Alternative new plans to rescue the Futurist from the bulldozers

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Campaigners aiming to save the Futurist theatre from demolition say their business plan would allow the venue to flourish.

The Save the Futurist Campaign has submitted the 76-page document to Scarborough Council in the hope the authority will drop its plan to demolish the historic building.

The Futurist theatre, foreshore Road, Scarborough. Picture by Andrew Higgins   sn122822j  11/07/12

The Futurist theatre, foreshore Road, Scarborough. Picture by Andrew Higgins sn122822j 11/07/12

The site has been earmarked for a new Flamingo Land Coast attraction but the demolition has been held up by a report which called into question the effect demolishing the building would have on the cliff behind it.

But now the campaigners have come up with an alternative plan for the building.

The campaign says it wants to renovate the theatre to create a 2,000 seater venue, capable of taking on bigger shows.

An walkthrough attraction, linked to the coast’s history would also be created along with a “restaurant/night spot” to the rear of the building.

The walkthrough attraction would include a “moving model dinosaur” at the entrance along with displays on the Stone Age, the Viking invasion, Scarborough Castle’s history, the fishing industry, seaside entertainment and Scarborough in the wars.

The business case puts the cost of carrying out the works at somewhere between £4.5 million and £5.5 million.

In the document it states that it would be hoped Scarborough Council would retain ownership of the building but grant its running to a limited company set up by the Theatre Charitable Trust on a 100-year lease

The report states: “[the cost of the major exterior and interior work of £4.6 million] is the total estimate, based on researched information, including some of the council’s own estimated costings, to refurbish and renovate the building to make it fit for purpose.

“These are basics for which we would hope the council might assume responsibility.”

The theatre would be based on the original 1921 build.

If the group is unsuccessful in getting the council to pledge all or some of the £4 million it has allocated for the demolition then it would look to other sources for funding.

An independent operator would be approached to run the Futurist on behalf of the Charitable Trust, made up of a chief executive, finance director and a “theatre expert” among others, and this operator could be required to put its own money in to pay for the work.

The work would be overseen by the Charitable Trust.

Donors would also be asked to contribute.

It states: “The major idea is people purchase a seat (or seats) in perpetuity and a sum of £2,000 per seat is currently under discussion.”

If all the seats were sold it would raise £4 million and would see the seat’s owner get priority booking in their seat.

Seat holders would also get their names on a roll of honour on display in the building.

The campaign says it has the backing of “the majority of people in Scarborough and beyond” who want the Futurist retained.

It points to two petitions run in Scarborough which garnered at total of 10,750 signatures between them, though the business case makes no indication of how many people signed both petitions.

Scarborough Council has not responded to the new business case, but has repeatedly said in the past that a vote to demolish the theatre has been approved by councillors and just a vote on the methodology remains.