Pop-up restaurant on the site of the Winter Gardens

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A HIGH-END pop-up restaurant is one of the temporary options that could fill the empty space freed up by two demolished buildings on the Winter Gardens site.

The deputy head of the BCP council revealed that discussions were ongoing around the site, ahead of the start of the proposed development.

The Valentino restaurant and the former Keystone House office block which housed the Lost Paradise nightclub have now been bulldozed as demolition crews begin to tear down the three main sites on Exeter Road.

Despite the demolition, Bournemouth Development Company (BDC), the joint venture between BCP Council and Muse Developments, has yet to appoint a contractor to deliver its plans.

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The Daily Echo previously reported that the BDC was reviewing elements of the program – which it had been planning in 2019 – to ensure it met community needs.

Discussing the demolition of the Winter Gardens, Cllr Philip Broadhead, Deputy Head of the BCP Council and Cabinet Member for Development, Growth and Regeneration, said: “First of all it gets the permit to build and what really excites me is what we could do with the space in the meantime.

“The use ‘during this time’ is really important for regeneration and we’re having some really interesting discussions right now about the use of this downtown beachfront location as plans are still evolving for what is finally happening, to bring activity back to the region.

Cllr Philip Broadhead, Deputy Head of the BCP Council and Cabinet Member for Development, Growth and Regeneration

“It’s only been in the last few weeks that we’ve had conversations about ‘are we putting a really good high-end pop restaurant in there?’ “Do we have a year-round event space?”

“With the best will in the world, even if we pushed the contractors button today, work would not start on the site for another year.

“Now these buildings are down and we have this empty space, let’s absolutely use it.

“We have done that over the last 12 months with our Festival Coast Live program which has been one of the real successes of the past year and this site is a great place which we will definitely be using until ‘it be built on.’

Planning permission has already been granted for the £150million Winter Gardens development which will see more than 350 apartments, 600 parking spaces and new leisure and retail space.

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