Tropicana plans suffer blow after failure to win 'valuable' support from Government

PUBLISHED: 07:55 31 March 2019

The Banksy castle.

The Banksy castle.

Archant

Plans to secure 'valuable investment' and transform Weston-super-Mare's Tropicana into a 9,000- capacity arena have suffered a hammer blow - after a funding bid failed.

North Somerset Council had hoped to revitalise the former lido, in Marine Parade, with a £1.1million grant from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

The council had a long wishlist of upgrades it hoped to make to the Trop, including an indoor event space for 1,000 people with retractable seating, a ‘unique, enclosed outdoor arena’ with a capacity of 9,000, and a new roof.

The project was set to create up to 70 jobs, including 10 apprenticeships.

North Somerset forecasted the ‘valuable investment’ would have provided an annual cash boost of £2.2million to Weston’s economy.

This week, however, the authority discovered that its bid was unsuccessful, meaning the project will not go ahead as planned.

A council spokesman said the authority was ‘disappointed’ with the decision but believed the Trop had a bright future under its stewardship.

MORE: Banksy’s Dismaland pinwheel to move to town centre site.

Since being resurrected by legendary artist Banksy for his Dismaland exhibition in 2015, the Trop has become host to a wide range of seasonal events.

Pop-up amusement park Funland At The Tropicana, the Icescape ice rink and others have lured thousands of visitors to Weston’s seafront, but the council hoped to enhance the venue’s appeal with the Government funding.

MORE: Trop ‘grown in leaps and bounds’ as multiple big events planned.

The spokesman added: “Only 26 of the 61 shortlisted bids were funded, and the total amount bid for was £84million against an available pot of £34million.

“The process has enabled us to develop comprehensive plans for the building which have the potential to be delivered in stages rather than as one major project.

“There are likely to be future opportunities to bid for funding through routes such as the Coastal Communities Fund, and we will be seeking feedback from the minister regarding the detail of our bid to enable us to put forward an even stronger case next time.

“Having made it through to the final round this time, we have a good chance of success.”

The spokesman added: “In the meantime, we are pleased to have a packed programme of events at the Tropicana and on the seafront throughout the 2019 season.”

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