Tropicana to house council staff offices

Working at the site

Working at the site - Credit: Archant

NEW offices to accommodate North Somerset Council’s seafront events team will be included in the long-awaited £400,000 revamp of the Tropicana, the Mercury can reveal.

The authority has remained tight-lipped about what is in store for the seafront building, which is undergoing ‘light refurbishment’ to bring it back into use for the summer.

Last week, when asked what the building might be used for, the authority said: “We have mentioned the cafe and the toilets at the front of the building – other potential uses are still being discussed.”

But this week the authority has announced the freshly-renovated first floor, once occupied by a model railway, will be used as an office space for its events team.

A council spokesman said: “The first floor of the Tropicana is having a light refurbishment and will become the base of our seafront and events team.

“It will give them space to house all the team and somewhere on-site from which they can manage the hugely successful events we host on the beach and seafront area, for example the beach race events and the air festival which is returning again in June.”

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Last week the Mercury revealed the council’s hope of having the Tropicana partially open to the public by the summer.

Once the building is stripped back to its bare bones, work will start on a new café and bar, public toilets and a refurbished foyer area which will be used when the outdoor rear section is back in action.

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Contractors have been working since Christmas to prepare the site and remove asbestos.

But the hefty £400,000 price tag is just for renovating the seafront-facing section, which includes replacing the plumbing, rebuilding interior walls and making the roof watertight.

The spokesman said: “The costs of the partial refurbishment, just to bring the building back into a useable state, are expected to be substantial.

“The material costs alone for the first floor replacement windows, and replacing the window openings on the southern side of the building are expected to be in the region of £70,000, with costs overall likely to top £400,000.”

Plans do not, however, include any council commitment to bring the outdoor pool back to life.

The spokesman said: “The council is also looking at a number of proposals to use the remaining space at the rear of the Tropicana site, and is hopeful that this space will be available for activities this year.”

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