Frontierland Morecambe: How The West Was Lost Part 5The following text is taken from BBC News Lancashire 28th July 2012 athttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-la ... e-19019541
A designer from Morecambe has put forward plans to the town's council and the landowners to transform the Polo Tower into a hi-tech landmark.
The tower on the promenade is a remnant of the Frontierland Theme Park and now houses a mobile phone mast.
Robert Aitken wants to turn it into an "interactive digi-tower" which broadcasts images and messages with a digital telescope.
Landowner Morrisons is yet to comment on the proposals.
Mr Aitken said in his plans he would have slim television screens running the entire length of the tower clad in aluminium.
He said it could also have software to help wildlife watchers identify birds across Morecambe Bay.
Mr Aitken said the costs would not be high for the project.
"You have got the structure there so all you are doing is cladding it and paying for the IT... so it should be good value for money," he said.
Mr Aitken believed the new tower could become a landmark for Morecambe like Blackpool's famous tower. Image: BBC News Lancashire
Councillor Janice Hanson, cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, said: "The city council welcomes anything which contributes to the debate on the future of the Frontierland site and the Polo Tower.
"This is a key site for the regeneration of Morecambe and the council will be publishing ideas over the next few months as part of the Morecambe area action plan."The following text is taken from The Visitor first published on August 10th 2012 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/moreca ... -1-4813796
AMBITIOUS plans have been revealed for a new 2,000 seater entertainment arena and indoor ice rink at the former Frontierland.
The ex-fairground could also become home to a sculpture gallery, 50 apartments, shops and cafes and a spectacular walkway, linking the site to the railway station and the seafront.
InsideLA, a Lancaster-based group of designers, project managers and tradesmen, have unveiled their ‘Morecambe Central’ project hoping the public will get behind it.
Gary Lightfoot, project manager, called it “potentially the most important development for Morecambe in decades”.
The InsideLA team also includes James Halliday, CEO of Lancaster-based digital marketing company 21EV, and Lancaster architect Shaun Graham.
“This proposal would enhance Morecambe’s desirability as a tourist destination,” said Mr Lightfoot. “With the demise of The Dome a few years ago, Morecambe now has no purpose-built, large auditorium and we think this is a serious hindrance to Morecambe’s weekend festival ambitions.”
The blueprint for the Frontierland site comes hot on the heels of plans to revolutionise the Polo Tower.
Robert Aitken, an international museum designer from Bare, recently unveiled his vision for a one-of-a-kind ‘Digital Tower’ to replace the disused former fairground ride.
Mr Halliday said InsideLA would be interested in working with Mr Aitken to make both schemes happen.
InsideLA, who have spent three years developing their concept, are also in talks with site owners Morrisons.
The land is believed to be available for around £3m. They would also have to obtain planning permission from Lancaster City Council before work could begin.
A spokesman for Morrisons said: “We are continuing our discussions with the council planning department about the future use of the (Frontierland) site and will be considering all options.
“We will be meeting with the planners shortly to consider how the site can be integrated as part of the council’s intention for links to the town centre.”
Following the closure of The Dome and The Carleton, the Platform is the town’s sole remaining purpose-built live entertainment venue. The 1,000-capacity former railway station is operated by Lancaster City Council.Image: Adam Kean (2012)The following text is taken from The Visitor published 7th October 2012 at:http://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/resort ... -1-4988061
Crime in the resort is rising.
Addressing Morecambe Town Council last Thursday night, Sgt Lindsay Brown told councillors crime was up 1.9 per cent year-on-year.
He put the rise down to burglaries of sheds and garages and said residents should not be surprised if police were more visible in the town.
He said: “We have to alter what we are doing in order to halt the rise. People will see a lot more police on the streets of Morecambe over the next couple of months.
“We have had slight reductions in crime all the time I have been here, around four years, and this rise is nowhere near putting us back where we were.
“It had got to the stage where it couldn’t go any lower, we were really down to the bottom and because of a number of factors, spending cuts and the like, it has risen.”
He added that despite the rise, equivalent to 43 more crimes, anti-social behaviour was down 17.8 per cent on last year. Councillors also received a presentation regarding a proposed new series of music events, Morecambe Rocks.
Proposer James Halliday said events ranging from one-day concerts to three-day festivals could be held on either the former Bubbles site or former Frontierland site, capitalising on the current boom in “music tourism” and raising the profile of the local music scene.
He said the first event could be held as early as May Bank Holiday weekend 2013 and attract thousands of visitors to the resort.
The plans are in the early stages and councillors are to look at a business plan before moving ahead with any decision on backing the scheme.Image: Adam Kean (2012)Memories..It's sad to see Frontierland in the state it is now.
It was a great attraction.
I spent lots of time in Morcambe as a child.
