Winter Gardens

In April 2023 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Cultural Development Fund awarded £2.3m to the Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust for the project. Now new restorative works are taking place that will improve amenities and increase the music venue’s capacity from 1,000 to 1,600.

Buttress Architects were appointed for the feasibility study that secured funding, and a conservation plan, survey and masterplan for the future of the building.

The building’s old electrical system will be rewired, with accessible lift, AV and lighting equipment added. The funds will also go towards an acoustic shell for the building’s fly-tower.  

The end goal, with further funding, is for Morecambe Winter Gardens to become a 2,300-capacity music venue within three years.  

The next step in realising this ambition includes a further planning application submitted in Spring 2024 for a two-storey extension and improvements to the building’s fly tower.  Subject to planning, this has a provisional start-on-site timeframe of Autumn 2024.

Projects Director, Eleanor Binns (PCG), and lead architect, Stephen Anderson (Buttress Architects), discussing the renovation works at the Winter Gardens

Buttress Director, Stephen Anderson, said: “We are excited to be further progressing the restoration of this historic venue of great importance to the people of Morecambe. We will continue to work with the trust and its partners to support them through the planning process and deliver a landmark venue.”

The trust’s Chair, Prof Vanessa Toulmin of the University of Sheffield, said: “The Winter Gardens has been a sleeping beauty for over 40 years. It’s a building that is central to Morecambe’s regeneration. It shows us that we not just have a past but that we have a future.

“We have a wonderful architect in Buttress and the project manager Place Capital Group has been fantastic in their support for us.”

Project Director of PCG Eleanor Binns said: “I’m looking forward to delivering this infrastructure scheme, it’s part of the journey to recreating this fantastic space for the trust and ultimately for the local community.”

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