No plan for the permanent closure of Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion, says operator as it consults on redundancies

The operator of Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion has said it has no plans to permanently close either venue.

Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 1:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 1:30 pm

Sheffield City Trust, also known as Sheffield International Venues (SIV), which runs the seaside venues on behalf of Scarborough Borough Council, announced this week it was consulting with staff over redundancies and would be “mothballing” the sites.

The company has now given a fresh update to say that even as the future of shows and concerts remains uncertain it has no plans to shut the historic buildings for good.

In a statement posted online, SIV said: “Very regrettably, we have this week begun consulting with staff on the possible need to make redundancies in order to reduce the operating costs for our venues across SIV’s entertainment venue portfolio.

Scarborough Spa

“We can confirm categorically that there is no plan for the permanent closure of both Whitby Pavilion and Scarborough Spa.

“SIV is currently working closely with Scarborough Borough Council during these challenging times to ensure that the Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion are sustainable for the future.

“We are working with the industry and event organisers and promoters to plan for a very exciting future and look forward to welcoming you back to both our venues as soon as possible.”

Scarborough Spa

In March, SIV had to close the venues it operates in Scarborough and Sheffield to prevent the spread of coronavirus and has not been allowed to re-open them.

Leisure providers have still not been given permission from the government to reopen, meaning entertainment venues have had to cancel events for the foreseeable future – leaving many, like SIV, struggling to survive.

This week the government announced a £1.57 billion emergency support package to protect entertainment venues.

Andrew Snelling chief executive of Sheffield City Trust, said the funding news was “welcomed”.

Scarborough Spa

He added: “Clearly these are very challenging times for all organisations operating in the leisure and entertainment industry as we await government guidance on how and when we can open our venues.

“Working closely with Scarborough Borough Council, Sheffield City Trust runs a variety of arts and entertainment facilities. It has become apparent that concerts, shows and large attendance events will not be possible in the short and medium-term, so this leaves us with decisions to make regarding how we sustain venues such as Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion.

“We have written to employees who are affected by the venues they work at being unable to open and explained we have begun a consultation process which may lead to redundancies”.

“It is not a decision that has been taken lightly but venues that are generating no income will only need a much-reduced workforce to carry out essential maintenance while they are mothballed awaiting a change in circumstances”.

“The UK Government’s announcement regarding a support package for the arts, entertainment and music industry is welcomed. We await further detailed information regarding funding availability for our venues and will ensure that everything is done to protect jobs”.

“We are working closely with Scarborough Borough Council during these challenging times to ensure that the Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion are sustainable for the future.”

Scarborough Council said earlier today that it would continue to fund subsidy payments to SIV and work with the company on how to “ease some of the pressures” it is facing.

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