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Medical Centre for Villa Arcade 29 November 2004

The Department of Tourism and Leisure is pleased to be able to update the public on plans for the redevelopment of the Villa Marina Arcade.

Minister David Cretney said:

"Although plans are still at a relatively early stage we are pleased that the project is moving forward.

"Following public consultation in May, a suggestion to include in the Arcade a modern accessible medical centre for the Douglas Promenade area was proposed. In response to this priority need for both residents and visitors, both the DTL and the Department of Health and Social Security agreed that this option should be taken forward."

Therefore, incorporating the elements previously announced, the content of the scheme now comprises:

  • Wurlitzer organ and performance space
  • Cafe bar
  • Refurbished toilets
  • Access to Gaiety Theatre for disabled users
  • Toilets for disabled
  • Medical Centre
  • Central Box office
  • Offices in support of the Complex

Mr Cretney continued:

"I am sure that everyone will recognise that the Arcade is badly in need of refurbishment and will continue to deteriorate if works are not carried out. The Department's commitment to completing the final piece of the refurbishment of the Villa Marina and Gaiety Theatre Complex site can only be seen as positive progress."

Mike Ball, Director of Leisure, added:

"The final design of the scheme has yet to be completed, but the eventual redevelopment works will require a vacant site. Arcade tenants have therefore recently been served notice to quit by May 2005, and it was felt best to inform tenants of the plans as soon as the Department was in a position to do so. Tenants have been advised that due to limited retail space in the refurbished Arcade, no future tenancy arrangements for the Arcade should be expected.

"I can understand that this may be a disappointment to tenants, some of whom have been operating in the Arcade for many years, but we have endeavoured to keep tenants informed and keep lines of communication open.

"The start of works is currently scheduled for 2006 although it is hoped that this can be brought forward. It is anticipated that the refurbishment work will take approximately 18 months to complete."

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