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Hotel plan for Eastpoint Centre?
PLANS to take on Southampton’s threatened Eastpoint Centre are already being drawn up, the Daily Echo can reveal.
It is believed a bid for the site may contain plans to build a hotel, with the existing centre becoming part of a larger complex.
That comes as civic bosses in the city pledged to do all they can to ensure the facility remains part of the community.
As reported in yesterday’s Daily Echo, bosses at the flagship £10.5m community hub in Thornhill are filing to enter administration.
The Eastpoint Centre’s most recent annual report revealed its ongoing financial woes, with spending of £1.1m in 2011-12 far outstripping its income of £684,313.
Baker Tilly is set to be appointed as the administrator within the next week, and the firm has stressed that the centre will continue to run as normal while its future is ironed out.
The administrator will welcome bids for the site, and it is understood that an unnamed company may want to build a hotel on land next to the centre, taking on the conference facilities at the same time.
And other proposals are expected to emerge over the coming months once Baker Tilly is formally appointed.
Thornhill Labour councillor Mary Lloyd, a trustee on the board at the Eastpoint Centre, said: “There has already been one expression of interest.
“It’s a wonderful building, and there’s great hope and quite a strong possibility that another use will be found and we just have to wait now.
“It was recognised that hotel accommodation would be needed, and that was one of the problems with the conference facilities at the Eastpoint Centre.
“There is interest, and I hope the administrators will very publicly market the site.”
Civic bosses hope that whatever the future holds for the site, the centre will remain available for use by the community in Thornhill.
Thornhill councillor and city council leader Simon Letts said: “Southampton City Council believes Eastpoint Centre to be a valuable resource that benefits the community of Thornhill, the city, and the wider region.
“Looking ahead the facility will not be completely lost to the city – the land remains under the ownership of a Thornhill-based charity [Plus You Limited] and once a new operator of the building is confirmed the council will be keen to develop a new partnership.”
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