An ice-rink is on Scarborough’s Council’s ‘Christmas list’ as the authority looks at ways of boosting the town centre during the next festive period.
The authority is currently undertaking costings for the rink, which would be located in the town centre, in a bid to attract visitors to the town during what is the busiest retail period of the year.
According to a report to the council’s Environment and Economy Scrutinies Committee, the authority is also undertaking costings for another town centre market – as well as food stalls and rides.
It follows the Bavarian market last Christmas, which was blamed by several traders for a 3.5 per cent drop in footfall on the previous Christmas.
It has now emerged that Scarborough Council received £14,000 from operators Harrisons to put on the market, and the Bridlington-based company has expressed an interest in returning this year with a “revised format”.
If a market does return next year, it is not known what format it would take. Last year, Euro Markets declined to hold a continental market due to footfall concerns.
However, at recent public meetings, the notion of holding a “Yorkshire market” has been positively received.
The report is penned by Scarborough Council’s inward investment manager Nick Taylor, who while admitting the market wasn’t universally popular, claims that on the whole, the town centre was a hit with shoppers last Christmas.
In the report, he says: “The Bavarian Style Fair received mixed reports from traders and the media, expressed through approaches to officers and through the political process.
“However, in a general public survey, out of 193 people questioned, 74 per cent rated their experience of the town centre Christmas activities as ‘good’, and 77 per cent wanted to see more activity in the town centre.”
He added that a New Year survey carried out among 72 town centre traders showed that feedback to the market was “mixed”.
Mr Taylor added: “There were no particular trends, with an equal amount being up on last year’s turnover as well as down.
“The length of occupancy of the fair was seen favourably by traders rather than the limited timespan of a parade.”