Winter Gardens hotel on hold

By Martin Neville

Friday, January 24, 2014

 

Winter Gardens hotel on hold

Ventnor Winter Gardens. Picture by Peter Boam.

THE COMPANY which owns Ventnor Winter Gardens has put multi-million pound plans to turn it into a top 35-bed hotel, conference and entertainment centre, on hold.

But the Hambrough Group confirmed it will re-open the Isle of Wight venue this summer.

A spokesman said: "Unfortunately, due to unexpected changes within the business and the current economic climate it has meant a delay to the planned refurbishment and development of the site.

"We understand how frustrating this must be to the people of Ventnor and the Isle of Wight, so whilst these plans have been put temporarily on hold, as a short term measure we have been working on another option to get the Winter Gardens open again as soon as possible so that at least it will be operating and be accessible to people. "This will still involve an enormous amount of work due to the vandalism that has occurred."

Work has already started, in partnership with the Isle of Wight College, whose construction students and contractors are repairing the roof and dry-out the building, with the hope of it opening by early summer.

The Isle of Wight Council, which sold the Winter Gardens to the Hambrough Group for £1 in August 2011, insisted, as a condition of sale, that work should be 'substantially complete’ on the project within three years.

But planning permission took longer than expected and the Hambrough Group blamed subsequent delays on the shock departure of high-profile chef Robert Thompson and substantial ground survey work that was needed.

Ventnor mayor Cllr Steve Stubbings said: "I will be making enquiries about what is happening to the project."

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Displaying the last 10 of 27 comments - Show All Comments

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by Jack Woodford

1st February 2014, at 20:51:10

Thanks Cllrs Stubbings and Jordan.
Fantastic engagement. Not.
Seriously, Stevie Stubbs needs to grow considerably more statesmanlike if he is to fulfil his ambition of usurping Ian Stephens. Voters (and Indies) beware!
.

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by Jack Woodford

30th January 2014, at 09:43:29

@Cllr Stubbings. I seem to remember your answers being non-answers rather than brief ones, fella.
I am asking for the figures to show the comparative cost of employing Mr Burbage. You have - again - not provided them. Transparent?
I don't recall you saying the civic figures were under review. If you can point to that post I'd be grateful. In any case I'll await the result of your 'review' with interest.
And I would prefer the answers be posted here in public rather than intimated in a phone call, dude. If its al the same to you.

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by steve stubbings

30th January 2014, at 07:46:23

Mr Woodford
You will surely recall that I answered your original questions because you actually commented on the brevity of my response. That you may have found my response unsatisfactory is entirely a matter for you. I advised you that Mr Burbage's current financial arrangement is less expensive to the council than before he was made PAYE, and that the civic office costs required review (this is happening)
I would be happy to discuss these matters with you on the telephone or in person. I'd call that accommodating.

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by Jack Woodford

29th January 2014, at 20:53:21

Yup. Given yet another failure to answer two reasonable and straightforward questions I'd say contemptuous was a pretty fair assessment, Cllr Stubbings. What would you call it?

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by Jack Woodford

28th January 2014, at 19:11:37

Tick tock, tick tock......

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by Jack Woodford

28th January 2014, at 09:37:01

@Steve Stubbings
Sincere apologies if I have missed these answers. Perhaps they were posted later on a thread I had stopped reading.
To clarify then - and as the answers are clearly now available - it would be great of you could repost the answers here.
To refresh, I wanted the full figures showing the employment cost (not salary) of Dave Burbage now and before he was made PAYE. This was to include all on-costs.
Then there was the issue whether the civic budget would be cut this year.
As I said, simple questions given the grasp you will both have of the budget. I look forward to the replies.
Cheers dude.

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by steve stubbings

28th January 2014, at 08:45:16

@Jack
I recall answering both of your questions. So did Phil Jordan.

Have you imagined, for one moment, that your assessment might be quite wrong?

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by steve stubbings

28th January 2014, at 08:14:54

@Don
What a shame you couldn't make it. It was a really excellent evening.

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by Don Prescott

27th January 2014, at 16:06:01

Jack,
"someone who covets high office"
Yeah, but its only on loan for another 3 and a bit years!

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by Jack Woodford

27th January 2014, at 15:04:25

@Don and Steve S.
I have to say that for someone who covets high office, Steve Stubbings is a fella that seems to have an unappealingly contemptuous air about him. Why the sarcasm in his posts?
Rather that squabbling with correspondents on here, why can't he just engage in a adult manner?
Better still, he could actually provide information. My two questions of over a month ago have still not been answered.
Transparency and open government? Talk is cheap, Cllr Stubbings.

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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