BOURNEMOUTH-born artist Stuart Semple has pulled out of a regeneration project for a beachside arcade. 

The artist, 43, will no longer bring a “contemporary” art gallery to Happyland arcade along Bournemouth’s seafront. 

A spokeswoman for Stuart said Happyland “will be regenerated in some way, but this will not include a contemporary art gallery sadly”. 

She confirmed he would not be having any involvement in the project going forward. 

In the initial proposals unveiled last year, there were supposed to be two galleries on the ground floor, which would be free to visit all year round and fully visible from the beach via a new glass frontage. 

Bournemouth Echo: CGI of the planned vision for the Happyland building at Bournemouth seafront

Meanwhile on the upper floor there were plans for a day spa and a full health and wellness programme offered by The Retreat, from the New Forest

And then a roof terrace would include a restaurant and sunset bar overlooking the beach and Poole Bay. 

The project was the work of BCP Council, site owners Meyrick Estate and Stuart. 

BCP Council said it is in talks with Meyrick Estate for future options.

Meyrick Estate owns vast areas of land in Bournemouth worth tens of millions of pounds, including areas such as the East Cliff and the seafront.

Deputy leader Cllr Millie Earl said: “We recognise the history and value of the building, currently housing Happyland Arcade, as a key feature of Bournemouth seafront. 

“We are currently discussing options for future use with the site landlord, Meyrick Estate, and hope to be able to advise on developments in the near future.” 

It’s not clear why Stuart had pulled out of Happyland.

In the past, he had described Bournemouth as a “cultural desert”. 

Bournemouth Echo: Stuart SempleStuart Semple

He had also pulled his GIANT gallery from Bobby’s in Bournemouth, partly because of money and partly because he couldn't find another empty building in the town centre. 

The building on the beachfront site was initially constructed as a bathing station in 1939. 

It was in operation for 30 years before being converted into an amusement arcade. 

The council is responsible for the site on a 999-year lease from the estate with its backing required for any scheme. 

In 2019, the council said a hotel “as the most likely option” for redeveloping the arcade. 

Meyrick Estate declined to comment.