A senior council officer has admitted that the divisive Bavarian market, one of the main festive attractions for the town, should have had a different name.
Scarborough Council’s inward investment manager Nick Taylor admitted that the name of the market, which featured a teacup ride and a noodle stall, probably wasn’t “the best idea”, although he said that the name was conceived by the market operators.
The admission was one of several made by Mr Taylor regarding the market during the central urban area committee meeting on Thursday night at Scarborugh Town Hall.
It was the first time Mr Taylor had faced questions publicly regarding the market since it left town.
He discussed the controversial market at the request of Cllr Nick Brown, who said: “I was really looking forward to it being an advert for Scarborough.
“I have been dealing with complains from the town centre (traders), and I have also had a lot of complaints from my ward.”
Cllr Brown also questioned if any thought had been given to the location of the stalls, using the example of a temporary canvas print stall, which was located only yards from a similar “rate paying” shop in the Brunswick Centre.
In response, Mr Taylor said that thought had been given to the location of stores, and earlier in the meeting had said it had been hoped the stalls would cover vacant units in Westborough.
However, he did concede that food outlets were possibly too close together, but added: “I would say that there’s a big difference in the experience of eating a meal indoors, sitting down and surrounded by nice art, than eating a sausage in the pouring rain.”
In further defence of the market, Mr Taylor said that the company hired to operate the stalls, Harrison’s of Bridlington, came with a “very good record”.
Mr Taylor said that there were high hopes that the market would give the town centre economy a boost, adding: “We very much wanted to attract people from places like Leeds and Hull - basically anywhere which was within a one and a half hour drive from Scarborough.”
And in a survey carried out by Scarborough Council, Mr Harvey said that “vast majority” of the 193 people polled said they had enjoyed the town centre shopping experience over the festive period.
He added that a “huge amount of people were coming into Scarborough” over the festive period, with retail cited as the biggest attraction, adding that 660,000 people had visited Scarborough town centre in the seven weeks before Christmas.
For further coverage, pick up The Scarborough News next Thursday.