The Tropicana, formerly a Lido site that once contained an outdoor swimming pool, is located in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare in North Somerset, England. It is located on the Bristol Channel coast, on the southern section of the seafront.
The iconic seafront landmark re-opened in 2015 following fifteen years of closure, with the creation of the Bay Café - a modern and vibrant licensed café and lounge.
The venue now offers multi-use indoor and outdoor event space, with capacities suitable of accommodating a diverse range of events including corporate, charity, exhibitions, music, arts and culture events.
The site was first developed as a 950 square metres (10,200 sq ft) swimming pool in 1937 and included an art deco diving board. At the time it had the highest diving board and was the largest open air swimming pool in Europe. When it was opened it was simply known as "The Pool", becoming branded as Tropicana in 1983. The reinforced concrete diving board was demolished in 1982. As part of the rebranding, features such as slides, a wave machine were introduced. The Tropicana had enormous fruits as a feature and adopted the tag line, "It's fun and fruity. It's wet and wild". It remained a popular attraction for many years.
In 2000, the Tropicana closed. Subsequently, a number of unsuccessful attempts were made to redevelop or re-open the facility.
In early 2011, developer Richard Nightingale withdrew following a dispute with the council over his plans for the site.
In August 2011, the council announced it was giving developers one last chance to rebuild the old complex which by then had been shut for 11 years. But it was announced in November 2011 that a working group had made a recommendation to the council to demolish the Tropicana. In August 2012, it was announced that the council had been given approval by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to demolish the pool on the sea front and for the land to be cleared and returned to beach with a new sea wall.
In February 2013, the council granted planning permission to a consortium of local businesses, Trop Ltd, who intended to build a new swimming pool complex on the site. As the land owner, however, the council has not yet given Trop Ltd permission to build on the site.
During 2015, as part of the works to make the building safe (and clean the facade) The Bay Cafe opened in the front section of the old building.
In August 2015 it was announced that Dismaland, an art installation, would be curated at the Tropicana by the artist Banksy. The "sinister twist on Disneyland" opened during the weekend of 21 August 2015 and ran until 27 September 2015, attracting 150,000 visitors from all over the world and generating an estimated £20m in extra revenue for the town.
In November 2015 it was announced that the council would be spending a further £550,000 bringing the site into safe usage and in partnership with local arts development charity The Theatre Orchard, was opening "Tropicana Theatre" with seasonal events over December and January with a view to running regular events in the future. A consultation process was launched on 9 March 2016 with the engagement of local and regional artists, producers and residents, headed up by Wayne Hemingway.
The renaissance of the Tropicana continues as it's transformed into a pop-up amusement park 'Funland' during the summer of 2016.
Since 2016, the Tropicana has become available to hire out as an event venue - it hosts a diverse programme of entertainment including live music, theatre, comedy, funfairs and circus by the sea.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tropicana, Weston-super-Mare.|
- Trop (WsM) Ltd, consortium which was granted planning permission in February 2013 to build a new swimming pool complex at the Tropicana
- Dismaland official site