Be part of Winter Gardens revival

The Floral Hall in the Winter Gardens and (below) Coun David Owen.

The Floral Hall in the Winter Gardens and (below) Coun David Owen.

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WE need you! Residents are being offered the chance to play a part in the restoration of the Winter Gardens.

A charitable trust has already been set up to raise funds to secure the future of the landmark, but now more people are being urged to come on board.

Coun David Owen

Coun David Owen

The trust is looking for people with established skills and experience in areas like fund-raising, volunteer organisation, finance and business administration.

Trust chairman Coun David Owen told The Gazette: “It’s really important we get people from all walks of life who can bring something real to the board.

“We want people willing to get their hands dirty and help build a sustainable future for the organisation.

“The trust needs to be independent of the council but be able to offer support and advice with projects and offer a dialogue between the public and the council on changes and public access.”

Since the trust was set up a year ago, the council has been working to agree a support package which includes office accommodation.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and culture, said: “Clearly we want to support the trust but feel it’s more appropriate to do this through provision of accommodation and IT rather than capital funding, particularly given the current economic situation.

“We want the building to be better understood by the public and for them to have as much access to the building as possible and the trust will help us move that agenda forward by providing information and advocacy.”

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A number of fund-raising events are already in the pipeline over the coming months and include the second annual dinner on Thursday October 25 in the Floral Hall.

Autumn will see torchlight tours take place on October 29, 30 and 31 when guides will tell ghost stories and take visitors to usually inaccessible areas such as the cellars.

November 10 sees the Big Divali Party in the Spanish Hall on a Bollywood theme, while on the same day a craft fair will be held in the Coronation Street entrance to the building.

Anyone interested in applying to become a trustee should email thewintergardenstrust@gmail.com or write to: The Winter Gardens Trust, 81 Central, 81-77 Church Street, Blackpool FY1 1HU.

The closing date for applications is October 5 with interviews for trustees taking place on October 18 and 19.

There are also plans to launch a membership scheme for the Friends of the Winter Gardens which will be launched early next year.

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