There are great opportunities here to create a resort for all.
Blackpool is becoming too rowdy and it's time we had somewhere safe for all to enjoy the seaside fun.
ClaireImage: Adam Kean (2012)The following text is taken from the The Visitor first published 12th January 2013 at:http://www.thevisitor.co.uk/community/w ... -1-5296752
MARGATE is a dilapidated seaside resort with a large number of empty shops, a former fairground standing empty on its promenade and residents worn down by years of decline and disappointment.
But while the famous Kent seaside resort and Morecambe are startlingly similar in many ways, Margate is turning the corner.
Like Morecambe, in 2012 the south-east coastal town gained a £100,000 Government cash boost as a Mary Portas Pilot Town.
Now its empty shops are slowly being filled, a majestic £17.5m Turner art gallery has opened on the seafront attracting 500,000 visitors in its first year and an Oscar-winning director is shooting a film about the town.
What’s more, leading travel publisher Rough Guide voted Margate one of 2013’s must-visit destinations alongside Stockholm, Dubrovnik and Puerto Rico, no less.
Meanwhile, the town’s old Dreamland amusement park, as seen on the famous ‘Jolly Boys Outing’ episode of Only Fools and Horses, could reopen next year as a ‘heritage’ theme park, home to classic rides from all over the world - including one from our own Frontierland. (This refers to The Wild Mouse: Built in 1960 and operating until 1999 at Morecambe’s Pleasure Park. The ride was relocated to Southport in 1999 where it opened in 2000 and renamed ‘King Solomon’s Mines’)
Margate received £10m for the project including £3.7m Government cash to rejuvenate UK seaside towns. This was from the same ‘Sea Change’ pot Morecambe’s Winter Gardens applied for in 2009...and didn’t get.
To rub ironic salt in Morecambe wounds, Margate has recruited one of our own to head the Dreamland project.
Morecambe-born Wayne Hemingway’s firm Hemingway Design will create the overall scheme and branding for the disused site.
“Margate is showing a real collective effort by everybody to make a difference,” said Wayne, 51.
“They have a council who are willing to take risks in making decisions. They ‘get it’ and will have a go.
“They are influencing some great things to happen down there.”
When Wayne talks with such passion about the Margate resurrection, one question springs easily to mind.
Why aren’t you doing this in your hometown?
According to Hemingway, the answer is quite simple. Our local authority won’t employ him.
“I’ve been in touch with Lancaster City Council over the years but there’s been no interest at all,” said Wayne.
London-based Hemingway loves his birthplace. He visits Morecambe regularly, is a patron of the Winter Gardens and even indulged one of his other great passions by DJing at the town’s soul music festival a few years ago.
He also wanted to remodel the central promenade area next to the Midland Hotel, entering Urban Splash’s international design competition in 2006.
But Flacq won the contest, developers Urban Splash plumping for their sketches centred around modern high-rise flats and shops.
Urban Splash’s scheme, scheduled to go before Lancaster City Council planning in 2013, has caused a public outcry. Hemingway himself remains critical of the plans.
“Shops and houses on that prime promenade location, what’s that about?” said Wayne.
“That’s the most special piece of land in Morecambe.
“It beggars belief they are thinking about it.
“Do something world class in that world class location or do nothing....”If you own the copyright to this image please contact firstname.lastname@example.orgMemories..I lived most of my youth (8 to 18) in Morecambe, so knew Frontierland mainly in the sixties.
I used to work with the beach horses just across from Frontierland and we used to get a lot of tourists coming across the prom for a ride on some ‘real’ horses after having fun on Frontierland.
Happy memories there!
But my personal memories of Frontierland are from a later date, in the early eighties in fact.
I married a Frenchman in 1972 and moved to France.
We had two daughters and every summer we came to stay with my parents for a few weeks.
Almost as soon as we arrived, both the girls wanted to go down to the Camel Derby on the seafront of Frontierland.
We always enjoyed our time there and the people who ran the place were great fun and always encouraged my daughters to compete with ‘their’ camels.
Good fun for all the family.
The last time my younger daughter, now 29, came with me to see her grandparents, she was so disappointed to see the state of the site and wondered where the Camel Derby could be now!
I do so hope that Morecambe manages to get its act together soon and that it won’t allow the building of flats on the former Bubbles site!
What an awful idea!
It would ruin the beauty of the seafront!
The revamped Midland Hotel is fine, as it’s an architectural heritage, but not modern flats for heaven’s sake!
Lindsay Gilliers-GilsonImage: http://www.morecambe.co.ukThe following text is taken from The Lancashire Evening Post (lep) first published on 8th February 2013 athttp://www.lep.co.uk/community/vision-f ... -1-5391641Vision for Morecambe cable car ride
Mark Draddy is rallying support for the first ever Trans Bay Cable Way, which would take passengers on a ride through the sky from the promenade to the Lake District.
