Concern over the Winter Gardens

PUBLISHED: 11:00 30 December 2014

Weston Winter Gardens Pavilion.

Weston Winter Gardens Pavilion.

Archant

A HEATED debate on the future of the Winter Gardens has cropped up on Streetlife this week after it was revealed execs agreed to hand over the venue to Weston College without any public consultation.

The council’s leader promised the seafront venue ‘will be protected’ but many users of Streetlife are concerned about the college’s plans to transform the popular venue into a university hub.

The plans will see the Winter Gardens, currently used for community events, dances and weddings, adapted to include an extra floor above the main hall and a four-storey extension block built facing the Town Square.

Spirit said: “I don’t think it will change for the better. Some businesses will benefit but we have a lot of older generation here. Pressures on services are already cut and strained.”

Maggie M agreed, and said: “The Winter Gardens has been spoilt enough already, I really do not understand how the council can believe to ruin our tourism further will be of benefit to Weston.”

But Brian saw it as a positive move, and said: “Students spending money in Weston and balancing the top heavy older generation, making use of an under-used building.

“It sounds positive to me.”

Many argued the future of the venue should have been put up for public debate, but Brian disagreed, and said: “If every decision was made subject to public consultation nothing would get done.”

The majority of concern surrounded whether the Winter Gardens would still be available to host large community-based events.

Weston super Food Festival said: “I am all for re-purposing and injecting new life into Weston town centre, but we need to make sure that space that can be utilised for community events isn’t lost in the process.”

Weston super Food Festival also highlighted how other towns have had success with similar ventures, and said: “Warwick University has a large multi-purpose exhibition space at the heart of its campus which operates as a successful arts centre and exhibition venue. It would be great if something similar could be incorporated here.”

J H agreed, and said: “There has to be a balance between the needs of the town per se and the tourism side.”


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