Bournemouth's Imax building to be torn down at £2million cost
Bournemouth's controversial Imax building is to be torn down to create an open-air events space.
The building has been empty since being shut in 2005 and Bournemouth Borough Council will now pay to tear down the building.
The Imax building has caused controversy and anger with local residents after being built in 1998, and blocking out views of the Purbeck Hills from the town.
Council Leader Cllr John Beesley said: "Our aim has always been to substantially demolish the building. Since acquiring the site, we have been committed to improving the view and providing an attraction in the site that local people can enjoy.
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"Over 3,500 people responded to a public consultation in 2010 on the future of the site, with an entertainment and events space amongst the top preferred uses. I am delighted that the Council is able to bring about something in which we can have confidence and that local people will use and enjoy at Pier Approach."
The events programme is likely to be managed by BH Live who current run events at the BIC and Pavilion. The area could hosts concerts from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and Pavilion Dance. There could also be the opportunity to host pop concerts and sports events such as beach volleyball, racquet sports, zorbing an skateboarding - and seasonal offers such as speciality markets and an open air cinema.
Terence O'Rourke, Chairman of the BSO said: "We are working closely with the Council and are actively seeking ways of increasing our presence in the town, particularly in the summer months.
"The BSO is very excited about any opportunities to bring further BSO events and performances to Bournemouth and we look forward to seeing how these plans develop and to helping the Council is any way that we can."
The Council asked developers to put forward proposals for the site, but due to the economic climate - no suitable offers were made. Therefore, instead of waiting for the market to pick up, Bournemouth Council will use the remaining £2million of the £8.5million budget for the project to demolish the Imax.
The Cabinet will vote on April 25 to confirm that the Imax building be demolished.
Peter Gunn, Chief Executive of BH Live said: "We have a great deal of experience of bringing quality events to our current venues, which include the BIC and Pavilion Theatre. We welcome discussions on any further opportunities to be involved in complimenting what Bournemouth, and our venues, can offer residents and visitors."