Lowther Pavilion is getting set for the opening stage of an exciting new era.
The Lytham theatre is closed until early next month as builders moved onto the site for the first phase of the venue’s refurbishment.
The sprung maple floor which has long been a feature of the Pavilion has been carefully lifted and prepared for relaying and strengthening in the form of concrete supporting walls to prepare for the installation of new seats which will be in place in time for the performance of the play Ball of Fire on September 8.
New roofing is also being fitted over the barrel section of the building and restoration work being carried out to its central lantern ahead of the Pavilion’s reopening.
The new seating will feature much more raking and the opportunity is still available for supporters to buy a seat and have their name engraved on the back under the Love Lowther fund-raising scheme.
The current work is largely covered by a £123,000 grant from Fylde Council and private donations.
But the whole project is set to cost more than £5m and the Love Lowther scheme has generated more than £150,000 so far - including a contribution of £20,000 from St Annes-based Beaverbrooks jewellers which has been key to the current floor-strengthening work – as Lowther officials look to generate as much cash as possible towards the future phases of a comprehensive refurbishment which it is hoped will be completed in time for the venue’s centenary in 2021.
Trust representatives, including chairman Tim Lince, Rosie Withers and technical trustee Dan Creasey met architect Andy Wolfe, Lowther’s operations manager Iain Orr and representatives of builders Eclipse Developments this week to view progress and Rosie said: “It is incredibly exciting to be under way with the first phase of the development and refurbishment of Lowther.”
Tim said: “The strengthening of the floor was something that caught us quite unawares as this could have stopped the installation of the new seating.
“Beaverbrooks Charitable Trust came forward and through a generous donation of £20,000 we were able to programme the flooring and seating to be completed as part of phase one of the refurbishment.”
The work is being carried out under the guidance of Andy Wolfe of Lytham-based architects Creative SPARC,