Revamped Italian Gardens to open tomorrow with free festival after £2.48m cash boost
PUBLISHED: 13:00 04 August 2017
Weston’s new-look Italian Gardens will open this weekend as the first phase of a multi-million pound ‘transformation’ draws to a close.
The historic square at the heart of the town centre has undergone a £2.48million refurbishment, commissioned by North Somerset Council, which has taken seven months to complete.
The development is part-funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, which awarded the council £2million earlier this year with the hope of revitalising the area into a continental-style square bordered by bustling businesses and restaurants.
The council will celebrate the completion of phase one with the free-to-enter festival, which will take place on Saturday from noon to 10.30pm.
A fire-breathing mechanical horse will be the star attraction at the party, which will also feature high-energy dance performances, live music and a range of food outlets.
The council was forced to calm concerns the gardens would not be ready on schedule with some parts appearing incomplete, but a spokesman said the work will be tackled in future phases of the project.
They added: “As the work continues, small parts of the development will look unfinished. People visiting the gardens should not be surprised to discover temporary surfacing and some of the original paving, which will be replaced as the project progresses.
“Alongside other major town centre projects, which include the redevelopment of Dolphin Square and Weston College’s development of a law and professional services academy at the Winter Gardens, the transformation of the Italian Gardens will add further momentum to the regeneration of the town as a vibrant place to live, with a thriving and diverse leisure offer.”
Council leader Nigel Ashton promised the gardens will undergo several further improvements in the next 12 months.
He said: “The changes will improve pedestrian links between the square, seafront and High Street, creating an inviting continental-style square which will encourage activities throughout the year.”
The next phase of the project will include decorative features provided by Weston Civic Society, plus improvements to South Parade and Spider Lane.
More pine trees and Mediterranean-style planting will also be installed in the autumn.