A £100m scheme – billed as the biggest redevelopment Bournemouth has ever seen – is aiming to breathe new life into the Winter Gardens site.
The ambitious plans include at least one hotel, a multiplex cinema, quality grocery store, around 240 apartments, a public piazza, 26,000 square feet of restaurants, a ‘Rock and Bowl’ diner and bowling alley and an outdoor winter ice rink.
The vast majority of the site, which also includes Keystone House and Priory Road car parks, has already been bought by private pension fund A P Bond Children’s Settlement and they have agreed to buy the remainder from Bournemouth council. They are keen to create a lasting legacy for the town and stress this will not be an identikit development filled by the usual high street brands and chains.
Instead they are keen to offer prime sites to local, independent restaurants and cafes. They have also pledged there will be no takeaways and no bars.
Tony Ramsden, of Bournemouth-based Planning Solutions who are the sole planning, sales and letting agents, said: “We want to push this as a local, niche development for Bournemouth.
“The council always dreamed of a scheme like this but never had the money. Suddenly, someone has come along who is not driven by a load of shareholders in London but is local and loves the town. It’s almost like going back in time to the days of benefactors.
“This is a scheme driven by local people who don’t have a hidden agenda and know what the town needs.
“We don’t want something that could be anywhere. We need good quality anchor tenants but we also need it to be special.”
The scheme includes:
• One, possibly two hotels. Local companies are being offered the chance to get involved but an international chain has also expressed an interest.
• A multiplex cinema with between 10 and 12 screens. Two well-known local operators have expressed an interest.
• An indoor rock climbing wall.
• A food store. Talks are under way with a well-known quality retail grocer.
• Around 240 apartments, to be built by David Wilson Homes.
• A public piazza, with big screens that will show sporting events and concerts, and space to host live events, markets and street entertainers.
• A “Rock and Bowl” American sports diner with eight to 10 bowling lanes.
• A public walkway to the BIC and beach.
• A temporary outdoor ice rink from November to January.
• 26,000 square feet of commercial units, probably restaurants but possibly shops. Local companies, including Valentinos, are being given the first chance to get involved. A planning application is due to be submitted next March or April with a view to starting building work in 2013.