Plans revealed to restore front of Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

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Plans have been unveiled to upgrade a key part of the Winter Gardens as part of a multi million pound scheme to improve town centre streets in Blackpool.

 

If it gets the go ahead, the scheme will see the Empress Buildings restored close to their original state with the installation of new shopfronts on the ground floor.

Resort-based architect Joseph Boniface has drawn up the proposals which aim to unify the appearance of the landmark which overlooks St John’s Square.

Documents submitted with a planning application for the project say: “The application seeks to unify the existing ground level facade of the Grade II* listed building fronting onto St John’s Square.

The Empress BuildingsThe Empress Buildings

“Currently, there are a number of different styles erected during the last few decades across the frontage resulting in an untidy appearance.

“The new shopfronts will be hardwood timber framed and designed and constructed in a traditional style relevant to the period.”

The new shopfronts will feature stained glass windows and a retractable awning, and have been designed in consultation with the council and the current occupiers of each unit.

Timber work will be finished in exterior wood rosewood stain to match the recently refurbished finish of the woodwork to the adjacent Olympia Building.

The Empress Buildings were constructed in 1894 as four bays set either side of a wide central bay which formerly contained an arched entrance to the Empress Ballroom.

Funding for the work has come from the council’s £7.84m Quality Corridors project which is funded through the Growth Deal.

The plans will now be considered by the council at a future date.