Exciting new plans for Polo Tower

Rob Aitken, designer, who has a radical plan to renovate the Polo Tower
Rob Aitken, designer, who has a radical plan to renovate the Polo Tower

A DESIGNER has unveiled exciting plans to give a much-maligned landmark a 21st century facelift.

Robert Aitken’s vision for the Polo Tower could see it transformed into an interactive digital tower – the only one of its kind in the world.

Now Mr Aitken, who lives in Morecambe, hopes the public and local politicians will get behind his idea for a ‘Digi-tower’.

“The present Morecambe is an extremely depressing place to see and it desperately needs change,” he said.

“This proposal could be a catalyst for change and give Morecambe a unique landmark.

“This would be a quick fix for the Polo Tower because the structure is already there.

“It wouldn’t cost a fortune and could be finished in six to eight months.”

The Polo Tower would look radically different under Mr Aitken’s plans.

He suggests giving it a new ‘aluminium suit’ including a giant vertical hi-definition/LCD screen stretching from the top to the bottom.

The screen could display moving images and messages such as birthday greetings texted by members of the public.

The 150ft high ‘Digi-tower’ would have a camera/digital telescope at the top, which could be instructed to beam views of the Bay onto a mobile phone or computer screen.

The camera could also contain recognition software to help birdwatchers identify wildlife.

Those without ‘smart phones’ could use a special multi-media kiosk on the promenade to communicate with the tower. “To my knowledge, this techology hasn’t been used anywhere else before,” said Mr Aitken.

Mr Aitken gave a presentation about the ‘Digi-tower’ to Morecambe Town Council on Thursday night to a very positive response from councillors.

He has been invited back to the council’s next meeting for more questions.

Mr Aitken, whose company Museum Design is based in Bare, said he had also met with Dalton Phillips, chief executive of Morrisons, who “showed an interest”.

The retail giants own the tower and the derelict former Frontierland theme park.

The Polo tube-shaped landmark has stood there since former owners Blackpool Pleasure Beach built it in 1994, initially as an observation tower attraction.

But Morrisons have been unable to sell the land for development due to the economic climate and would have to give permission for Mr Aitken’s scheme to go ahead.

Mobile companies Orange and O2 currently rent the mast at the top of the tower but their contract is due to expire next year.

Mr Aitken has previously designed exhibitions in many of the major museums in the UK and worldwide, and was commissioned by the Thai government to set up Thailand’s Science Museum.

His website with more information on the planned tower can be viewed at www.polotower-morecambe.co.uk