Historic Blackpool seafront gem gets special heritage protection

The Cabin Lift
The Cabin Lift
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Steps have been taken to preserve a historic feature of Blackpool's seafront which has been largely unused for forty years.

The Grade II listed Cabin Lift on Queen's Promenade in North Shore was built to transport visitors from the top of the cliffs to attractions on the lower promenade.

But apart from a short time when the lift equipment was replaced in 1991, it has been closed since 1979.

Now council heritage chiefs have formally approved a conservation statement for the structure which could open the door to attracting external funding for its restoration.

The Cabin Lift was completed in 1930 and designed by then Blackpool borough surveyor John Charles Robinson. However it was forced to shut after many years use due to cliff subsidence.

It reopened for only two seasons after replacement of the lift equipment in 1991, and became a listed building in 2010.

Currently it is rented to the owner of the go-kart track which operates in the former boating pool on that part of the lower promenade, but it is vacant.

A council report says adopting the conservation statement will make it easier to consider future options for the use of the building.

It adds: "The Cabin Lift was closed in 1979, following cliff subsidence, and it has experienced long periods of inactivity since that time, being reopened for only two seasons after replacement of the lift equipment in 1991.

"While returning the lift to its original function remains a possibility, thoughts can be given towards new uses, in the event this becomes unviable."

The conservation statement would also make it easier to apply for grants from organisations such as the Heritage Lottery Fund.

In 2012 funding of £11,000 from council ward budgets was used to repair the roof, but in 1981 councillors were warned it would cost around £250,000 to get the lift operational again - a figure which will have now risen.