Winter Gardens scaffolding to be finally removed on facade opposite new Backlot Cinema
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Scaffolding is set to be removed from part of the Winter Gardens after being in place for several years due to damaged masonry on the Victorian landmark.
It is proposed to replace the scaffolding along Coronation Street with specialist netting which will improve the look of the building, make the pavement more accessible for pedestrians and prevent any debris from falling.
Blackpool Council, which owns the Winter Gardens, has applied for listed building consent for the work. That part of the complex overlooks the new Backlot Cinema which is due to open in time for Easter and is expected to increase footfall on Coronation Street.
Repairs are still needed to the decorative facade of the Winter Gardens but no firm plans are yet in place for the work because external funding has not been found. A specialist contractor would be appointed to fit the netting which according to the applicant “would have minimal visual impact and have the ability to prevent debris from falling from the façade”.
The netting would be installed with steel wires and screws into the mortar joints. Documents accompanying the application added: “The Coronation Street elevation is in poor condition; a scaffolding crash deck has been installed over the pavement following a fall of masonry.
“Repairs are required to preserve the historic fabric both of the decorative faience work and the structural frame behind. Elements of the weatherproofing and rainwater disposal are at the end of their service life and require replacement.
“The project aims to remove street level scaffolding and install netting, improve the maintenance profile for this section of the building and conserve the traditional appearance by using compatible, durable materials wherever possible.”
The report adds the street-level scaffolding “has been in place for a number of years and is unpleasant to walk under, inevitably causes unwanted obstruction on the pavement for pedestrians and forms a negative aesthetic appearance against the listed building façade.”
It is proposed the netting would stretch along the full length of the Winter Gardens on Coronation Street apart from the main entrance, covering the facades above the level of the shop units below. Parts of the building on Adelaide Street and Carter Street would also be included.