Morecambe’s turbulent past
During its time, Morecambe was a thriving tourist spot, attracting many investments, businesses and events such as being home to Miss Great Britain between 1950s and 1980s.
Like many other seaside towns, Morecambe fell victim to the increased affordability and possibility of travelling overseas for the holidays and fell into disrepair throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Morecambe’s decline caused the town to lose a vast majority of its tourism infrastructure and caused many areas of the city to go into disrepair and poverty.
Even in the 2000s the town was often a subject of scrutiny and was consistently deemed ‘’a place to avoid’’. Many of the former guest houses were repurposed as low-quality multi-occupancy accommodation.
Bay Tourism Association
In 2010 Bay Tourism Association along with the Morecambe’s tourism organisations and hospitality businesses joined forces in order to capitalise on the natural beauty of the Morecambe Bay and bring much needed tourism revenue back to the town.
‘’“From a tourism point of view, Morecambe will be a vibrant resort providing facilities needed in the 21st century. Much of the traditional B & B product will have been replaced by quality graded hotels, guest accommodation and self-catering accommodation. With young families, over 50’s and special interest holidays forming the majority of visitors, the attractions and infrastructure will be suited to their tastes and needs, and the resort will not be in competition with other larger resorts which attract different markets. Morecambe will continue to cater to both the day visitor market and to the short break staying market. Morecambe will be focussed on the quality of its environment, on its infrastructure including public art, on its accommodation and its proximity to the historic city of Lancaster, the national parks and AONB’s.”’’
It seems that Morecambe’s future’s looking bright! Let’s look at some of the projects that are planned or already have been completed.
Eden Project North
£125 million Eden Project North is set to be built at the site of the former Super Swimming Stadium. This eco-project based on Cornwall’s already completed Eden Project is set to be completed in 2024 and is projected to bring around 1 million visitors to the area.
The projected spending of £200 million a year by the visitors is set to vastly boost all other developments in the area and fully transform the Morecambe Bay into a modern-day holiday resort.
The Midland Hotel
The restoration of the Midland Hotel was a key step in the initial development of the Morecambe Bay area. The premium hotel located in close proximity to the seafront is set to attract the middle and high-class clientele, but is also heavily reliant on the other developments in the area which would make the Bay an attractive holiday destination.
After finishing its restoration in 2008, the Midland hotel was sold to the Lancaster Foundation. The new owners’ confidence in the local development plans caused another £14 million refurbishment to be planned and completed in preparation for the launch of the Eden Project.
Morecambe Winter Gardens
The building opened in 1897 fell into disrepair after its closure in 1977 as a result of the Morecambe’s tourism decline
The iconic venue formerly known as ‘’Albert Hall of the North’’ was disused until the establishment of the Winter Gardens Preservation Trust in 2006.
Winter Gardens Theatre is currently partially open for an array of performances, but the restorative work is still ongoing, hoping to restore this beautiful one-of-a-kind minstrel hall to its former glory and provide the array of entertainment for the visitors of the Morecambe Bay and the adjacent area.
Frontierland amusement park have been vacant since 1999. Since then the site has fallen into a disrepair and became a major eyesore of the Morecambe Bay.
This was followed by unsuccessful plans to transform the site with a £17m investment in 2014. The site was partially bought by Morrisons but the main building still stands derelict.
The current developments into the area bring hopes that this site will also be revitalised following the investments in the area.
The increased confidence in the area suggests that the site will be under development and is certainly on Lancaster’s City Council radar.
Morecambe’s bright future
It seems that with the arrival of Eden Project North, this seaside town can breathe a sight of relief and enjoy the adjacent investments and gains associated with it.
Cornwall’s project brought over £2bn to the local economy and revitalised the area. Considering the closer proximity to London in comparison to its Cornish counterpart, it is safe to say that the investments in the area will be substantial.
Now it’s time for Morecambe!
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