Category Archives: Winter Gardens

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens reopening date confirmed after months of closure

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The Winter Gardens has developed a new socially distanced spring programme

Winter Gardens Blackpool
Winter Gardens Blackpool (Image: Submitted)

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens is set to welcome visitors once more as preparations get underway to reopen its doors.

Plans have been revealed for the reopening, which has been confirmed to take place on Monday (May 17).

It means the public will be able to enjoy the iconic building once more, after months of lockdown restrictions which left the building closed since the November lockdown.

The Box Office and Mazzei Cafe are set to reopen on Monday, along with The Old Victoria Bar featuring live entertainment daily.

Bosses have also confirmed that live socially distanced events will return from May 30 including comedy, live music, family shows and more, while venue tours will return from June 1.

The Winter Gardens has developed a new socially distanced spring programme featuring a wide range of events including family favourites the Twirlywoo’s and Alice in Wonderland.

A range of live comedy events are set to be held from May 30, including Jongulers presenting Laugh Out Loud which will feature Shaun Williamson, Bobby Davro and Billy Pearce, followed in June by Britain’s Got Talent winner Jon Courtenay with his first live appearance since being crowned champion.

The Old Victoria Bar, formally Gillow’s, will feature live entertainment throughout the day and will offer a wide selection of drinks and classic pub food.

Over in the Mazzei Café, packages including afternoon tea are available to pre-book on the venue’s website.

Closed for more than 12-months, a Box Office counter service reopens from 11am on Monday, allowing customers to book in person. The box office will be open daily from 11am – 3pm.

Bosses have confirmed that there will be a return to capacity events in-line with the governments roadmap from June.

To mark this, there will be the return of Blackpool Rocks, Strictly Come Dancing The Professionals, Classic Northern Soul Night, Six The Musical and more.

Michael Williams, Managing Director, said: “It will be a huge relief to reopen the doors and welcome people back inside the Winter Gardens Blackpool, after a most challenging 12 months. Everyone at the venue has worked tirelessly to open at the earliest opportunity with a fantastic programme of live events.

“I believe that Blackpool is set for a bumper summer and we are ready to play an integral role in welcoming visitors safely from across the UK and play our part in the recovery of tourism in Blackpool.”

The Winter Gardens has been awarded the Visit England “We’re good to go” Industry Standard. This confirms that the Winter Gardens Blackpool meets the Government and Public Health Guidance on COVID-19 measures being in place to ensure a safe visit for guests.

The venue also has its own ‘Safe and Sound’ campaign in place which will see the introduction of a wide range of new policies to ensure the safety of its guests.

The new ‘Safe and Sound’ plans include the limiting of capacity with unoccupied seating between groups, temperature checks on arrival and contactless experiences amongst a range of new and enhanced policies.

Here is exactly what you can expect s the Winter Gardens reopens its doors:

Mazzei Café

The Mazzei Café will reopen on Monday, May 17 from 11am – 3pm.

Thereafter open daily excluding Monday and Fridays until June 21 when it will be open 7-days a week.

Afternoon Tea is available to pre order now.

Box Office

Counter service from the Church Street box office returns from Monday, May 17.

Open 7-days from 11am until 3pm.

The Old Victoria Bar

The Old Victoria Bar will reopen on Saturday, May 22 from 11am featuring live entertainment throughout the day.

Thereafter open weekends until June 21 when it will be open 7-days a week.

Socially Distanced events

A wide range of Live socially distanced events return from May 30 including comedy, family shows and live music all adhering to all government guidelines including social distancing.

For further information, tickets and to make bookings or reservations visit www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk.

Blackpool Winter Gardens vaccine hub to close during the summer

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Around 28,000 vaccinations have been carried out at the Winter Gardens.

A waiting area at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool
A waiting area at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool

Medics plan to close the Winter Gardens as a mass vaccination hub during the summer as more of the population receive their Covid jab.

The centre, which opened in January, is expected to shut at the end of July with the hub at Blackpool Victoria Hospital remaining as the town’s mass vaccination site.

By then it is expected all adults will have had a vaccine.

Jane Scattergood, Covid-19 Vaccination Director for Lancashire and South Cumbria said: “Alongside the NHS, staff and volunteers at Blackpool Winter Gardens have played a pivotal role in vaccinating tens of thousands of people in our community.

“From the end of July, those eligible will be able to get their lifesaving Covid jab from other sites in the area including the local hospital hub, their GP practice or community pharmacy.”

So far around 28,000 vaccinations have been carried out at the Winter Gardens.

Nicki Latham, deputy chief executive at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, told a meeting of the board the vaccination programme had been a great success, including in prompting more people to want to work for the NHS.

She said: “As a region we are quite a way ahead of other regions in our implementation of this.

“We did experience a shortage of supply but we are now back up to speed on that as we go forward.

