Large-scale offshore rig to be built at Weston's Tropicana next year as part of UK-wide project

An artist's impression of See Monster.

An artist's impression of See Monster. - Credit: New Substance

A North Sea platform will be built at Weston's Tropicana next year.

Announced today (Thursday) Unboxed: Creativity in the UK is a celebration of creativity taking place across the UK in 2022, designed to reach millions of people and bring them together.

The Mercury can exclusively reveal that Weston is one of 10 projects selected to be part of the celebration of creativity.

The design at the Tropicana, called See Monster, will  reimagine a decommissioned North Sea offshore platform in Weston, transforming the retired industrial structure into a large-scale public art installation that celebrates British weather in the town.

Presented by professionals from science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, Unboxed features 10 major, multi-site and digital creative projects that share new ideas and possibilities for the future.

The build will start in spring 2022 and will take approximately two months. It will open to the public in the summer 2022.

See Monster  is brought to life by Leeds-based creative studio New Substance and supported by North Somerset Council.  

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Patrick O’Mahony, artistic director and founder of New Substance, said: "We are thrilled to be working with North Somerset Council to bring See Monster to Weston and the Tropicana.

"The town is the perfect location for this exciting and creative public art installation that we hope will inspire a generation and bring considerable economic uplift and community benefits to the region.

"We are committed to recruiting local people for key roles within the project and when we open our doors in the summer of 2022 and local people will be invited as our first visitors.” 

The arrival of See Monster aims to align with the emerging cultural landscape of the town. Drawing on Weston’s unique locality, the project aims 'to shine a light on the resilience of the coastline, creating opportunities and generating new possibilities'. 

After a lifetime at sea, the regenerated topside platform will harness renewable energy from the natural elements, in celebration of the Great British Weather and British eccentricity. It will explore the concept of inherited structures, be those physical, social, or environmental. 

People will be the first to visit See Monster on a selected day and time of the week, access will be prioritised for local people. Additional priority access will also be confirmed for schools, colleges, and youth groups at set times.  

Unboxed is funded and supported by the four governments of the UK and is commissioned and delivered in partnership with Belfast City Council, Creative Wales and EventScotland.