Mr Draddy, a landscape garden designer from Milton Keynes whose family lives in Morecambe, believes this could be the biggest tourist attraction in the UK.
He has held talks with David Morris, MP for Morecambe, who likes the idea.
“I’m just ‘the little guy’ and it’s just an idea at this stage,” said Mr Draddy.
“But this could be a golden opportunity to put the North West of England back on the national tourist map and to put Britain back on the international tourist map.
“Most cable car installations are popular visitor attractions and to date there is nothing of this scale in the UK.
“The economic benefit for Morecambe, Grange-over-Sands and Barrow-in-Furness to name a few could be immense.”
Mr Morris said: “I am supportive of any project that will bring jobs and tourism to Morecambe and Lunesdale.
“Clearly there will need to be a discussion about how this project can be funded and a discussion about environmental issues.”
Mr Draddy has studied other cable car rides in Vietnam, Malaysia, Armenia, Hong Kong and France, some of which are suspended over water.
He suggests the ride could start from near the Frontierland site, cross the Bay and make its first stop-off in Grange-over-Sands before heading into the Lakes.Image: Mark Draddy / http://www.thevisitor.co.uk The following text is taken from A Local Plan for Lancaster District. Morecambe Area Action Plan ( to 2021)
Publication Version 2013 (Published October 2013)
9.3 Unfortunately, one large area towards the West End comprising the greater part of the former Frontierland amusement park site remains vacant and very much an eyesore. Some 2.4 ha in extent, the condition and prospective future of this site arouses much public concern. Out of any beneficial use since the park closed in 2000 the site contributes nothing to central Morecambe and what it offers is a barrier to the movement of pedestrians to and from the West End. The adjacent site of the former Bus Depot on Grove Street is integral to the future redevelopment of this area.
9.4 To bring this site into a beneficial use is challenging. Development for retail uses is not considered appropriate given the location remote from the town centre. There is no reasonable prospect of a new substantial leisure development or of any predominantly public use. In this context development predominantly for housing affords the best prospect of making a beneficial use of the site and there has been market interest in this in recent years. Housing would help activate central Morecambe by increasing its resident population. Further, it gives the opportunity to provide new quality linkages for pedestrians and cyclists through to the West End via West End Road and into the edge of centre Retail Park adjacent to the east.
9.5 Development at this site should include an element of commercial uses fronting to Marine Road to help activate the seafront and sustain some footfall here to support business trading further along Marine Road to the west. Too large such an element though risks pulling footfall and activity from the town centre and to its detriment.
9.6 Any development of the site should provide a direct route for pedestrians and cyclists through to West End Road.Memories..I loved Frontierland as a child and had many happy memories there, loved the cable car going over the road that was the best bit and the mine shaft roller coaster.
Adam KeanIt all went quiet for a bit..and then there were some stirrings..Frontierland Morecambe: How The West Was Lost Part 6The following text is taken from The Visitor Published 11th January 2014 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-6362201
Designer Wayne Hemingway has warned residents to be cautious over plans to build a retail park on the Frontierland site.
The Morecambe-born TV personality said: “It’s vital they get it right and the town shouldn’t be afraid of saying ‘no’.”
Developers Opus North have announced a new vision for the derelict site which may include big-name fashion shops, a hotel and a family pub.
A reader survey by The Visitor in November revealed 90% support for the plans.
But Hemingway said: “Any development is not good development.
“The plans are exciting because the site has been empty for so long. But they should make sure that it’s not just well designed but amazingly designed and that people are critiquing the ideas constantly.
“Sometimes developers think they are doing a town a favour. Yes the developer is helping the town but the town is helping the developer to make money.
“That space is tremendously valuable. It’s part of the crown jewels of a town that’s having some form of resurgence and you’ve got to protect those crown jewels.
“What goes there has got to create a legacy. The Midland is now the shining star on the seafront because it was beautifully designed in the first place, and in the same way the Winter Gardens will be restored to its former glory and have a future, because that was beautifully designed.
“They won’t be saying this about some of the buildings built on Morecambe seafront during the past 30 years. They won’t be fighting over Morrisons in 100 years’ time. So whatever goes on the Frontierland site has to be special.”
Wayne and his wife Gerardine are famed for founding the Red or Dead clothing label and now run their own London-based design company Hemingway Design, specialising in housing regeneration.
Hemingway, 52, was speaking on a visit to his hometown to kickstart plans for his second Morecambe Vintage-by-the-Sea festival in September.
Reflecting on last year’s successful debut Vintage day at the Midland hotel, he said: “It was great, such an uplifting event.
“We knew within an hour or two of opening we were onto something because people were queuing. “We’re looking forward to this year. If you’ve got ideas, please get involved, if you’re a local business, artist, creative person, musician.