“We are going to stand down the Winter Gardens but we are going to continue with the Trust as a hub.

“That hub will be for both staff and citizens, and not all Trusts have been as flexible so again we have a positive by being so flexible around that.

“A number of the vaccinators that went to the Winter Gardens have really got the NHS bug, whether they are retire and returnees, or they are new people coming into the NHS.

“So we have had quite a substantial interest around training as health care assistants and wanting to come and work in the Trust.”

Ms Latham added the whole adult population was expected to have received a vaccination by July 31, with over 50s likely to be invited for a third jab in September.

In the longer term, this could become ‘business as usual’, with the prospect of Covid and flu jabs being administered together, led by GP practices.

Work to transform and renovate Blackpool Winter Gardens begins

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The scheme is now underway after being delayed due to the Covid pandemic

Work at Blackpool Winter Gardens
Work at Blackpool Winter Gardens

Work has begun on a half a million pound project which includes restoring Victorian frontages at the Winter Gardens and bringing the town centre back to life with markets, workshops and even film screenings.

Blackpool Council was awarded £532,575 of government Heritage Action Zone funding, delivered through Historic England, last September aimed at revitalising the high street.

The scheme is now underway after being delayed due to the Covid pandemic and the first phase will see the refurbishment of five frontages near the Church Street entrance to the Grade II* listed Winter Gardens.

Further work later this year will include the replacement of shopfronts under the Empress Building with restored Victorian-style frontages in hardwood and stained glass.

Also included in the project is the restoration of the former Blacks store on Edward Street with timber shopfronts.

The interiors will be refitted to form three shops with flats above aimed at providing joint working and living spaces for creative businesses.

Premises at 28 Topping Street will be converted into a creative hub with retail space, a workshop and potential rehearsal space in the basement.

Funding has also been awarded towards a new footfall monitoring system, a study looking at mapping cultural resources, a review of the Town Centre Conservation Area’s public realm and to showcase art in empty shop windows.

The council has also received £85,000 for a programme of high street activity including markets, film screenings, workshops, performance commissions and activity themed around children.

Historic England hopes the funding will help protect some of Blackpool’s heritage gems.

It said: “Many of the historic buildings within the area are in a declining condition and there is a high vacancy rate which has led to a general dissatisfaction about what the centre has to offer people.”

The funding “will include a package of physical interventions to the Winter Gardens and other key buildings in the area.

“These works will be coupled with a community-led cultural programme to bring the high street back to life.

“This project aims to reinvigorate a sense of belonging in Blackpool’s town centre by engaging the local community with key cultural venues.”

Fatboy Slim to headline Blackpool Rocks festival in June as line-up announced

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“Over the years we have had some huge headliners, Disclosure, Annie Mac, Martin Garrix to name a few, but this headliner we have wanted for eight years.”

Blackpool Rocks at Blackpool winter gardens
Blackpool Rocks at Blackpool winter gardens

Confirmed last night (April 20), BBC Radio 1’s Danny Howard is set to present an amazing list of dance acts including Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook along with Danny making an DJ appearance himself.

The indoor event will be coming back to Winter Gardens on Saturday June 26 in line with Covid restrictions on live performances easing.

Other artists confirmed are Leeds-based house DJ Hot Since 82, music producer and DJ Maya Jane Coles, UK DJ ABSOLUTE. and BBC Radio 1’s Jaguar.

It’s been a tough year for festival organisers however co-founder of Blackpool Rocks and owner of Lancashire’s Marvin’s Bars, Alex Huckerby, is happy to bringing back live music, dancing and DJs to music lovers spending such a long time indoors.

Blackpool bar owner and events organiser Alex Huckerby and with radio 1 DJ Danny Howard
Blackpool bar owner and events organiser Alex Huckerby and with radio 1 DJ Danny Howard

He told Lancs Live: “Finally light at the end of the Covid tunnel! We just knew that it was only right to bring Blackpool rocks back to the Winter gardens in Blackpool!

“Over the years we have had some huge headliners Disclosure, Annie Mac, Martin Garrix to name a few.

“But this headliner we have wanted for eight years. To finally announce Fat Boy Slim as the Headliner of Blackpool Rocks is a dream.

“The full lineup is huge for our town and the four of us are extremely proud and excited to fill the Winter Gardens once more.”

Established in 2013, Blackpool Rocks has always been successful in bringing big name artists to the seaside town – from Martin Garrix to The 1975, not forgetting Craig David, Disclosure and Duke Dumont.

Its favourite venue, the Winter Gardens, has been awarded the ‘Good To Go’ industry standard by Visit England.

This means the establishment meets the Government and Public Health Guidance with COVID-19 measures being in place to ensure a safe visit for guests.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday April 23. You can sign up now for exclusive pre-sale access: here.