Green light for Weston town centre transformation
The Winter Gardens in Weston-super-Mare will be redeveloped as a law and professional services academy following a successful bid by Weston College to secure £14.9m for the project.
The move forms part of a wider vision to transform the town centre.
Community use of the building will also be safeguarded, as this has been made a condition of the transfer of the building to the college.
Dr Paul Phillips, representing the governing body of Weston College, commented: “I received correspondence from the Local Enterprise Partnership stating: ‘I am pleased to advise that the Investment Board are satisfied that the information you have provided meets the conditions for approval of both the Future Technology Centre and the Professional Services Academy’.”
Speaking at North Somerset Council’s Full Council meeting this evening, Dr Phillips stated that, subject to final details, the ambition would be to advance the knowledge and employability agenda for North Somerset.
At the same meeting councillors also voted to approve the transfer of the Winter Gardens to Weston College.
The transfer of ownership is set to take place in September this year, at which point the college will take over the operation of the building, and the arrangements with current operators Parkwood Leisure will come to an end.
“It is proposed that the minimum level of usage to be made available is set at the level which has been achieved via the Parkwood arrangements,” said the report approved by councillors.
“The objective is to ensure that the centre and its associated facilities are made available to showcase a range of community events and activities.”
These would include arts, food and music festivals and other charity and local events such as award ceremonies and weddings.
A new public access on the seafront would also be installed.
The redevelopment of the Winter Gardens is expected to play a key role in the wider regeneration ambitions for the town centre.