Cinema hope after casino licence win

Artist impression of Opera House Casino cinema plan North Street
Artist impression of Opera House Casino cinema plan North Street

A MULTIPLEX cinema could be built in Scarborough after the five-year saga of the town’s small casino licence ended.

It emerged yesterday that Apollo Leisure, the company which also operates the Open Air Theatre, had formally pulled out of the bidding process.

The decision effectively handed the licence to Nikolas Shaw Ltd, which owns the Opera House Casino in St Thomas Street.

The company have previously said that if it won the licence, it would significantly expand the Opera House Casino.

Nikolas Shaw said yesterday that he hoped the company would be able to press ahead with ambitious plans in North Street. The council has said the car park could be released for development if parking spaces are replaced.

Mr Shaw said: “Everyone at Opera House Casino is absolutely delighted with the news that we have been awarded the small casino licence.

“We hope that this will now pave the way for us to be granted preferred bidder status for the development of North Street, which will hopefully result in the people of Scarborough getting their long-awaited multiplex cinema.”

Apollo Leisure had stated that they would build a huge new mixed-use development, incorporating a casino, in the North Bay if they won the licence. Some local residents had objected to the proposals.

Both Nikolas Shaw Ltd and Apollo Leisure had been allowed through to stage two of the bidding process for the casino licence, before the shock development.

Scarborough Council have previously stated that they would have preferred two bidders to reach the competitive final stage, when they would have been asked to demonstrate how they would have contributed to the well-being of the area.

Alex Richards, project manager for Scarborough Council, said: “While we are disappointed that Apollo has decided to pull out of the competition, this is still a very good outcome for the town.

“The Opera House Casino is already an excellent facility for Scarborough and is a very popular part of the night time economy.

“We welcome the opportunity given to this local company to develop its business further, provide even better facilities to customers and help secure a sustainable future in the town.”