Blackpool Council acquired the Grade II* listed Winter Gardens in 2010 following many years of decline and deterioration under private ownership. The council has ambitious plans to develop the complex as an economically sustainable mixed-use development which retains live performance and conferencing at its core, but includes complimentary leisure, hotel and catering functions. Situated in Blackpool’s town centre, the Winter Gardens is at the heart of Blackpool’s ongoing regeneration programme. Bennetts Associates was engaged to develop a masterplan for the site and to enable an agreement to be reached between stakeholders such as English Heritage and the Theatres Trust over its future.
The proposals were based on the principles of new Planning and the Historic Environment legislation which included a detailed significance assessment as well as economic viability studies.