“We’re over two days this year, expanding into different venues.
There’s going to be more music and more dancing than there was last time. The vintage marketplace was enormously successful.
It got so busy it became uncomfortable so we’ll move that into a location with more room.
The street food market in the Midland car park sold out, so we’ve got to expand that and make it a ‘foodie delight’.
“We’ll start to announce the content soon and tickets will go on sale in the spring.”Image: http://www.morecambe.co.ukThe following text is taken from The Visitor Published 15th January 2014 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-6371863
A developer’s vision for the derelict ex-Frontierland site will be unveiled to town councillors this week.
Representatives of Opus North will be guests of Morecambe Town Council at a meeting this Thursday night.
The Yorkshire developers want to build a new retail park, a hotel, family pub and a care home on empty land formerly occupied by Morecambe’s Wild West-themed fairground, owned by supermarket giants Morrisons.
The meeting at Morecambe Town Hall starts at 7pm.Memories..They ruined the place and the same is happening at Blackpool.
They forced an entry fee on Frontierland and look what happened.
Richard Wayne AdkinThe following text is taken from The Visitor Published 29th January 2014 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/commun ... -1-6403719
A £17m development planned for the former Frontierland site in Morecambe will be named the Bay Shopping park.
Developer Opus North is proposing to build a 100,000 sqft complex featuring shops, a hotel, restaurants, a family pub and 376 parking spaces on the ten-acre former fairground site.
Two public exhibitions were held at the end of November and the planning application is set to be submitted to Lancaster City Council at the end of February.
Andrew Duncan, MD of Opus North, said: “The reaction of local residents, when we exhibited our plans, was extremely positive.”The following text is taken from The Citizen Published 31st January 2014 athttp://www.blackpoolcitizen.co.uk/news/ ... Morecambe/
David Morris MP is backing plans to redevelop the former Frontierland site in Morecambe.
The Developers, Opus Land (North) and supermarket chain Morrisons hope that the £17 Million project will bring 500 jobs, 376 parking spaces as well as a new hotel and retail outlets.
The Morecambe & Lunesdale MP has been talking to Morrisons about redeveloping the site since 2011.
David Morris MP said: “I was pleased to meet with Opus Land North to discuss their proposals. I welcome this new development and will be working with the developers to ensure it enhances the front at Morecambe.”
“As I understand it, the developers will be submitting their planning application in the next few weeks.”
“I hope the development will give visitors to Morecambe and people who live nearby access to a range of retail outlets as well as visiting the existing shops and restaurants in Morecambe.”
Anyone wishing to find out more about the proposal can take a look at http://futurefrontierland.co.uk/Image: http://www.morecambe.co.ukThe following text is taken from The Visitor Published 26th February 2014 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-6460982
"Whisper it quietly...but Morecambe might just be turning the corner.
The Heysham to M6 link road is finally being built, a new £17m shopping park is planned for the eyesore Frontierland site, a £5.5m housing regeneration scheme is under way in the West End, and there are other signs that Morecambe could be looking at a much brighter future...
Work is well under way on the M6 link road and Morecambe’s business community couldn’t be happier.
Industry leaders say the 4.8km dual carriageway - on course to open in the summer of 2016 - will bring huge economic benefits by slashing journey times and cutting congestion, making the district a more attractive place to trade.
A study for Lancashire County Council predicts North Lancashire will get a £4.40 return for every £1 invested in the road.
Just this week, part of Torrisholme Road was closed as part of work to build a new bridge which forms part of the £124m project to link the Heysham bypass with Junction 34 of the M6.
And people across the area have seen the arrival of diggers and workmen over the last few months.
Problems faced by hauliers travelling to Heysham Port were raised in a recent report which concluded “road bottlenecks” were hindering access to them - stifling growth.
Link road developer Costain aims to train and employ 100 local jobless people.
Thirty have already gained jobs.
Project manager Andrew Langley said: “It’s great the scheme has now started, we must now ensure we deliver this challenging scheme safely and to the highest quality.”
The link road includes new slip roads, a new bridge over the River Lune and a 600-space park-and-ride site."The following text is taken from The Visitor Published 14th March 2014 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-6461482
"A leading politician believes Morecambe is on the up and up.
Councillor Janice Hanson is positive about the town’s future now work on the Heysham to M6 link road has begun and because other regeneration schemes are in the pipeline over the next two years.
They include planned shopping park on the ex-Frontierland site, and the Chatsworth Gardens housing renegeration scheme and a £1m lottery grant for the West End. Coun Hanson, deputy leader of Lancaster City Council, also believes the Morecambe Area Action Plan (MAAP) - a 10-year blueprint for town planning policy - will attract even more cash into the town and create more jobs.
