In January 2015, North Somerset Council approached Weston College with the proposition of transferring the building to the College’s ownership in order to secure its future by restoring the historic 1920s portion of the building, and redeveloping the little-used 1980s conference facilities into an educational centre for its Law and Professional Services Academy and University Centre Weston.
In its 90th year, the Winter Gardens Pavilion reopened to the public after an extensive renovation and refurbishment, which saw £15 million spent on improving the building’s public facilities and creating an educational centre for law, finance, and some university-level courses.
In the historic 1920s portion of the building, the College set to work restoring damage to the roof, walls and plasterwork, and refurbishing original fixtures and fittings such as the ballroom’s uplighters.
The College treated the dome with an acoustic solution to help dampen the room’s echo, and worked with audio visual design engineers to create a bespoke sound system and introduce new video technology that will make the Winter Gardens Pavilion a unique and competitive venue in the area.
This refurbishment also led to the entrance being relocated to its original position in the north wing, the creation of a new reception area, and the development of a new suite of function rooms and meeting spaces. A new public restaurant, Lasseter’s, was opened in the southern wing and the kitchens were completely refitted.
At the rear of the building the College refurbished and reopened the public bistro. The new bistro, the Florentine, opens onto the newly redesigned Italian Gardens which were redeveloped by North Somerset Council in 2017.