Council receives cut of Dolphin Square rent fees, with housing windfall to follow

Dolphin Square.

Dolphin Square. - Credit: Archant

The Dolphin Square complex is producing a financial return for North Somerset Council, and the authority will receive a healthy cash injection upon the completion of the project.

The council is receiving a percentage of rent paid from the leisure hub’s occupiers, including Cineworld and Nando’s, and it is due to receive a sizeable Government payment after Dolphin Square’s housing project is completed.

North Somerset is contracted to receive 12.5 per cent of the rent for all units in the Weston-super-Mare leisure development, which began in 2015, and is drawing to a close.

Dolphin Square has undergone a phased opening with the first restaurants opening in November, and Loco Mexicano and Preto are due to welcome their customers in the coming weeks.

The council negotiated the deal with developer McLaren Life, which has led the project, though the arrangement is not reaching its full potential with four of Dolphin Square’s 14 units still to let.

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Councillor Richard Nightingale told the Mercury it is ‘absolutely right the council does everything to maximise revenue’ amid significant financial strain.

The council is also set to receive a 20 per cent windfall upon the completion of phase four of the Dolphin Square project, which will see housing created next to the leisure complex.

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Phase four of the project was due to be retail-led, but plans for shops were scrapped after big-name brands turned down the opportunity.

Instead more than 100 flats will be created as part of a project overseen by the council and Homes England, which is run by the Government.

Homes England was due to submit a planning application for the development late last year, but it is yet to unveil its proposals.

Cllr Nightingale believes it is ‘important developers who want to build in Weston also invest in its residents and its future’.

He said: “I think it absolutely right, with current financial pressures on the council, it does everything to maximise revenue coming in, so it can support and invest in public services.

“Other councils across the country who have failed to take this ambitious and businesslike approach have found themselves in very difficult positions financially.

“I am therefore pleased to see the council has negotiated a good financial return on behalf of taxpayers from new projects like Dolphin Square.”

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