A task group is set to be formed to take forward a major new strategic plan for the future of Scarborough’s historic harbour, which will see it brought into the 21st century and transformed into a cultural and economic hub for the town.
The proposed plan is set to replace the authority’s current ports strategy if senior councillors agree to adopt it at a cabinet meeting tomorrow.
Setting out the direction in which the harbour would be guided, managed and developed over the coming years, the strategy takes into account the port’s main uses, including trawling, fish processing, retail, tourism, leisure boats and public parking.
It says the harbour, which is owned by the council, requires the regeneration of the West Pier, improved facilities for users of the port and potential new retail and commercial operations. It also needs investment in its infrastructure, including piling and protection of the harbour structures corroded by the North Sea, according to the business plan.
A wide range of organisations and individuals, including potential developers and investors and fishing industry leaders, were consulted on the proposals between July and August, with the majority backing the strategy.
Now, Scarborough Borough Council’s cabinet has been recommended to approve the plan and, subject to any amendments, ask officers to take the strategy forward with stakeholders, alongside a task group set up by the authority’s overview and scrutiny board.
Cllr David Jeffels, who sits on the board, said: “It’s a very ambitious strategy that is planned. It has got great innovation and it is going to have considerable long-term cultural and economic benefits to Scarborough.
“There is so much support from a wide range of harbour users and other organisations in the town.
“Everyone realises the harbour is a key tourist attraction. It dates back more than 700 years and it has continued to develop. We have seen the decline of the fishing industry and the cargo has also diminished. But nevertheless, the plan outlined in the strategy will take it forward and show that it remains sustainable.
“It is a wonderful asset and the mixed-use development that is proposed is going to help it become even more viable.
“It has evolved tremendously over the centuries and this is taking it into the 21st century.”
The plan calls for new development opportunities to be explored and indicates that there could be a resurgence in the town’s dwindling fishing industry.
Scarborough also has the potential to be a key player in serving the UK offshore wind sector, according to the strategy.
Cllr Jeffels said: “We will be looking at setting up a task group to take it forward at the scrutiny meeting on Wednesday and I would expect it to go to full council in November.”
Once the strategy is adopted for Scarborough, business plans are set to be devised for the ports of Whitby and Filey Brigg.