New start at the Winter Gardens

By Richard Wright

Friday, May 16, 2014


New start at the Winter Gardens

The partly refurbished Ventnor Winter Gardens. Picture by Jennifer Burton.

THE Winter Gardens at Ventnor has re-opened for business — three years after it closed.

It may not be the multi-million-pound masterplan announced by the Hambrough Group, which bought the 1930s building from the IW Council, but the "soft launch" marks completion of some phases of refurbishment.

The re-opening of the bar will be followed by further facilities.

Work to weatherproof and improve the appearance of the building has been completed by up to 30 contractors and IW College students in a community partnership.

Next month, the auditorium is expected to open, catering for up to 300 restaurant guests or an audience of 750 for music events. The Hambrough Group bought the Winter Gardens from the local authority for £1 and faced a deadline of having to substantially complete work by July.

It had faced criticism for allowing the Winter Gardens to deteriorate and become a target for vandals after shelving its luxury hotel and conference centre plan.

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