Skatepark dream for Trop collapses

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 July 2011

Archant

A COMPANY hoping to create an indoor skatepark in Weston has pulled out of negotiations to take over the Tropicana after the idea proved too expensive.

The Mercury first reported last month that the Legend Skatepark Community Interest Company (CIC) was one of seven groups who proposed a takeover to the working group responsible for its future.

But the idea collapsed after company bosses paid a site visit to the former attraction – and said they would not be able to afford to carry out the work needed to clear tons of debris from within the derelict pool.

The bid was part of the company’s long-held ambition to build a skating facility in the town, but founder Nikki Stabbins now admits she might have to look outside Weston for a suitable venue.

Nikki said: “Following the site visit on July 13 we decided that we would not be able to put the money that is clearly needed into clearing the site.

“It was impossible to realise the scale of what would be needed to sort out the Tropicana, and we just can’t afford to do it.

“One of the main parts of the idea was to use the pool as part of the skating park, like Nike did in Dagenham, but it was under so much rubble that if you wanted to do anything to clear it out you’d have to demolish the pool too.”

After the collapse of the Tropicana idea, and an earlier plan to create a park in Winterstoke Road earlier this year, Nikki said the company may now have to look elsewhere.

She continued: “We will probably have to look at other sites in the area such as Clevedon or Highbridge, which is a shame as it was our ambition to build this facility in Weston.”

Councillor John Crockford-Hawley, a member of the Tropicana working group on North Somerset Council, said: “I think it’s inevitable that companies are going to rule themselves out when they see what may lie ahead. We have to take it on the chin.

“As a group we absolutely must consider every available option that is available to us, which includes anything from redevelopment as a pool to demolition.”

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