Flamingo Land is behind plans to transform Scarborough’s Futurist into a major visitor attraction, it has been revealed.
The proposed development, which would be called Flamingo Land Coast, includes a botanical gardens, large waterslide and a ‘lake’ on the roof.
Scarborough Borough Council announced the proposed bidder for the redevelopment of the site of the Futurist this afternoon.
Cllr Derek Bastiman, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Regeneration, dubbed the proposal as ‘very exciting’, adding that Flamingo Land is ‘fully committed to the plans’.
Flamingo Land, previously only known publicly as ‘Bidder B’, is the largest visitor attraction in Yorkshire, which attracts more than 1.5 million visitors annually.
It now has its eyes set firmly on developing a similar success story on the Yorkshire coast, with the working title ‘Flamingo Land Coast’.
Gordon Gibb, owner of Flamingo Land, told The Scarborough News: “We have been talking with the council for a number of years to see if there were any areas of major development to help them with. It is a long journey we have been on. We have considered The Sands project as well, from a leisure point of view. We were presented with the opportunity of developing plans for the Futurist and seeing what the council thinks about it. We looked at the particular challenges of the site and what could be possible.
“We will hopefully provide an attraction that competing seaside resorts don’t have.”
Flamingo Land is partnering with established Leeds-based property and construction company, GMI Estates, to progress the project.
Details of Flamingo Land’s concepts were first released last month in a report to the council’s Cabinet, which set out that the development would be a premium visitor attraction showcasing and displaying three distinct environments consisting of ‘subterranean, on the coastline and sky’.
Key elements of the attraction would include: iconic glass roofed botanical gardens, a high octane, adrenaline-fuelled roller coaster, a 55 metre iconic lighthouse structure and Space Shot Tower, which propels customers into the sky, an elevated sea view bar, restaurant and function space, a walk through aviary and a new town square for Scarborough.
Following the publication of the report, there was some public concern about the credibility of Bidder B and its ability to deliver a first class visitor attraction worthy of the prominent seafront site. Therefore to quash any detrimental rumours and to help raise public confidence in the council’s decision to undertake due diligence on the proposals and progress negotiations with Bidder B, Flamingo Land agreed to its identity and illustrations of its concept drawings being released today.
Cllr Bastiman said: ““We’re delighted that we’ve been able to announce Flamingo Land as the identity behind Bidder B. The prominence of the proposed development site on Scarborough’s south bay seafront is an ideal match for such a popular and highly successful family entertainment brand and we are very confident that, in Flamingo Land, we have a partner with the ability to deliver and drive up public confidence in the project.
“It is important to stress however that the plans are very much in their infancy and there are many, many months of negotiations and formal processes to go through before construction can be guaranteed. What we do already have though is a very strong commitment and dedication from Flamingo Land’s team to work in partnership with us and GMI to progress this important project for the borough.”
Mr Gibb added: “Scarborough is my home town so it gives me great pleasure, both personally and on behalf of Flamingo Land Limited, to be associated with developing a major visitor attraction on the old Futurist site.”
Deborah Doyle, Director, GMI Estates, said: “Scarborough Borough Council has been extremely positive about developing its tourism plans for the town and it has been a rewarding experience working with its team on this proposal. We look forward to a great working partnership with them in the future.”