New moves to put theatre on the centre stage

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Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre could be set to take centre stage under fresh plans to make it an all-year round attraction.

Scarborough Council has unveiled proposals to build and maintain an aluminium stage structure on the theatre’s island throughout the year.

Since the venue’s £3.5 million redevelopment in 2010, the theatre’s stage has been dismantled in September and re-erected in May.

However, council bosses have now revealed moves to have a permanent stage on site, which they predict would save around £30,000 a year in and re-invigorate the barren concrete area.

A report said: “Now that a front of house public address system and big screen have been purchased, the council has aspirations the Open Air Theatre could become an all-year-round destination which could be used to show major sporting events and host community shows and events.

“The big screen is required to be hung from the stage to be useable and the restriction on the time the stage is allowed the be erected is limiting the potential for other uses and particularly its availability for community use.

“Failure to approve this application will significantly compromise the ability of the operators to operate the venue efficiently and reduce the availability of the Open Air Theatre for other sporting and community uses.”

The council report added: “If the application is turned down, it will negatively impact upon Scarborough’s tourist, industry, the profile of the North Bay, the town’s ability to encourage future investment and undermine the contribution the council has already made to re-developing the site. The cost of erecting and dismantling the stage each year is significant and it is now considered that the stage structure itself provides more visual and public interest when it is present, rather than the bland concrete slab which is seen when it is removed. The cost of removing it is also a significant burden on the operator and considered unnecessary.”