While Aspers’ casino plans for Southampton had been stuck in limbo, the city council has given the company an additional three years to get the project of the ground.
Aspers Universal has renewed its commitment to opening a casino in Southampton, a city on the south east coast of the UK. The British operator had originally envisaged building a casino as part of a mixed use redevelopment of the city’s derelict Royal Pier.
However the £450m Royal Pier Waterfront redevelopment – which would have also included a 250- room hotel, 50 shops, 730 homes and a gourmet market – ultimately failed to the materialise, leaving Aspers’ casino plans in limbo.
Back in August, Southampton City Council ended an agreement signed in 2014 with the project’s developer RPW Southampton.
Nevertheless, the local government has not given up on bringing a gaming venue to the area, with Southampton City Council opting to renew Aspers’ original provisional statement at the start of November. “After careful consideration of all of the evidence the provisional statement has been extended for a further three years to see if the large casino, as originally set out in the initial application, can be progressed,” the council said in a statement.
“As the council is only too well aware, we have unfortunately been unable to progress our large casino due to circumstances entirely beyond our control. Specifically, the construction of our large casino is wholly dependent upon the reclamation from the sea of the land upon which it will be built and that work has not yet commenced,” explained Derek Playford, CFO of the Aspers Group. “We wish to assure the council that we remain as committed as ever to this ambitious venture and very much believe that we will still have the opportunity of delivering this large casino to Southampton and helping drive forward the Royal Pier scheme as a whole.”
The new casino will now form part of the city’s recently announced Mayflower Quarter scheme, which will see the regeneration of the Royal Pier and Mayflower Park areas.
Southampton City Council said a master planning team will be appointed in January next year and will be asked to prepare a masterplan for the Mayflower Quarter up to 2040. This process is expected to take up to 12 months, completing in December 2020.
“The regeneration of this key area will showcase a modern, vibrant city to visitors and residents from the UK and beyond,” said Christopher Hammond, leader of Southampton City Council.
Aspers was granted a large casino licence back in April 2016, allowing it to open a gaming venue with up to 30 gaming tables and 150 Category B1 gaming machines.