Morecambe venue faces axe as cuts loom

The Platform in Morecambe, music and entertainment venue.
The Platform in Morecambe, music and entertainment venue.

Morecambe’s last remaining full-time theatre could close.

Shutting The Platform is on a list of possible options as Lancaster City Council looks to save £2.8m over the next 12 months.

The council could move its customer service centre from Morecambe Town Hall into The Platform building – formerly Morecambe railway station – and run it alongside the present Morecambe Visitor (tourist) Information Centre.

But this could mean the closure of The Platform entertainments venue, which is expected to turn a loss of £91,600 this year. This would leave the Winter Gardens as Morecambe’s only theatre, but the over century-old venue only opens a few times a year for events as campaigners continue to raise funds for its restoration.

The Dome closed in 2010, again due to service cuts.

Lancaster City Council cabinet will meet on January 21 at Morecambe Town Hall for talks on a range of options which affect entertainment and tourism in the Lancaster and Morecambe district.

The council could also decide to cut grants to Ludus Dance school, the Litfest literature organisation and The Dukes theatre, all in Lancaster. But a council report suggests that withdrawing all funding could “close down the services” altogether.

They could also scale down or cancel council-run or funded events such as brass bands in Happy Mount Park, Light up Lancaster including the Fireworks Spectacular, and cut opening hours at Visitor Information Centres in an attempt to balance the books.

Charges will also be introduced for replacement recycling bins and boxes, while fees could increase at Salt Ayre Sports Centre, and Heysham, Carnforth and Hornby swimming pools. Charges for pest control services are also due to rise.

The council has blamed reduced Government funding for its precarious financial position.