Regeneration of 'much-loved' Winter Gardens formally completed
PUBLISHED: 06:55 22 November 2017
Weston College's multi-million pound revamp of the Winter Gardens is now officially complete, with the building handed over by contractors this week.
The Weston College Group took control of the landmark Weston building from North Somerset Council in 2015, paying a nominal £1 fee in order to unlock grant funding worth nearly £15million from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership.
Since then, the building has undergone a radical transformation, with some areas restored and others completely rebuilt to help the college realise its ambitions.
A newly-built section of the building – facing inland, towards the similarly-transformed Italian Gardens – is now home to a law and professional services academy. Its first student cohort has been on site since September.
And the seafront section, which includes new restaurant Lasseter’s and the painstakingly-restored 1920s ballroom, remains reserved for community use and has already begun welcoming patrons to a new generation of events.
This week saw the formal handover of the building from contractor Midas Construction to the college, in a move heralded as another important step in Weston’s regeneration.
Dr Paul Phillips, the college’s principal and chief executive, said: “I am delighted with the end result. These new facilities will offer our students first-class facilities and provide the best education possible.
“Weston has undergone huge investment lately and the college’s continued investment is further contributing to the regeneration of the town and surrounding areas, not just by providing outstanding training for the local workforce, but also through projects such as the Winter Gardens development, which offers a place open and available for public use.”
Midas executive director Derek Quinn hopes the remodelled building will be enjoyed by many future generations.
He said: “I am immensely proud of the work carried out by Midas Construction to provide a modern and exciting new academy while sympathetically renovating the pavilion and ballroom and external features.
“This is a much-loved space that the community will be able to continue to use and enjoy for years to come.”