New-look Lowther unveiled

Revised plans for refurbishment of Lowther Pavilion
Revised plans for refurbishment of Lowther Pavilion
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Revised designs have been revealed for the proposed £5.25m redevelopment of Lowther Pavilion.

Architect Andy Wolfe has responded to public feedback invited after the plans were first unveiled last autumn with a look which pays great homage to the Lytham leisure hub’s natural surroundings.

A fund-raising campaign has already given the first phase of the three-phase plan a kick-start of more than £300,000 and it is intended that work will begin this summer.

The refurbishment of the West Beach venue will include a new-look foyer, with the hope that it will incorporate a tourist information centre, along with a host of other state-of-the-art facilities. with the aim that the three phases will be complete in time for Lowther’s centenary in 2021.

The opportunities to have names etched on glass and to buy seats in the new-look venue have promoted an enthusiastic response from local businesses and individuals. An anonymous £100,0o0 donation provided a major boost to the fund - entitled Love Lowther – and proceeds from a concert by the band Collabro last week raised £9.500.

Another fundraising event this evening will feature the Blackpool Variety branch of Equity giving a performance. Johnnie Casson heads the bill with Corolynn May, Ken Morrell, Mike Sears, Brian Sefton and the Suzanne Roberts Dancers also performing and Des Day compere

The new look was unveiled at an opening evening this week and will again be on show at an open morning being held at Lowther on Saturday, March 5.

Andy, of Lytham-based Creative SPARC, said: “The latest designs are an evolution of the original concept design proposals, which respond to the more detailed design brief that has now been developed and consider the feedback received via the previous public consultation events and other discussions.

“The principles of the design remain the same; to create a series of open plan and flexible internal spaces that better connect and respond to the special context of Lowther gardens that the theatre sits within.

“The use of materials to emphasise this connection has now been further explored with Corten steel cladding and a cobble stone plinth included in addition to the timber cladding which will remain untreated to naturally silver, forming the proposed new facade treatment.

“All of these materials have a strong connection to the site and its proximity to the coastline by referencing driftwood, rusted metal objects and cobble stones which can often be found washed up on the beach in Lytham.

“There is also a link to the fishing and cockling industries historically based in Lytham, the rusting equipment of which can still be seen in use on the beach today.

“Other design ideas currently being explored include cutting the ‘band of names’ of donors into the Corten steel panels as well as on the building’s glazing, which along with larger Corten panels featuring artwork and designs would be backlit so as to appear to glow in the evening and be a feature within the gardens.

“Historic references are also being included such as maintaining the use of the ‘Lowther’ yellow as a feature colour throughout the designs and the stronger curve included to the glazed foyer roof as a modern interpretation of the large arched window found on the original Pavilion’s front elevation. These designs will continue to be developed over the coming weeks and months and we’re really looking forward to continuing to work on this very exciting project.”

Lowther general manager Roger McCann said: “I’m really pleased about the way Andy has incorporated elements of the beach into the designs. He has also been very keen to reflect the history of the Pavilion – there’s almost nothing of the original left but he’s managed to pay homage to what was there in 1921 and also to incorporate the pebbles that dominate the architecture of the town.”