Petition launched to convert seafront eyesore into museum of Scarborough's social history

A Scarborough historian has launched another bid to breathe new life into a local eyesore.

By Sarah Fitton
Thursday, 4th February 2021, 11:48 am

Wayne Murray has launched a petition calling for the former South Bay changing rooms to become a museum dedicated to the social history of the town.

The campaign has already attracted more than 300 signatures.

“It would be a great asset to the seafront and the town,” said Mr Murray.

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The former South Bay changing rooms.

His vision for the changing rooms, which have sat empty and derelict for a number of years, includes a gallery of pictures of Scarborough and its people from the past.

He would also feature a room dedicated to a permanent memorial of the 1914 Scarborough Bombardment and its victims.

He has described the site as a “fantastic piece of local historic architecture”.

Wayne Murray: "It would be a great asset to the seafront and the town."

Scarborough Borough Council has already refused a request from Mr Murray to repurpose the sunbathing building by granting a community asset transfer.

It told The Scarborough News in October that the site was earmarked for part of a wider redevelopment.

“The former sunbathing rooms are part of the wider south bay area with links to the South Cliff Gardens redevelopment; a project that has progressed significantly since previous interest in the site,” said a spokesperson for the council at the time.

“We therefore feel that the area would benefit from some strategic masterplanning to consider potential uses and development within the area as a whole.

The council has said the former sunbathing rooms are part of a wider redevelopment project.

“The masterplanning will, of course, include engagement with the public and businesses about potential plans for the site. However, at the present time, until the masterplanning work has been undertaken, we do not wish to consider a specific community asset transfer application in relation to this part of the site.”

The changing rooms were badly damaged in an arson attack in 2001 and are in a serious state of disrepair.

A rescue project was launched by Crescent Arts in 2017 but it is understood those plans are no longer being pursued.

Mr Murray, a former builder, has built up an array of artefacts recording Scarborough’s social history in Scardeburg to Scarborough - the museum he runs in the Market Vaults in St Helen’s Square.

To sign the petition, click HERE.