Dolphin Square ‘will be massive for Weston-super-Mare’
PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 July 2017
The project manager behind the Dolphin Square project believes the leisure complex will have a ‘massive’ impact on the town, as the £45million development nears completion.
Years of waiting are nearly over, as the project draws to a close with excitement building over the new leisure hub.
The complex will be home to a range of restaurants including Mimosa, Preto, Pizza Express and Nando’s, an eight-screen Cineworld cinema, plus a rock climbing centre and a gym.
The development is being carried out by Dawnus Construction on behalf of McLaren Life, and will shortly be handed to tenant companies to complete their own fitting processes.
Project manager Bob Cooper told the Mercury: “I think it will be massive for Weston, absolutely huge. You’ve got some really big names coming here and people will drive to eat at those places.
“All these businesses know each other at a very high level, and if these restaurants do well down here then a ripple effect will come.
“All the traders along Oxford Street have been very reasonable as they see this as something which is going to bring people to Weston.
“It’s a shame it’s taken this long to happen, it could have happened three or four years ago, but getting tenants in place has been hard work.
“You have to talk them into it because in Weston there is a massive high and low in trade. The summer is really high, and the winter is very low so it’s getting people to understand how that affects their business.”
But the question on people’s lips is when will the restaurants open? Mr Cooper believes the first kitchens could be firing up within six weeks – though no opening date has been confirmed.
He said: “Nando’s and Costa Coffee are imminent; they will probably be the first ones to go in.
“The fitting could be very fast, Costa do a very fast fit-out because they are all clip-and-play, so they just have to put them into place.
“We’ve got a meeting with them next week, and then we will understand a bit better when exactly they are going to open.
“We will probably be on site until late August or early September.”
The retail development is the third phase of the project, with the final phase being a housing complex – and it is yet to be confirmed if Dawnus will be involved.
Mr Cooper added: “Phase four is quite a way off; they are still in conceptual design. We would always be interested in it, but at the moment we are not involved.”