PLANS to revamp Weston's iconic Tropicana has moved closer with North Somerset Council’s appointment of architecture practice RCKa.

Proposals to seek a commercial operator are also going to be explored and discussed at a Full Council meeting, which will be held on February 20.

The building is set to receive a £8.67m investment to repair and upgrade facilities and increase capacity.

This is made possible thanks to the authority’s successful bid for £20 million from the UK government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Once secured, the long-term operator will manage the venue following completion of refurbishment. 

This follows 14 expressions of interest from local, regional and national operators as a result of a soft market testing exercise that took place between April and September 2023.

The Tropicana will remain open in its current form until September 2024, then it will close. Work is expected to be completed by August 2025.

Dieter Kleiner, director at RCKa, said: “We’ve proposed a design and construction programme to improve the Tropicana’s structure to make it resilient and fit for purpose.

"We’ll then lead an ambitious public engagement programme, working with local artists and others to map a way forward to reviving the Tropicana as a commercially viable and highly flexible venue to accommodate a wider range of entertainment activities.

"Key to a successful future will be broadening focus beyond Weston’s seasonal visitor economy to encompass ‘everyday’ activities to improve the daily lives of local people, while bringing additional social value to the town.”

Councillor Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council’s executive member responsible for seafronts, events and concessions, said: “The much-loved Tropicana is a key destination at the heart of the seafront in Weston-super-Mare.

"However, the reality is that it doesn’t currently cover its operational costs and it needs significant repair.

"Thanks to our Levelling Up Fund award, it will be given a new lease of life to make sure facilities are fit for purpose and flexible enough to host a wider range of activities.

“We want to attract higher profile acts, culture and entertainment events to elevate Weston’s place within the regional, national and international scene.

"The important basic infrastructure works will enable a commercial operator to help us in this goal, which is an extremely exciting prospect not just for the town and local residents but for North Somerset and beyond.”