‘All systems go’ for Winter Gardens transfer plans
PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 June 2015
‘SEVERAL significant milestones’ in the transfer of the Winter Gardens to Weston College have been reached – but an official date for the handover has not been announced.
North Somerset Council agreed to give the £10million seafront venue to the college for just £1 in January, amid public controversy surrounding the lack of consultation.
The college has secured funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and now plans to spend £15million turning the venue into a law and professional services centre.
The Secretary of State has since approved the transfer and a planning application for the renovation is expected to be submitted ‘in the next few weeks’.
The planned transfer from the authority to the college was due to take place around September this year, but while council officials say the two organisations are ‘working closely’ to progress the deal, a date is yet to be confirmed.
The authority’s executive member for asset management David Pasley said: “There is a lot of legal stuff and a lot of paperwork to go through.
“I can’t exactly say when it (the transfer) is going to take place; towards the end of this year, I can’t say any more than that because I really don’t know.
“We are heading on and we are all in it for the same goal, it is all systems go.
“We want to be able to announce a date when we can be certain.”
A spokesman from the authority said: “The council and the college are continuing to work closely together to progress the transfer of the freehold of the Winter Gardens for the development of a legal and professional services academy.
“Several significant milestones have been reached including the terms of the transfer and the approval of the Secretary of State to dispose of the building.
“The planning application is expected to be submitted in the next few weeks, and work continues behind the scenes with a view to substantive work beginning early in 2016.”