Plan for £1m 9,000-capacity arena at Weston’s ‘iconic’ Tropicana revealed

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 June 2018

The Tropicana, in Marine Parade.

The Tropicana, in Marine Parade.


A revamp of Weston-super-Mare’s ‘magical’ Tropicana costing more than £1million, including the creation of a 9,000-capacity arena, is planned by North Somerset Council.

Dismaland at night.Dismaland at night.

The local authority has bid for a £1.1million share from the Government’s £40million Coastal Communities Fund (CCF), with hopes of making a long list of upgrades to the Trop.

The council hopes to create an indoor event plus performance and education spaces with a capacity of up to 1,000 people, which will include retractable seating plus staging, sound and lighting equipment and a ‘modern, sustainable roof’. Additionally, it aspires to develop a ‘unique, enclosed outdoor arena’ with a capacity of 9,000.

The plans include space for workshops and studios, which will address regional shortages.

Café facilities have also been earmarked for upgrades, and a cycle hire centre is planned.

Cllr David Pasley, executive member for asset management, said: “The Tropicana has played a charismatic role in the history of Weston’s tourism experience.

“This iconic site, once a much-loved outdoor lido, was more recently home to Banksy’s vibrant and brilliant Dismaland exhibition which attracted a vast number of visitors from far afield.

“The Tropicana’s magical appeal still continues and we have carefully invested in improving it to widen the scope for events.”

Since hosting Banksy’s exhibition, the former lido has held numerous temporary guises including an ice rink and an amusement park.

Banksy's Dismaland, pictured by Melissa Callum.Banksy's Dismaland, pictured by Melissa Callum.

The council forecasts the revamp would secure 14 jobs and create 70 new roles including 10 apprenticeships.

It is also predicted it would give the town’s economy an annual cash injection of £2.2million.

North Somerset will learn the outcome of its bid in January and, if successful in securing funding, the project will be completed by March 2021.

Cllr Pasley added: “If we are successful in our bid, the CCF could provide further valuable investment which will help us increase the scope and potential for more exciting public events which, in turn, will bring more prosperity for the businesses and people of North Somerset.

“By investing in the arts and cultural diversity of Weston, we hope to provide new employment and creative opportunities for our young and growing population.”

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