Backing for Scarborough Blueprint that will transform town over the next 15 years

A blueprint of how to transform Scarborough over the next 15 years that will be “critical” to the town’s growth has been backed by the  borough council’s cabinet.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 12:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 3:05 pm

The Scarborough strategic masterplan produced by Scarborough Council sets out where the town will be in 2035, with new homes, culture and creativity, a re-imagined high street and tackling inequalities among the goals it sets out.

The blueprint, the council says, builds on Scarborough’s rich culture and heritage, its connection with nature and the landscape, and the fact it is already a nationally recognised tourist destination.

The council hopes to use the masterplan to attract external investment to help fund the proposals.

The Scarborough Blueprint 2021 includes plans for a Festival Square.

Speaking at a meeting of the authority’s cabinet today, council leader Cllr Steve Siddons said the progress on the blueprint was “really exciting” and it would be looked back on as “critical” in the future of the borough.

He said: “This is something close to my heart and it is something thatI have wanted to see for some time and I am pleased that we have got to the stage that we have with it.

“It is absolutely essential that as a forward thinking authority we have to have clear plans of the direction of travel and the future because that is the only way that we will get investors to come along and take us seriously.

Proposed new look outside the railway station.

“I know that on various media outlets people have commented to say ‘these things have happened before and nothing has happened’ or ‘why don’t we just get on with it?’

“Well, you have got to have a proper plan, developers and investors will require us to have a proper plan. If we don’t they won’t take us seriously.

“So this is the first step in that movement forward in the development of the borough.”

The blueprint calls for the town’s economy refocussed with an emphasis on digital and creative industries alongside an aim to increase the range of opportunities in Scarborough, and along the coast, by creating new activities, developing a “thriving cultural scene” and new uses for buildings, such as Scarborough Spa.

The plan also recognises the authority’s climate emergency and includes measures to help ensure the council’s 2030 net zero carbon target is met.

Cllr Siddons told the meeting that potential investors had already started to show an interest in the borough.

He added: “I don’t think any of us can underestimate how important this piece of work is.

“It could be one of the most important pieces of work that we do in this borough over the next few years.”

The town has been broken down into four areas as part of the masterplan: Scarborough town centre, the coast and parkland to the west, North Bay and a south Scarborough zone which includes Eastfield.

A number of potential regeneration projects would benefit each of the focus areas.

These include alterations to the area around the railway station and the top of Westborough and the creation of a festival square which could be home to a new Scarborough Fayre – a year-round cultural festival for the town.

In North Bay, the masterplan will see natural assets being enhanced with greater emphasis on the family-friendly nature of the bay.

In the south area major improvements to Seamer railway station would be made alongside a focus on creating more opportunities for green construction skills.

Across all four areas, there will be 16km of new cycleways and other infrastructure to make it easy to bike in and out of the town centre and key education and employment sites.

The money to pay for delivering the masterplan, which was backed unanimously by the cabinet, will come from the council’s existing resources, the recently announced Towns Deal funds, in which Scarborough was awarded £20.2 million, and bids to the Government’s Levelling Up and Community Renewal funds.

Separate plans are also being developed for the towns of Whitby and Filey.