Maritime centre in Scarborough is a window into heritage

IT'S anchors aweigh for a new Maritime Heritage Centre in Scarborough.

The centre in Eastborough has opened with help from Scarborough Council's "Windows to the Borough" group and received funding from the Development Trusts Association.

In February the council's Civic Pride Steering Group established a Windows to the Borough sub-group following concerns over the increasing number of empty shops in the borough.

The group has now found a home for the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre in Eastborough. The new centre will exhibit maritime artefacts and records for viewing by local residents and visitors.

The aim of the centre is to build up an archive of Scar-borough and Yorkshire coast maritime life and to raise awareness in young people of their local heritage by providing a base for the volunteers.

The premises include a shop which will be used as a display area for the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre, and the back part of the property will be the organisation's office.

The centre will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 11am and 4pm during the winter months and people are free to call in and find out more.

An official launch will be held between 3pm and 7pm on Saturday December 12. The centre will be formally opened by Scarborough mayor, Cllr Bill Chatt.

Everyone is invited to pop in to see what the Scarbor-ough Maritime Heritage Centre is all about.

Cllr Janet Jefferson, who sits on the group and is the cabinet member for tourism and culture, said: "This is the second project in an exciting campaign to keep the heart of the town alive despite the closure of some retail businesses and is another success of a community-based initiative.

"Although this is a national situation, here in Scarbor-ough, the most enterprising town in Europe, we are working to keep our town centre vibrant."

Lindy Rowley, of Scarbor-ough Maritime Heritage Centre, added: "This is an exciting time for the Heritage Centre and we're thankful to the Windows to the Borough group who have given us this fantastic opportunity.

"We are looking for more volunteers so the centre can open for longer periods, because we would ideally like to open seven days a week during the summer months."