Officials at Lowther Pavilion are celebrating after planning permission was granted for the theatre’s multi-million pound refurbishment.
Work on the three-phase development intended to be ready to mark the Lytham venue’s centenary in 2021 is set to start next summer and the managing Lowther Trust is currently sourcing funding for the £5.5m project.
The Love Lowther public appeal which was launched when the plans were first announced in 2015 is still ongoing and grant cash applications are being made to help foot the rest of the bill.
Phase one of the refurbishment. hoped to begin in July, will include the foyer becoming open plan with views over the adjoining Lowther Gardens, a rooftop restaurant, tourist information centre and new-look café facilities. It will also see the implementation of full disabled access.
Trust chairman Tim Lince said: “It has been a long journey but a very interesting one as it has allowed the Trust to work with the community in developing the best scheme possible for the building.
“Each of the public consultations we have held have encouraged us to re-examine design features and shape the path that the Trust took.
“It has been amazing how much support there has been from the local community as well as visitors from further afield. This is a tremendous opportunity for the community to provide a legacy for future generations.
“The £5.5m total cost of the refurbishment is about a tenth of the cost of building a new facility from scratch and the public have been so generous in helping us achieve the £500,000 that has been spent so far.
“Our aim has always been to unify the design of the building which had suffered from many disparate extensions and our designers at Creative Sparc were keen to make sure that the refurbished building should be respectful to the local environment, the seaside location and the gardens.
“With the support of the community, everything is achievable.”.