Businessman heads new plan for Trop

PUBLISHED: 15:00 06 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 25 May 2010

A LEADING Weston businessman has unveiled a £19million plan to build a water park on the town's dilapidated Tropicana site.

A LEADING Weston businessman has unveiled a £19million plan to build a water park on the town's dilapidated Tropicana site.

Richard Nightingale, who runs Nightingales Removals and Storage, says he is in talks with North Somerset Council over the idea for the closed attraction.

He says the scheme includes a privately-funded 'low-level' building with a pool and other leisure facilities inside.

And he claims work on the scheme could start as early as next summer, creating 500 permanent jobs.

Mr Nightingale said: "We have read and listened intently to the views of local residents and in doing so I believe we have incorporated these within our proposals whilst ensuring that the scheme is viable.

"North Somerset has been very supportive and loyal to us over the years and we felt this was an opportunity to give something back to the community.

"I think this exciting new project can only be described as community-based as it includes the hopes and ideas of many residents."

Mr Nightingale said a percentage of profits from the project would be churned into the community.

He added: "I truly believe that the future financial injection from profits will benefit the local community for generations to come."

The new idea marks a bounce-back for Mr Nightingale whose original proposed scheme for the site four years ago lost out to Henry Boot's failed project.

The Colosseum was set to have a Roman ruin's theme and include two large pools and a four star hotel.

But North Somerset Council overlooked his idea in favour of the Yorkshire-based firm.

Mr Nightingale, however, will face competition from other players who are in talks with the authority about developing the site.

Last month the Mercury reported six leading Liberal Democrats in the town were proposing an all-year-round taxpayer-funded pool.

The group were set to put their £10million scheme on the table at Tuesday night's North Somerset Council full council meeting, but it was cancelled due to poor weather.

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