Weston’s Tropicana shortlisted for £1million investment

The Tropicana has been transformed into a winter wonderland for Icescape this winter. Picture: Icesc

The Tropicana has been transformed into a winter wonderland for Icescape this winter. Picture: Icescape - Credit: Archant

The prospect of Weston’s Tropicana being transformed into an ‘entertainment hub’ courtesy of a £1million investment have moved forward this week.

The Trop is one of 60 projects from around the country on the shortlist for the Government grant.

If succesful, the money would help pay for a new 9,000-seat outdoor arena, 1,000-seat performance space and improved café and cycle hire facilities.

Improved seating, sound and lighting have also been suggested.

The investment would boost the town’s economy by £2.2million, creating 60 new jobs and 10 new apprenticeships.

North Somerset Council says the funds would also allow the venue to host a ‘diverse range of theatre, music, educational and events programming, alongside seasonal attractions’.

Council leader Nigel Ashton said: “I am really pleased our bid has made it through to the next round.

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“Progressing to the final shortlist demonstrates government support for all that we are doing to regenerate Weston, and more specifically, for the Tropicana.

“We will be working with partners over the next two months to develop a strong case for the project and to ensure that it meets their priorities within Weston, North Somerset and the West of England.

“It’s not yet time for celebration though, as we still have a lot of work to do to prepare the detail required for this final round and we expect the process to be extremely competitive.”

The money will be awarded as part of the Government’s £40million Coastal Communities Fund, designed to create jobs and growth in coastal areas of the UK.

The redevelopment ideas are unlikely to quell calls from some quarters for the site to be turned back into a swimming complex.

An online Mercury poll last month found 86 per cent of people favoured the idea.

North Somerset Council has repeatedly said it will not consider the idea.

Last month, Cllr David Pasley reinforced the objection, saying a second pool at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre is its primary focus and a pool at the Tropicana could only be created through private investment.

The council expects to learn whether its bid has been successful by spring 2019.