‘No long-term commitment’ to Tropicana?


Tropicana - Credit: Archant

SOME of the Tropicana’s windows will still be boarded over by the time it reopens in the summer – leading to questions being asked about the council’s ‘commitment’ to the project.

The dilapidated seafront building, which once contained an outdoor swimming pool but has been vacant since 2000, is undergoing a £400,000 renovation to bring it back into limited use before the summer.

Potential uses for the site include music, theatre and wrestling events, while a bar and café area will also be included.

However, at Weston Town Council’s finance and policy committee meeting on Monday, chairman Peter Crew suggested some of the windows will not be fixed due to cost issues.

He said: “North Somerset Council is not doing all the work it intended because the lead glass windows are more expensive to repair than it thought.”

But North Somerset has denied changing its original plans, and says the boarded-up area has been planned for use as a display area to promote upcoming events.

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A spokesman said: “We are replacing all windows to the café area and covering all other windows on the ground floor.

“The first floor windows are being replaced as they are beyond repair.

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“After a detailed inspection we have found a local supplier who can provide a part which will allow the windows to the bowling alley to be repaired, which will make that area weather-tight.”

Despite these assurances, some town councillors are concerned not enough is being done.

Cllr Robert Payne said: “If they are simply tarting up the front for the start of the elections what are they going to do after?

“There is no long-term commitment at all.”

Cllr Richard Tucker agreed and said: “(The council) is just doing what it can to get by and tick that box, then it will shut off the back and never re-open the pool.”

As it stands there are plans to open a café and bar by the summer with council office space on the first floor, but no plans for the outdoor space have been confirmed.

A display for Weston Museum will be on the ground floor and, as well as housing for North Somerset’s seafront events team, there will be space in the office for the town council-funded Love Weston and possibly the BID team.

The tourist information centre will also have a desk at the Tropicana.

North Somerset has denied rumours that the Tropicana will be renamed as part of its reopening.

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