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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by glenn millmore

18th May 2014, at 22:24:05

All i can say is Kevin Sussmilch has put more money in to this building since he has owned it than the town council had in ten years the building was a complete wreck due to no maintance and vandalism.

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by Don Prescott

18th May 2014, at 13:01:21


many thanks for pointing out my error of posting.
I meant that the community partnership was one of the 2 losing bidders.

Makes a change for you to be right and me to be wrong dunnit?

As for being wrong, I did not suggest that the Town Council were in breach, but the Hambrough Group.
They still are, but these hopeless Independent Councillors won't take any enforcement action, because it might cost £250,000, which is considerably less than the Coastal Centre is worth!!!

Meanwhile, a Council owned property having been given away for £1, is now "open for business", when anyone with any integrity would say that it should not be.

As for the UKIP snipe - wanna little wager on you getting more votes that McKie?

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by steve cummings

18th May 2014, at 09:36:22

It looks a lot better than it did when I visited Ventnor back in March last year. That can't be bad surely? Anything is better than the eyesore it was then.

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by Stewart Blackmore

17th May 2014, at 18:17:46

@Don Prescott The WG is not owned by any "community partnership", it is owned by Kevin Sussmilch, a private individual.
Further there was no breach by VTC (I cannot speak for IWC) and there is absolutely no charge to the precept of VTC.
But don't let facts get in your way; after all, you do support UKIP.

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by Don Prescott

17th May 2014, at 13:30:31

@ jj
"why open the bar first?"

Because they have to recoup their vast outlay when they bought the building for £1, as well as the huge amounts they have expended in bringing it back to its pre-2011 condition.

It is one of those "community partnerships" don'tcha know, where a few people reap the benefit of being "funded" by the community - a sort of small version of the EU.

Good to see that they are being overtly supported in their flagrant breach by VTC and IWC.

We would not want to see the council and precept tax payers getting value for money would we?

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by alan naylor

17th May 2014, at 13:24:49

Yep another pub just what the area needs???

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by john jones

17th May 2014, at 11:13:33

how can it be a positive step in the right direction? its just another pub!!!!!!!! why open the bar first? isn't there enough drinking places in ventnor already???????????
lets have someplace people can go where they don't have to spend money just to pee it down the toilet an hour later!!!! we're not all beer guzlers in ventnor

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by Baz Taylor

16th May 2014, at 19:37:20

Great news! Well done to all involved. No doubt this story will have it's knockers as usual!

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by I White

16th May 2014, at 19:21:08

A positive step in the right direction , keep it going !

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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