The council is working with Carillion, a leading Midlands-based developer, on ways to make Morecambe attractive to investors.
She said: “Through the MAAP the council is setting out a long term vision to work with developers to identify schemes that will achieve our aims of attracting investment and jobs into the town. In Heysham, we expect to see significant business growth as employment land that has been inaccessible for years is unlocked
Developer Opus North is due to submit plans for a ‘Bay Shopping Park’ on the former Frontierland site to Lancaster City Council in March.The quality 100,000 sq ft complex would include fashion shops, a 60-bedroomed hotel, restaurants, a family pub and 376 parking spaces and create 500 jobs.
Meanwhile Wilmslow developer Place First has already been given permission to start work on the Chatsworth Gardens scheme. The first phase of the project will see Victorian properties on Albert Road and Chatsworth Road in the West End replaced by 51 brand new modern two, three and four bedroomed apartments.."Image: An Artist's Impression from http://www.thevisitor.co.uk - Article from November 2013The following text is taken from The Visitor Published 10th April 2014 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-6548657
Marks and Spencer and Debenhams have topped a residents’ poll of shops they would most like to see on the Frontierland site.
A survey by Opus North, who want to develop the old ex-fairground into a shopping park, had the two high street giants as clearly the most popular choices.
Next on the list of preferred choices were TK Maxx, followed by H&M.
Opus North are in talks with some of these big-name retailers hoping to attract them to the planned £17m site.
A report says the public has given “overwhelming support” to the plans for the ex-fairground on Morecambe seafront.
The survey results were revealed as Opus North fomally submitted plans for the development to Lancaster City Council.
The council planning committee will meet to make a decision on the plans later this year. The Polo Tower and Ranch House would be demolished as part of the plans, which also include a new family pub, hotel and restaurants.
Marks and Spencer used to have a food and clothing store on Euston Road in the town centre until it closed more than 25 years ago.The following text is taken from The Lancaster Guardian Published 11th April 2014 athttp://www.lancasterguardian.co.uk/news ... -1-6556461Planning Applications:
14/00388/FUL, former Frontierland site, Marine Road West, Morecambe redevelopment of former amusement park to form retail units, restaurants, family pub/restaurant, hotel, car parking, landscaping, public art and access, for Opus Land North (Morecambe) Limited and Wm Morrisons Supermarkets.Image: http://www.morecambe.co.ukThe following text is taken from The Visitor published 2nd September 2014 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-6818129
Design guru Wayne Hemingway has described plans to build a shopping park on the Frontierland site as “vague and lacking in detail”.
The Morecambe-born entrepreneur voiced his fears as it emerged that Lancaster City Council had asked developer Opus North to provide more information about the £17m seafront scheme.
Opus North wants to build a new modern retail centre called the Bay Shopping Park on the derelict ex-fairground site, creating 500 new jobs.
The Yorkshire-based developer is in talks with big-name chains and also wants to build a 62-bedroomed hotel and new family pub-restaurant.
There has been overwhelming support for the plans from residents and MP David Morris.
Opus North originally hoped the plans would go before Lancaster City Council in mid-September.
But a council spokesman said it would be later than that, as they wanted more details on “highways and traffic, retail impacts and elevational detail”.
Mr Hemingway, who runs London-based design firm Hemingway Design, said: “Of course, everyone should welcome the site coming back into use and the aspiration for decent retailers like Marks & Spencer and decent eateries.
“But if it comes back to life as a poorly designed, poorly detailed and executed development then it will be worse than it remaining empty.
This is a strategically important prime site on the promenade of a British seaside town that is starting to turn the corner and should be treated with top class design thinking.
The elevations and sketches that are in the public domain are so vague and lacking in detail, I fear there is a danger that little of the quality that the site deserves could end up being delivered.”
A spokesman for Opus North said:
“More than 1,200 local people have contacted us to support our plans. Our development team is working closely with the council to get the plans absolutely right for Morecambe. The design will be contemporary, attractive and a credit to the seafront. As a result more people will enjoy shopping in Morecambe, stay longer and spend more money across the local economy.”
Meanwhile, David Morris MP has called for Lancaster City Council “not to drop the ball” on the plans.
Mr Morris said:
“I am convinced that this plan to regenerate Frontierland is right for Morecambe. After 15 long years we finally have an exciting and viable scheme on the table.”
The West End Million Steering Group also added their voice to the chorus of support.
A spokesman for the group, who are in charge of £1m worth of Lottery funding awarded to the West End, said: “We see that the creation of jobs locally will have a beneficial effect on the economy of the West End.”
