What lies in store for Weston attraction?
A REVAMPED bar and a new aim to attract big names in entertainment – these are among the plans to help ‘re-establish the Winter Gardens Pavilion as the cultural and social hub for Weston’.
Parkwood Leisure, the company selected last year to run the town centre facility, as well as The Playhouse and tourist information service, for the next 10 years, is investing an initial �250,000 to upgrade Winter Garden facilities.
It has opened a tourist information centre within the venue, with increased opening hours and H2O bar is set to be rebranded at The View this summer and undergo a makeover by the end of the year.
Parkwood, which had already been running the catering service at the Winter Gardens for eight years, has also invested in new ovens for the banqueting kitchen and new IT systems to bring the operation up-to-date.
The company, which also runs the Hutton Moor, Backwell and Scotch Horn Nailsea leisure centres, says that all staff previously employed by North Somerset Council at the three Weston services it took over last year were given the opportunity to transfer over to its employment during the move.
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A spokesman said: “When the opportunity came through we were obviously keen to expand the operation and drive business into these iconic facilities.
“We have also created a new website for the Winter Gardens, produced a new conference and events brochure and a wedding brochure.
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“These initiatives will continue to be developed. We will be looking to enhance the special events run at the Winter Gardens to offer a more varied programme of activities.
“This will re-establish the Winter Gardens as the cultural and social hub for Weston and surrounding areas.”
Under the contract, Parkwood will be responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the three services, plus any internal repairs.
The council will retain responsibility for structural repairs and external maintenance of the buildings.
The contract will result in savings for the council of around �1.9million over the 10-year period.
The company added that it is committed to growing its relationship with the Friends Of The Playhouse and will be looking to enhance membership benefits for the group.