Your Leisure apologises as ceiling issue causes late cancellation of two Winter Gardens shows

Margate Winter Gardens Photo Frank Leppard

Margate Winter Gardens and Your Leisure is apologising to ticket holders for a last-minute cancellation of shows this weekend.

Shows including Al Murray and DJ Tony Blackburn have been cancelled and the Bongo’s Bingo event had been under discussion following the discovery that water damage in the Winter Gardens due to a leak in the roof had caused weaknesses in a part of the backstage ceiling.

During a routine and scheduled annual statutory ceiling inspection on the venue’s ornate ceilings the contractors were directed to inspect the stage ceiling after some concerns were raised about a small area.

The contractor advised referring the concerns to a specialist concrete consultant to complete a bespoke inspection. The  specialist discovered that water damage from a leak in the roof had caused minor weaknesses in a part of the backstage ceiling and, as a precautionary measure, the decision was made to cancel the two events that required full stage use and extensive backstage access.

A further, more in-depth survey and remedial works, which it is aimed to complete midway into next week, is being carried out.

The issue did not affect any of the public areas of the venue but Your Leisure say it was deemed prudent to cancel the events with an aim to reschedule the shows.

Kevin Fordham, Managing Director of Your Leisure, said: “We sincerely apologise for the disruption caused by the late cancellation of these events and the decision was not taken lightly.

“We share the disappointment of the ticket holders, artists and team at Margate Winter Gardens and would like to thank everyone involved for their patience and understanding at this time.”

Paul Palmer, Head of Hospitality & Entertainment, added: “From all of us at the venue, we send our apologies to those customers who were affected by the cancelled shows, and we all share in your disappointment. Our team are working with the promoters to reschedule the missed performances.

“Our primary focus was making sure that the backstage area is safe for artists, touring crew and staff, and it is with their safety in mind, we cancelled the performances as a precautionary measure.”

“Al Murray: Landlord of Hope and Glory” which was due to take place tonight (October 15) has been cancelled.

UPDATE: The venue and Bongo’s Bingo discussed the viability of the event, scheduled for tomorrow, which does not require full stage access. This is still due to take place. Bongo’s Bingo will contact ticket holders directly if changes are made.

Further updates will be made next week once the survey report has been completed. Ticket holders can contact the venue box office team via 03333 660 661 or email [email protected]


  1. Water damage due to serious lack of investment in maintenance over too many years, more like. So very sad, and simply negligent.

  2. Is this not typical, they have all lock down to improve and maintain the buildings that they lease and make a lot of monies from, but NO they keep taking the payments from the goverment and the directors keep their pockets lined with absolutely no consideration for the public from whom they earn their living or of the heritage of these building for future generations.
    Get a grip your leisure or give it up and let someone who actually cares take over

  3. Typical Leisure Force !! They skimp all they can for example the lack of maintenance throughout there venues along with shaving the heat at Tides since they acquired it!, the shoddy state and standard cold in Hartsdown, ,, the Theatre royal is such a shame, North down house falling apart along with all the others and now this… This company should not be allowed to destroy our historic venues!!

  4. Robin Field and g clark, TDC own the building, shouldn’t they be responsible for the maintenance of the fabric of the building 🤷🏼‍♂️

    • Buck Rogers, true Thanet District Council do own the Winter Gardens. However if Your Leisure have a full maintenance and repair lease then surely the responsibility lies with them

  5. Winter Garden are fly-posting all over empty and closed properties in Thanet for a wrestling event coming up. How low are they letting themselves go. TDC should task them to be removed or charge them to do the job.

  6. Another building left to deteriorate until it’s got to close. The theatre royal will be next. Millions going into projects not worthy. Save the venues that Margate is know for first. The beautiful Nayland Rock building is on a shocking state. Primark bought and left to blight the esplanade. Sort it out before it’s too late TDC ffs.

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