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Council gives green light to Winter Garden refurbishment

Cabinet councillors have approved up to £3 million for the refurbishment of the Winter Garden marking the final phase of the impressive new Devonshire Quarter complex.
The development is putting Eastbourne on the map as a top cultural, sporting and conference destination that includes restoration and enhancements to the Congress Theatre and Devonshire Park Theatre, major improvements to international tennis facilities and a new Welcome Building.
Refurbishment of the Grade II listed Winter Garden will complete the Devonshire Quarter project, which recently celebrated the opening of a new café and bar in the Welcome Building.
Councillor Margaret Bannister, Cabinet member for Tourism and Enterprise, said: “Devonshire Quarter is hugely exciting for Eastbourne’s residents and visitors alike, and important for the town’s long-term prosperity.
“The Winter Garden is the final piece of the jigsaw. It has been the backdrop for so many events since it was opened in 1875, it will be wonderful to see the building being used to its full potential.”
Priority works will focus on creating a new kitchen, cloakroom, toilets and lift as well as extending the bars, refurbishing the front entrance and facia of the building, and redecorating and re-carpeting the Floral Hall.
The main elements of the second phase of works will be to restore the Gold Room, reconfigure the South Pavilion, complete restoration of the Gold Room toilets and upgrade the Floral Hall stage for live music events.
Councillor Bannister added: “This refurbishment will enable us to attract larger conferences and conventions of up to 1,500 delegates to Devonshire Quarter by using the Winter Garden in combination with the Welcome Building and Congress Theatre.
“Our live music offer will be much improved too and in turn, will bring bigger acts to Eastbourne.”

The decision is subject to approval from full council.

Published on 18 March, 2020