Consortium wants council to 'get on board' with Trop plan
PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 January 2012 | UPDATED: 10:22 07 January 2012
A GROUP of businessmen organising a last-ditch effort to save Weston's Tropicana from being bulldozed this year wants to give North Somerset Council a chance to 'get on board.'
Just before the decision was made by council executives to pull down the former pool, a consortium, which includes Grand Pier owner Kerry Michael and Puxton Park owner Derek Mead, came forward with a proposal to form a charitable trust with the council.
This proposal was refused at the last executive meeting but Trop Ltd was told there would still be time for groups to come forward with viable plans before the estimated £700,000 demolition was put in motion this year.
Now the group aims to set up a formal meeting with council leader Nigel Ashton and Councillor Elfan Ap Rees to put its plans in motion.
Mr Mead said: “We are waiting for Nigel Ashton and Elfan Ap Rees to come back to us about the meeting to discuss a way forward.
“Everywhere I go people say we cannot allow it to be pulled down. We want to start to get some meat on the bones and we want to give them a chance to come on board.”
Even though the Tropicana site has lain derelict for the past 11 years, Mr Mead said they have the resources in place to restore the pool to its former glory.
He said: “We have architects and surveyors on board and they are quite willing to do plans, so we have got all of the resources.
“There is plenty of money out there but it’s not good to waste it. We hope that the council will back our plan or hand it over with a contribution.
“If they can work with us then that is the best route for us to go forward, but if not we will have to bring in plan B which will be a campaign.”
Mr Mead said he hopes a meeting can be arranged as soon as possible so Trop Ltd and the council can work towards a viable plan.
He said: “Everyone in Trop Ltd is willing to push forward, but the big question is where are the executives coming from? “They are the ones who make the decisions and either they will be with us or against.”
The decision to demolish the Tropicana will also be reviewed by the community and corporate organisation policy and scrutiny panel tomorrow (Fri) at Weston Town Hall.