As the scaffolding goes up at the Winter Gardens site, we take a look at the real impact that Weston College’s refurbishment and redevelopment of the historic seafront pavilion will have on Weston-super-Mare.
The initial investment in creating new facilities and refurbishing the existing ballroom will see £11 million injected into the local economy, with Bristol-based contractors Midas Group employing people from the local area, and using supplies from local traders and merchants.
The people employed on site will spend their working days in Weston, spending money in the town centre on a daily basis. Whether it’s food, drink, clothes, or other goods or services they’re buying in the town, over the course of the development this figure will add up to a substantial sum of money.
After the University Centre is opened, 250 new higher education students, 35 new university lecturers and a handful of other jobs will be brought into the building, and they too will be spending their working days in Weston.
The average spending power of university students is £11,000 per year. Despite university tuition fees rising, the total spending power of students in the UK has increased by over £655 million over the last decade.
Bringing 250 new Higher Education students into the heart of Weston-super-Mare has the potential to inject an extra £2.75 million per year into the local economy.
This extra cash flow promotes job growth, fuels investment, and could potentially lead to a much-needed increase in variety in the town centre, as it has done in many other university towns across the country.
The Winter Gardens is in need of a serious amount of investment in order to bring the building up to date, carry out repairs and transform it into a more manageable venue that meets the needs of the community and is realistic about the range of events it can hold.
The College is committed to the Winter Gardens’ continued community use, with a large portion of the building being made available to the public including the ballroom, a restaurant/bar and a café.