The new arts centre scheme, for Bournemouth Council, involves the construction of an education centre for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and a number of recording and dance studios.
Built in 1875, the original Winter Gardens was a monument to Victorian engineering and played host to the likes of Elgar, Sibelius and Holst, who all conducted there. It was demolished in 1935 to make way for an indoor bowls centre and was converted two years later into a live music venue. It went into decline in the 1970s and has been shut for a number of years.
Roger Wooley, from the Winter Gardens Trust, said the new project would 'play a vital role in bringing new life to the town centre and providing the community with a range of performances, courses and festivals that are not currently available in the area'.
The Arts Institute, Bournemouth University, BSO and Dance South West are partnering the council on the scheme, which is expected to start later this year, and to complete in 2009.