IT has been just over six years since Weston's new-look Italian Gardens opened after a £2.48m revamp.

People flocked to the square for a day-long festival to mark the occasion in 2017.

There was live music, a mechanical horse, a sword swallower and food outlets for lots of people to enjoy at the opening festival.

North Somerset Council commissioned the development, which started in January of that year, after it was awarded with a £2.48million grant by the West of England Local Enterprise partnership.

Weston Mercury: There was a fire show at the opening festival in 2017.There was a fire show at the opening festival in 2017. (Image: NQ staff)

The first phase of the development saw 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 second phase began in the autumn and included improvements to South Parade and Spider Lane, plus the installation of decorative features and ‘Mediterranean-style’ planting.

Throughout the day, thousands of people visited square.

The council's deputy leader at the time, Elfan Ap Rees, spoke about the grand opening: "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 believed 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.”