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  • Writer's pictureDan Heley

£25m cost of pool at Tropicana scares off interest

The Weston Independent News has learnt that of the 14 submissions of interest for utilising the Tropicana, no plans were submitted for the rebuilding of a swimming pool on the site.

The discussion for how the Tropicana should be used moving forward has been a hot topic of debate for many years across the town. With many Weston residents keen to see the site restored to its former glory, seemingly irrespective of the huge costs associated with such a move.

The Tropicana, which opened in 1937, has played host to some truly iconic and notable events and celebrities over its many years, from classics including Laurel and Hardy and Diana Dors to the internationally-renowned street artist Banksy who brought his bemusement park Dismaland to the venue in 2015.

When the Tropicana first opened the pool, at 950sq metres, it was the largest open air swimming pool in Europe, famed for its art deco diving board.

It was renovated in the early 1980s by Woodspring District Council which successfully applied for permission to demolish the diving boards. The diving boards were replaced by a wave machine, pineapple water chutes and a water heater.

On its first day, 7,500 visitors turned up, meaning many had to queue until 6pm to get in. In 1997, the lido celebrated its 60th birthday with late comedian Eddie Large opening the party.

But just three years later, after yet another wet summer, The Tropicana closed its doors as a swimming pool for the last time. In more recent years, money has been invested in the building and it has hosted a number of events from outdoor music festivals to ice rinks to most recently the towering SEE Monster art installation.

However, the price tag of an estimated £25 million to redevelop the site into a swimming pool once again, together with the costs of maintenance and heating of the site, has unsuprisingly scared off any submissions of interest to carry out the neccessary work to restore the site to an open air public swimming pool.

However, all is not lost for local residents who like to swim open air, with Marine Lake already offering a thriving outdoor swimming community that is free to use. More details about how you can access Weston Marine Lakes facilities can be found here



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