Businesses fearful over TIC future
RESTAURANTS and caf�s on Weston seafront could go bust if North Somerset Council presses ahead with plans for the town's tourist information centre – according to a bar owner.
RESTAURANTS and caf�s on Weston seafront could go bust if North Somerset Council presses ahead with plans for the town's tourist information centre - according to a bar owner.
The Mercury revealed earlier this month how the aging facility is set to close and be replaced with a 'gateway building'.
North Somerset Council's executive members have already voted to shut the centre and it has been suggested by designers that a two-storey caf� or restaurant could replace it.
But the owner of Raddy's Bar and Restaurant, in Beach Road, said at a meeting of the authority's full council on Tuesday that the plans could spell disaster for nearby businesses.
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Paul Koumas, who has run the outlet since 1978, told councillors: "I applaud the work the council has done with the Grand Pier, Pier Square and the wheel, so it's with some trepidation we ask you to reconsider your decision about the tourist information centre.
"It is a challenging time for all of us and there are already 49 places where people can sit and eat within 15 square miles of the site.
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"We can see the tourist information plans resulting in the closure of several businesses that have served the town over the years."
The unitary authority hopes to strike a deal with a developer by September in the hope the new attraction could be open for next summer.
The current tourist service is then likely to move to the Winter Gardens.
Executive member for environment and asset management Councillor Carl Francis-Pester says the development could help turn the seafront area into a 'premier attraction'.