The First Midland | Changing Times | The New Hotel | Works of Art
The Golden Age | The War Years | Post War Decline

Post War Decline

After the war, the Midland was handed back to the LMS Railway in February 1946. It was the intention of the company to re-open the hotel in the near future but this was not possible as the building was found to be in such a bad state of repair that a large sum of money would have to be spent to restore it to a suitable condition. This prompted the company to consider selling the hotel. However, it eventually decided to renovate the building and the Midland re-opened to the public in July 1948.

The hotel continued to operate for the next three years but was never particularly profitable. Following nationalisation of the railways, the British Transport Commission no longer saw the need for seaside hotels and asked Morecambe Corporation if it would be interested in buying the Midland. The offer was declined.

In October 1951 the Midland was advertised for sale and, following an abortive auction, was finally bought by Lewis Hodgson of Bolton Abbey for 50,000. Contracts were signed and on 25th July 1952, nineteen years after it first opened, the Midland Hotel passed out of railway hands.

The hotel prospered during the 1950s but in 1960 family circumstances led to the Hodgsons selling the Midland to Scottish Brewers (later Scottish and Newcastle Breweries). Although relatively successful for much of the decade, the hotel began to feel the effect of changing holiday patterns. By the early 1970s it was losing both its appeal and its clientele as holidaymakers deserted Morecambe and other British seaside resorts for the guaranteed sunshine of the Mediterranean.

In 1976 the Midland changed hands again and its new owners, the Hutchinson Leisure Group, embarked on an unsympathetic refurbishment of the interior. That year the building's architectural importance was recognised when it was listed grade 2*. A glass sun-lounge was added in 1979 running the length of the seaward side of the hotel but business did not improve as much as envisaged and by the time the Midland was bought by Family Hotels in 1989 it had become very run down.

In June 2001 the decaying building was purchased by Kalber Leisure who planned to spend 9.6 million on restoring the Midland to its former 1930's glory. It was to have been refurbished and developed to create a 5-star luxury hotel, Art Deco in style but 'with all the comfort and amenities expected by today's discerning guests'. Staff would be dressed in authentic period uniform and guests would be able to wear 1930's costumes for dinner dances with music from the hotel's own orchestra. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint), this grandiose scheme collapsed through financial mismanagement a year later and the Midland was put back on the market.

The hotel in a state of seterioration prior to being bought by Urban Splash

After deteriorating still further, it was eventually purchased by the Manchester based development company Urban Splash, who are currently completely renovating the building with the intention of re-opening it as a hotel in spring 2008.