A plan to transform Scarborough into the country’s best performing coastal town centre by 2025 has been revealed.
The borough council wants to bring the high street into the 21st Century with ideas including creating a “smart” town with wifi and 4G coverage, making use of empty units for pop-up shops, becoming a true university town and staging year-round events to bring people back into Scarborough.
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In order to fund the ambitious plans the authority is to bid for a share of £675million recently announced by the Government as part of its Future High Streets Fund.
Other plans include improving the nighttime economy, increasing residential living in the town centre by 25% and establishing a small business start up and expansion grants scheme.
The full report will go before the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Board on Wednesday March 6 and it is hoped it will help the borough make the most of the seven million people who visit each year.
The report’s author, Sandip Mahajan the council’s Democratic Services officer, adds that a new role could be set up to oversee the strategy.
He writes: “An important element is the proposed creation of a representative partnership body or “Town Centre Team” which will lead on delivering the action plan supported by the proposed town centre delivery manager who would coordinate action.
“Actions would be delivered in partnership usually with a ‘lead’ partner for each action and some actions would also be directly at ‘groundlevel’, i.e. seeking the involvement of local residents and businesses.
“Although not explicitly referred to in the Action Plan, it is hoped that, in due course, effective outcomes could be considered for adapting in the towns of Whitby and Filey to support their future opportunities.”
More than 150 attended two consultation events when the action plan was being created. A task group of councillors was also created to oversee the drafting of the action plan.
The report adds that the response from the public and businesses was supportive of the plan’s three key areas, which were:
People – to have a safe, happy, healthy population with people who feel valued and included.
Place – to protect and improve our environment, now and for the future.
Prosperity – to develop a prosperous and innovative borough, with a highly skilled and aspirational workforce.
If backed by the scrutiny board the final strategy and action plan will be submitted to the Full Council in May 2019.