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Villa Marina Arcade 10 June 2004

Plans to refurbish the Villa Marina Arcade will be unveiled by the Department of Tourism and Leisure next week.

Members of the public are being invited to view the estimated £4.5 million scheme and give their views on the development to the Department.

Restoration of the Arcade follows the £15 million Villa Marina refurbishment which has been successfully completed to widespread public acclaim. The Department has retained the same design team employed on the Villa Marina works for the Arcade restoration.

Tourism and Leisure Minister David Cretney explained:

"In putting forward this outline scheme for the Arcade, I have sought to give the Arcade the prominence it deserves as the central link between the Villa Marina and Gardens and the Gaiety Theatre which adjoin the Arcade. Whilst retaining the historic and architectural features of the Arcade, we are seeking to create a high quality internal environment which will provide support to the Villa Marina and Gaiety Theatre Complex.

"Building on our success in restoring the Colonnade and the Villa Marina itself, the Department is keen to take forward the restoration of the Arcade, which I am sure all will agree is in much need of revival - having suffered from years of neglect.

"As well as enabling the installation of the Wurlitzer organ together with its own performance area, the plans contain proposals for catering facilities which open out into the Villa Gardens, a new central booking office, high quality arts related retail, office space in support of the Villa Marina and Gaiety Theatre Complex operation, potential gallery area and refurbished toilets including provision for the disabled. The installation of doorways to the front and rear of the Arcade will also ensure that the building becomes much more welcoming, even in the midst of winter.

"A key feature which I held as a priority from the outset, is the creation of a link through the Arcade to the Gaiety which allows much improved access to the theatre for those with disabilities. I feel sure the plans will be well received and I hope that the project can be advanced as soon as practicably possible."

In addition to a presentation for Members of Tynwald, a number of public sessions have been arranged for members of the public to view the plans and to express views on the scheme. These will be held in the Villa Marina - in the Ivy Benson Bar - on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 16th June from 4 pm - 7pm
  • Thursday 17th June from 4 pm - 7 pm
  • Friday 18th June from 12 pm - 2 pm

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