Futurist site: Here's the next move by Scarborough Council on Flamingo Land's plans for the seafront
Scarborough Council’s leader says he is “open-minded” about what could be built on the site of the former Futurist Theatre on the town’s seafront.
Cllr Steve Siddons (Lab) added that he wanted a “new vision” for the area as the authority looks set to move away from a Flamingo Land-backed theme park.
The council’s cabinet today voted to set up a new cross-party task group to examine all options for the area following an independent review of the council’s 2014 decision to demolish the former theatre at a cost of more than £4 million.
Flamingo Land will still be part of the negotiations going forward but it could be the end of its plans for an attraction which included a 60m-high “Cliffhanger” ride, a rollercoaster, and a four-storey building housing restaurants and play areas.
Cllr Siddons said an independent review he’d called for into the 2014 decision had found flaws with the strategic and economic cases for the development.
He said: “I think what we need to do with this is think of the site in terms of its strategic position.
“It’s a key site for the South Bay, it links the Foreshore with the town centre and it needs to be looked at as a whole, and we need to see what we can do with the site that enhances the economic prosperity of the borough.
“I’m not going to preempt what those issues may be but there is a real opportunity with the site to actually make a big difference with the way the town is perceived and what goes on there.
“I’m open-minded about what we put on the site but it has to meet those requirements because if we don’t we lose an opportunity to do something very significant for the area.
“Whatever goes on the site will be there for many years to come and it needs to earn its living and make the best use of it for everyone, visitors and residents.”
Cllr Siddons said he hopes the task group will pull together the new vision “in the next few months” so the authority can go back to Flamingo Land.
He added: “We recognise that Flamingo Land is the preferred bidder and they have worked with the previous administration in good faith [but] it is clear that the independent review was needed as it identified some holes in the project which need to be filled.
“When that’s done we can move forward and if Flamingo Land wants to be part of delivering the vision for the borough then we welcome those discussions.”
As part of today’s cabinet decision to re-open a review of the site and the plans for it, the council’s chief executive, Mike Greene, will be conducting a review of the council’s current project management procedures to ensure that the issues with the Futurist project are not repeated.