New look Italian Gardens open after £2.48m revamp
PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 August 2017
Weston-super-Mare’s new-look Italian Gardens were officially opened this week, with people flocking to the square for a day-long festival to mark the occasion.
North Somerset Council commissioned the development, which started in January, after it was awarded a £2.48million grant by the West of England Local Enterprise partnership towards the project.
The first phase of the development has seen the space opened up by the demolition of some walls and new paving laid with the hope of giving the area a more ‘continental-style’ appearance.
The next phase will begin in the autumn, and will include improvements to South Parade and Spider Lane, plus the installation of decorative features and ‘Mediterranean-style’ planting.
The council hosted a free 10-hour festival at the gardens on Saturday, which featured live music and daring pyrotechnics, to mark the completion of phase one.
Throughout the day thousands of people visited square, which the council’s deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees believes ‘will benefit businesses in the area’.
He said: “It is a major step forward in the regeneration of the town centre, especially when connected with the university building.
“It is a new open space for residents and visitors to relax, and it is an area where we can hold outdoor events.
“It is certainly a piece of the jigsaw and we are already seeing the effect with The Royal Hotel looking to expand.
“It opens up the area so shops have a more open aspect and view.”
Cllr John Crockford-Hawley believes the council should be congratulated on a job well done.
He said: “I would like to congratulate the council’s regeneration team and all those involved in making Saturday’s public event in the wonderfully revitalised Italian Gardens such a huge success.
“I heard nothing but praise from so many people at the event. No doubt the sunshine helped create a hint of a Mediterranean atmosphere, but above all things there was a real sense of a truly worthwhile public square having been established.
“I’ve really enjoyed helping this project and firmly believe the council as a whole can justifiably pat itself on the back.”