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Blow for Montreux venue as residents snub SFr87m renovation

The SFr87 million (EURO77m) renovation of the Montreux Music and Convention Centre, 2m2c, has been thrown out by residents who narrowly voted to refuse funding for the project.

Following a tense campaign, 3,347 residents voted ‘no’ to investing SFr27 million into the project – only 94 more than had voted in support of funding the scheme. The balance would have been made up by a tourist tax (SFr33m) and the operating company, CCM SA, (SF27 million).

The venue, famous for hosting the  Montreux Jazz Festival as well as numerous business events, is in urgent need of refurbishment, with vents, emergency exits and toilets no longer up to standard.

Municipality leaders wanted to use the opportunity to carry out the upgrade by giving the iconic venue a complete makeover – but their plans, 10 years in the making, have been dashed.

It is now unclear under what conditions the site will be able to accommodate events, although it is understood the venue’s executive will be having a board meeting on Wednesday and meeting Municipality leaders to discuss a way forward.

Steps are also being take to upgrade the venue’s insurance policy.

Managing direct Remy Cregut posted on social media: “Today the majority of the Montreusiens have democratically chosen to refuse the renovation project of the 2 m2c presented to them.

“A project on which the 2m2c teams worked for more than 10 years with energy and conviction to find the right technical and financial solutions that meet the needs of all stakeholders.

“We are going back to a complex and uncertain period, but we will continue to show the same enthusiasm and professionalism to continue to host as many events as possible.”

According to local media reports, opponents of the renovation argued it was ‘too expensive and disproportionate’. Parking was also deemed an issue as was the support of the canton, which, at SFr1.7 million plus a SFr13.3 million interest-free loan, many considered inadequate.

Since opening in 1973, the 2m2c has been redeveloped twice, first in 1973 with the extension of Building A and again in 1993 with the addition of the Auditorium Stravinski.