Bid for £15million to transform flagship sites in Weston

The Tropicana, Weston

Weston could be in line for up to £20million from the Government’s levelling up fund to kickstart investment in the Tropicana and other key projects. - Credit: Google Maps

Weston’s Tropicana could be transformed into an 8,000-seat arena, following a £15million bid for levelling up funding. 

North Somerset Council has applied for cash from the Government’s £4.8billion Levelling Up Fund to transform flagship sites on Weston-super-Mare seafront and high street. 

The authority wants to turn the Tropicana into an arena for big events in Weston, with space for cultural and creative activities. 

The bid includes funding to support the restoration of Birnbeck Pier by the RNLI, and wayfinding improvements to drive Weston’s visitors and residents to the high street, seafront destinations and coastal routes. 

Some of the money would also be used to deliver phase two of the development plans for Weston’s Sovereign Centre. 

More: What the Sovereign Centre will look like after a £1.7million facelift.

Mark Canniford, executive member for placemaking and economy, at North Somerset Council, said: “A great deal of work has gone in to the bid for the Levelling Up Fund, ensuring we meet the criteria to stand a good chance of being successful in securing this transformational pot of money. 

“If we’re awarded the government grant, these plans will help define Weston town centre as a place for people to work and spend their leisure time. The fund is highly competitive, but we are committed to continuingly seek to invest in Weston’s town centre and hope that this bid forms part of that future investment.” 

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North Somerset missed out on the first round of the funding after it was placed in the second priority tier – despite Weston town centre falling in the bottom 10 per cent of the most deprived areas in the country. 

North Somerset Council has been working with Weston MP John Penrose, and North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox, to make a case for Weston. 

More: Weston 'desperately needs' levelling up bid to succeed.

The £4.8billion Levelling Up Fund is open to every local area but is especially intended to support investment in places where it can make the biggest difference to everyday life, including ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and coastal communities.   

A decision on whether the bid is successful will be made in the autumn. Any funding given to local authorities must be spent by March 2024. 

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