Owners of the rival Arndale Centre and developers British Land, who are planning a major retail development in Lancaster, have both objected to the scheme.Image: http://www.morecambe.co.ukThe following text is taken from The Lancaster Guardian published 19th September 2014 athttp://www.lancasterguardian.co.uk/lett ... -1-6850015
"In the last few weeks the Lancaster Guardian has reported on objections to the regeneration of the derelict, dilapidated and downright ugly site that used to be Frontierland.
This site, which has lain barren for years, has steadily become more of an embarrassment to the views and the economy of Morecambe, and while every effort has been made to improve the offer of the town from local traders and others, regeneration in Morecambe has been for some time a concept with a mint shaped hole in the middle.
This development, which will cost approximately £17m, will create 500 jobs and transform the site.
It is somewhat of a surprise then, to see both the Belfast based and US owned Colliers International who run the Arndale, and British Land who want to redevelop the canal corridor in Lancaster, objecting to this scheme.
The Arndale say that the site will have an impact on the centre of town and point to empty shops at 18.5 per cent. Maybe it would be worth their while pointing out that the percentage of empty shops in central Morecambe just two short years ago was 30 per cent? Maybe they would be well advised to look at their own property in and around their own site and ask why they are empty?
We should take no lectures on quality from the organisation that has brought us Poundland and Brighthouse.
British Land on the other hand say that the regeneration of Frontierland will have: “a serious impact on shopping in Lancaster”. I can only hope so. Maybe that serious impact will be to enliven British Land into getting on with their plans.
Either way we’re constantly told by free market economists that competition is good. That it increases quality and lowers prices.
It seems that free market economics is good for some companies so long as the free market is nowhere near them. We should get behind this scheme and bring much needed money and jobs into the local economy."Darren Clifford
Armed Forces and Veterans Champion
Labour Group Secretary
County Coun for Morecambe South (Westgate and Torrisholme)The following text is taken from The Visitor 24th September 2014 athttp://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/what- ... -1-6858535
It was once Blackpool’s second Tower.
Now the Polo Tower has been earmarked for demolition amid safety fears.
Residents in its current home of Morecambe have complained the 168ft landmark at the old Frontierland fairground site was swaying and creaking noises could be heard at the base.
An investigation by structural engineers found there was no imminent danger, but owners Morrisons have told Lancaster City Council they believe the tower should still be pulled down.
No date has been set for the proposed demolition as further survey work is scheduled and the council will first have to give planning permission.
The Polo Tower has been a controversial fixture on Morecambe seafront since 1994.Image: Free Stock Photo
It was originally known as the Space Tower and was built at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 1974.
The tower was moved in 1993 to make way for the Big One rollercoaster and was installed at Frontierland, also owned by the Thompson family of Blackpool.
The tower, sponsored by Polo mints, opened in 1995 and boasted a revolving circular platform which went up and down the structure, offering spectacular views across the bay at the top.
Although initially the tower proved popular it soon fell into disuse and a state of disrepair.
Frontierland closed in 2000 after visitor numbers continued to fall but the
Morrisons had a contract with a telecommunications company to use the giant Polo tube as a mast until the agreement expired in 2013.
Since the park closed, the site has had a chequered history.
In 2001 planning permission was given to build a Freeport-style retail outlet village on the derelict site but the plans were scrapped due to little interest from retailers.
A further proposal to build a hotel, leisure club and luxury apartments on the site collapsed in 2009 when the developers went bust.
In 2007, Coun Ron Sands called for Morecambe residents to boycott Polo mints until the shabby tower was pulled down because it was “neither a credit to Morecambe’s spectacular seafront promenade nor the nation’s favourite mint”.
Then in 2013 developers Opus North revealed a £17m blueprint for a shopping park, hotel and family pub on the Frontierland site, to include demolition of the Polo Tower and its replacement with a piece of public art.
After overwhelming public support for the plans, Opus North was recently told by Lancaster City Council to go back to the drawing board and provide more information on “highways and traffic, retail impacts and elevational detail”.
Revised plans are expected shortly before the council can make a decision.The following text is taken from The Visitor 14th October 2014 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-6895349
An amended planning application has been submitted to LancasterCity Council by Opus North, who are proposing a £17million shopping and leisure development on the site of the former fairground in Morecambe. Morecambe Town Council will be making observations on the amended application which includes:
Updated information on site drainage;
Updated information on the contaminated land report;
Mitigating any retail impact on Morecambe town centre, which includes £200,000 towards public realm improvements – the town council has recommended the installation of interactive electronic white boards;
Traffic measures on Marine Road, for safety reasons;
An updated car park management plan.
