Weymouth Pavilion - Threatened Closure and Community Handover

Threatened Closure and Community Handover

In 2012 it was reported that the Borough Council was considering options for cost-saving on the Pavilion site, including partial closure; new redevelopment plans were also proposed. In late 2012, the council announced a threat of closure and possible demolition after stating the venue would cost too much to run in the coming years. One idea was to demolish the site and turn it into a car park at a cost of £500,000. As a result, local campaigners launched a petition. On 5 February 2013, the council held a meeting to discuss the pavilion's future with five possible options to be chosen from:

  • 1. The pavilion is closed and demolished prior to the longer-term redevelopment of the Peninsula site.
  • 2. The council closes the venue and a process starts to lease the building with criteria supporting community use.
  • 3. The council closes the venue and starts a process to lease the building to secure 'best market value'.
  • 4. The council closes the Pavilion and markets it for freehold sale.
  • 5. The council continues running the Pavilion and the budget is found from elsewhere to meet operational needs, repairs and maintenance.

In the meeting, it was recommended that the pavilion should be handed over to the community and the council called for bids to manage the venue for community use. This decision made by the council's management committee was due to be discussed and given a final, official decision by the full council on 21 February 2013. The result of the meeting was to hand the pavilion over to the community as opposed to demolition. The pavilion still has continuing events lined up, and will close as planned at the end of May. The pavilion will remain shut for a time while a tendering process goes on and legal matters are sorted out. At the forefront of the process is the Save the Pavilion group who wish to run the venue as a not-for-profit community interest company and develop it as an arts, performance and workshop space. It is the only group to express an interest in taking over the Pavilion and has been supported by many organisations which use the pavilion, as well as the 1,000-strong Friends of the Pavilion. Cathy Page-Nash from Friends of the Pavilion also announced that 5,000 people are known who want to help.

Read more about this topic:  Weymouth Pavilion

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