Winter Gardens in ‘at risk’ shock

AT RISK: The Winter Gardens.

AT RISK: The Winter Gardens.

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THE historic Blackpool Winter Gardens remains officially “at risk” on a national register of endangered heritage sites published today.

But its inclusion means more than £1m could be further invested in the ailing structure.

AT RISK: The Rotunda and dome at the Winter Gardens.

AT RISK: The Rotunda and dome at the Winter Gardens.

In spite of a £1.25m overhaul by owners Blackpool Council this year, the Grade II listed building is still described by English Heritage as being in a “poor condition”.

However its status has improved from last year’s as “slow decay/no solution agreed” to “under repair”.

The Industrial Heritage At Risk Register 2011 also identifies the Winter Gardens as a top 10 priority site in the North West for further investment focus.

Henry Owen-John, planning director for English Heritage North West, said: “It’s actually good news because it means a significant amount of funding from us. “Initially that could be less than £1m but could creep above.”

Carl Carrington, built heritage manager for Blackpool Council, added: “We fully support the findings of the report. “It highlights Blackpool is still in need of support and resources and we know there are still undiscovered treasures. We now have an exceptional relationship with English Heritage.”

Three other local buildings registered as at risk include Lytham Hall, Blackpool Synagogue, Leamington Road, and Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, Whinney Heys Road, Blackpool.

See tomorrow’s Gazette for a special report into the Winter Gardens regeneration.