In May, the town council made it clear that they wholeheartedly supported the proposed development at Frontierland on the basis that it would bring much needed employment to the area and rid the town of a long derelict site. Opus North provided Lancaster City Council with additional information on a handful of topics, at the request of council officers. This does not constitute a resubmission of the application. At an extraordinary meeting of Morecambe Town Council today, Tuesday, October 14, at 7pm, councillors will be asked for their views on the amended application in order to confirm their support for the scheme. Councillors will then consider whether they want to make any further comment to the city council.The following text is taken from The Visitor 21st October 2014 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-6907724Image: An Artist's Impression from http://www.thevisitor.co.uk - Article from October 2014
A town councillor has branded the Arndale Centre ‘a disgrace’ for opposing a rival shopping park in Morecambe – as D-Day looms for the £17m scheme.
Evelyn Archer launched a public attack on Arndale bosses as it emerged that a decision on the planned ‘Bay Shopping Park’ at the former Frontierland fairground site is due to be made on November 10.
Mrs Archer and her fellow town councillors also rounded on developers planning a rival retail area in Lancaster.
At a meeting of Morecambe Town Council, Mrs Archer said: “The owners of the Arndale Centre have invested no money in it and I don’t see how they can object when the Arndale is such a disgrace.”
Later, Mrs Archer told The Visitor: “I’m so annoyed. I think this development is good for Morecambe. We need something that’s going to bring people into town.”
Morecambe town councillors from all parties showed rare unity as they joined forces to back the Frontierland blueprint, brainchild of Yorkshire developers Opus North.Image: http://www.morecambe.co.ukThe following text is taken from The Visitor 10th November 2014 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-6943955Plans to build a £17m shopping park in Morecambe have been given the go ahead.
A planning committee of Lancaster city councillors has green-lighted the Bay Shopping Park development at the former Frontierland site.
The decision was made at a packed meeting at Lancaster Town Hall on Monday.
Final approval still must be given by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Developers Opus North want to build a new shopping complex at the seafront site including big-name chains, a hotel, pub and 336 car parking spaces.They want to sign major-name retailers for the park but have not revealed who they are, although it is believed they have been in talks with Primark and Mothercare.
Lancaster City Council challenged Opus North and site owners Morrisons to act quickly to sign up top quality retailers for the site.Coun Janice Hanson, Cabinet member with responsibility for Regeneration and Planning, said:
“It’s down to Opus to be true to their word by implementing the planning permission and attracting top quality retailers. More than 10 years ago the site gained approval for a ‘Freeport’ style development which was never implemented because the retailers could not be found.We certainly don’t want that to happen again and all the talk is that this development will help to lead the renaissance of Morecambe.
Opus have convinced the people of Morecambe that the development will attract top quality retailers, but so far we have had no indication from the developer as to the names of any that have expressed a specific interest in the scheme.The city council has supported the developer’s vision. The ball is now with Opus and it’s down to them to make this development one which will make Morecambe proud and not to saddle us with yet another forlorn hope.”
It was also revealed at the meeting that the Arndale Centre could be sold.
Current owners JAP (Morecambe) LLP, who objected to the Frontierland plans, could strike a deal with New River Retail who own several shopping centres around the UKImage: http://www.morecambe.co.ukFrontierland Morecambe: How The West Was Lost Part 7The following text is taken from The Visitor 4th February 2016 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-7716087Developers still tight-lipped over Morecambe shopping park
The names of the shops at Morecambe’s new £17m seafront retail park remain clouded in mystery.
Developers are still tight-lipped on who might move onto the new Bay Shopping Park more than a year after planning permission was given.
Opus North has finished a tendering process and will appoint a building firm to start work on the former Frontierland fairground site shortly.
But a spokesman said while there “has been movement with retailers behind the scenes” he was unable to give any names.
The only confirmed tenants so far are Premier Inn and Brewers Fayre.
The new 60-bedroom hotel and pub-restaurant will replace the Ranch House pub which closed on Sunday.
The spokesman said surveyors had been inside the former Ranch to prepare for its demolition, possibly in May.
He also said the Polo Tower would be demolished once a contractor is appointed.
Last July, Opus North confirmed they had been in talks with B&M Bargains and TK Maxx.
The Yorkshire firm, in partnership with site owners Morrisons, had aimed to start work in autumn 2015.
But in September last year, they said “practical hurdles” had slowed down talks with retailers.
Telecoms giant EE (formerly Orange) were also using the 168ft Polo tube as a mast but the licence was due to expire at the end of January 2016.
Planning permission was granted for the new shopping park, to include shops, restaurants and more than 300 car parking spaces, in November 2014.Image: http://www.morecambe.co.uk**LATEST UPDATE ** The following text is taken from The Visitor 4th July 2016 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-7996379Morecambe shopping park now ‘urgent’ after pub fire
Calls for work to start on a new Morecambe shopping park have intensified after a major fire wrecked an empty seafront pub.
