Bournemouth Council resumes Happyland plans as search for operator commences

BCP Council Happyland Arcade plans
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BCP Council and The Meyrick Estate have resumed their plans to redevelop the former Happyland Arcade, with a call for operator submissions beginning in the new year.


BCP Council has resumed its Happyland redevelopment plans, working in partnership with estate agent Savills to create a “new and vibrant hospitality based destination business.”

The local authority and site owner Meyrick Estate are now seeking operator expressions of interest for the former seafront arcade, following delays imposed by the pandemic.

“The Meyrick Estate is looking to develop and reinvigorate the Happyland site in partnership with BCP Council to deliver a high-quality world class year-round destination for Bournemouth and its seafront, offering a selection of tourism and leisure facilities for both visitors and residents,” said Savills head of licensed leisure Kevin Marsh.

“Prior to Covid we held a series of meetings with restaurateurs and hoteliers which demonstrated strong interest in the site. With such positive sentiment in the UK hospitality industry, particularly in locations such as Bournemouth, we believe that now is the right time to bring the property to the market.”

The redevelopment plans, first confirmed in 2019, were put on hold during the height of the pandemic, however the council stated its return to the plans forms part of a “bold and unique approach” to enhancing the conurbation’s tourism offer.

“Bringing forward the Happyland arcade site will form part of Bournemouth’s exciting main visitor destination experience, stretching along the coastal arc that runs from the BIC in the west through to Westover Road in the east,” said portfolio holder for development, growth and regeneration Philip Broadhead.

“A revitalised, world class development in this prime seafront spot provides an opportunity for us, with our partner, to ensure these interconnected sites share the same vision and something that we can proudly present to the world.”

Savill stated that the period for expressions of interest will begin in 2022, and that submissions may include a visitor attraction or a combination of multiple uses, a hotel, restaurant or cafe, with head of real estate at Meyrick Estate Richard Norgrove adding “the Meyrick Estate are seeking to create a destination and reinvigorate this site in partnership with BCP Council to deliver an aspirational destination.”

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