True cost of Spa

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THE true cost of redeveloping Scarborough’s Spa Complex has been revealed following a Freedom of Information request.

Until now the major overhaul is thought to have cost around £6.5 million.

But Scarborough Council’s response to the Freedom of Information request has shown that the current budget stands at £6,775,000, of which £4,270,000 is externally funded by Yorkshire Forward.

The total cost to the council is therefore £2,505,000. However, full payment for the scheme has not yet occurred.

Details have also been given about the cost of managing the Spa and projections of what it will cost in future years.

For 2010/11 the actual net cost of running the venue is £1,065,465. The figure budgeted for 2011/12 is a net cost of £665,520, with budgets for future years not yet drawn up.

Income from the venue for 2011/12 is expected to be in the region of £1,969,157.

The Spa reopened in May following the year-long refurbishment project.

The grand reopening was celebrated with a concert by the world-famous Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra.

The extensive refurbishment project has seen a major redevelopment of the Grade II listed Victorian concert hall, reception areas and offices.

Communication systems, air conditioning and technical equipment have also been upgraded.

The Grand Hall’s stage area has been enlarged and now includes an access lift for stage set, in a bid to allow more flexibility for shows and performances at the Spa and allowing scenes to be changed quickly and efficiently.

The refurbishment has also uncovered some discoveries.

The excavation of the Grand Hall’s new basement turned up some new evidence of the site’s rich heritage.

Contractors found material from the previous buildings which shows the site has been in constant change since the discovery of the spa waters.

Scarborough’s spa water was first discovered in 1620 and the first Spa building was built by 1700.

It was replaced by the larger Georgian saloon in 1739.

It was later rebranded as the Spa Complex in 1827 after it was sold to the Cliff Bridge Company who built a footbridge linking the Spa and the town was opened.

The buildings were then replaced with the current Victorian Gothic buildings – featuring the Grand Hall, gardens, a promenade and bandstand – and were officially opened in 1858.

The refurbishment project at the Spa was originally approved by the council in November 2009 and work began in April 2010.

The building featured heavily in a recent edition of BBC2’s TOWN series, which focused on Scarborough during the hour-long episode. Details were given about the building’s history.