As an arson enquiry was launched at the Ranch House, the deputy leader of Lancaster City Council and the pub’s former boss have called for developers to get on with the “long overdue” £17m Bay Shopping Park.Image: http://www.thebay.co.uk
Coun Janice Hanson, deputy leader of Lancaster City Council, said “urgent action” was needed to demolish the pub after Friday’s fire and to confirm a start date for the long-delayed retail park.
“It is vital that this work takes place as soon as possible and the building is not allowed to deteriorate further,” said Coun Hanson. “The council granted permission to develop the land nearly 18 months ago. I know that (developers) Opus have been working towards setting a start date, but it is important they now deliver on the promises they have made to the people of Morecambe.
“This prime site has been left to linger for too long.”
Publican Robert Ellershaw, who was forced to leave the Ranch in January to make way for the shopping park, said:
“Since the day we went there have been kids going in there and it surprises me that it has been as long as five months for something like this to happen. “Now this has happened, there is an opportunity for (owners) Morrisons to say that it’s long overdue, we’re going to announce the timescale (for the shopping park) and who’s coming, because there doesn’t seem to be any movement.”
Mr Ellershaw took over the Exchange pub on Regent Road with his wife Debbie after being given notice to vacate the Ranch in January.
“It’s upsetting, a lot of customers have said it’s a sad end to the Ranch House,” he said. “Although I am happy with the choice I made (to take over the Exchange), we could have still been there now instead of leaving in a crazy rush.”
Opus North, would-be developers, said they remain “100% committed” to the new shopping park and “conversations with operators continue to go well”.
A large team of firefighters from Morecambe, Lancaster, Carnforth, Silverdale, Milnthorpe and Fulwood were called to the fire at around 6.10pm on Friday. Crews fought for around three hours to bring the blaze under control. Nearby businesses including Morrisons and DW gym were evacuated as smoke spread and the road was closed temporarily between Central Drive and Albert Road. Lancashire Fire and Rescue said it is possible the blaze was started deliberately...
Work on the former Frontierland fairground site was originally due to start in September 2015 but was delayed. The developers said “practical hurdles” had slowed down talks with retailers.
Telecoms giant EE (formerly Orange) were also using the 168ft Polo tube as a mast but the licence was due to expire at the end of January 2016.
In February 2016, Opus North announced it had finished a tendering process and would appoint a building firm to start work on the former Frontierland fairground site shortly. But a spokesman said while there “has been movement with retailers behind the scenes” he was unable to give any names. The only confirmed tenants so far are Premier Inn and Brewers Fayre. The new 60-bedroom hotel and pub-restaurant is due to replace the Ranch, a popular Wild West-themed pub during its heyday.
The Polo Tower is also due to be demolished once a contractor is appointed.The following text is taken from The Visitor 30th August 2016 athttp://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-8096400
Marks & Spencer want to return to Morecambe and the deal could be done in a matter of weeks. Talks are well under way to bring a Marks & Spencer Foodhall to the new Bay Shopping Park at the former Frontierland fairground site
Developers Opus North said they are weeks away from concluding the deal. Many Morecambe residents have longed for years for the return of a Marks & Spencer shop to the town.
M&S had a town centre outlet on the corner of Euston Road and Victoria Street until the chain pulled out of the resort in the 1980s – which many saw as symbolic of the decline of the town as a shopping destination.
A spokesman for Opus North said: “The Marks & Spencer Board has approved opening a new Marks & Spencer Foodhall at the Bay Shopping Park development in Morecambe.
“Negotiations are currently underway with the intention of concluding a deal in the coming weeks to bring M&S to Morecambe.
“Related to this, a planning application is shortly to be submitted to Lancaster City Council, which will amend the existing planning permission to accommodate a Marks & Spencer Foodhall at the development.”
An M&S spokesman said: “We are always looking at new sites for stores to ensure we have a relevant local offer, and Morecambe is a town we are currently interested in.”
The news comes after weeks of speculation and scepticism among residents about the lack of movement at the seafront site. Opus North and site owners Morrisons were granted planning permission in November 2014 and work was originally due to start in autumn 2015. But the planned £17m development was hit with a series of snags as the developers said “practical hurdles” had slowed down talks with retailers hoping to occupy spots on the shopping park.
The fire at the former Ranch House pub in July was the latest setback for the development.
“As one would expect, the recent fire at the Ranch House has complicated progress on site, but arrangements for demolition are now well in hand,” said the spokesman.
“Provided deals are concluded with potential occupiers, we anticipate starting work on site before the end of the year.
“Clearly, regeneration of the site is taking longer than either we or local people had hoped. We are very grateful to the community for the patience it has shown and hope that the progress being made provides reassurance that Opus remains committed to delivering a quality retail development in Morecambe.”
Other plans for the Bay Shopping Park include a Brewers Fayre restaurant and 60-bedroom Premier Inn hotel to replace the Ranch House.To Be Continued..
Please pass through the turnstiles if you are riding again.