YEOVIL NEWS: Darcey Bussell officially reopens the new-look Westlands Yeovil venue

YEOVIL NEWS: Darcey Bussell officially reopens the new-look Westlands Yeovil venue

THE Westlands Yeovil venue has officially been reopened by distinguished ballerina and Strictly Come Dancing TV judge Darcey Bussell.

Staff and volunteers form the Octagon Theatre and Westlands, LED Leisure and South Somerset District Council were joined by councillors, contractors, funders, supporters, petition leaders, media and friends to celebrate the long-awaited reopening of one of Yeovil and the county’s biggest entertainment, conference and sporting facilities on Tuesday (June 27, 2017) afternoon.

Special guest Darcey Bussell officially opened the venue before being taken on a tour of the site’s facilities.

She was joined on stage by the chairman of South Somerset District Council, Cllr Mike Best, health and well-being spokesman Cllr Sylvia Seal and the council’s former health and well-being assistant director, Steve Joel, who played such an influential role in the revamp project.YEOVIL NEWS: Darcey Bussell officially reopens the new-look Westlands Yeovil venue

PHOTO – TOP: Darcey Bussell cuts the ribbon to officially open the Westlands Yeovil venue.

PHOTO – RIGHT: Six-year-old Seri-Ann Merrick from Preston Primary School is pictured waiting to greet dance legend Darcey Bussell for the official opening of the Westlands Yeovil venue.

Ms Bussell said: “Venues play an important part in ensuring strong and vibrant sporting and cultural development – so I’m pleased to see this facility saved and looking so fantastic.

“I wish we had somewhere like this where I live.”

Cllr Best said: “There is so much to explore, discover and do. Whatever your age, whatever you are into – there is something here for you.”

And Cllr Seal added: “Westlands offers so much potential to support our businesses, bringing visitors to our district who will stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, shop and enjoy spending time and money here.

“Each time our visitors come we want to exceed their expectations.”

Ms Bussell also revealed a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion live on stage.

The district council received its largest ever petition of 8,000 signatures to save the venue after it closed in September 2015.

The council got into talks with the venue’s owners – Leonardo Helicopters – and took up a 30-year lease of the building.

Around £2.4m has been invited into the refurbishment of the venue and its surrounding facilities which saw it back open to the public at the end of March this year.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Westlands Yeovil.