Council promises Alpamare investigation amid call for answers about future of £14m leisure site in Scarborough
The financial, legal, and social implications of the closure of Scarborough’s £14m Alpamare water park were high on the agenda of the full meeting of North Yorkshire Council on Wednesday, November 15.
Members of the public and politicians from the area have been calling for answers but aside from a commitment to investigate the finances around the water park and to “deliver the best outcome”, council leaders were tight-lipped about next steps.
It comes just weeks after the news that the developer of the water park, Benchmark Leisure Ltd, had gone into administration placing the future of a £9m loan of public money, as well as that of the site, in doubt.
Coun Gareth Dadd, executive member for finance and assets, said: “I am going to be very careful for reasons that you will be aware of because this situation is now sub-judicious”.
Coun Dadd pledged that an investigation by the council’s internal auditor Veritau “will be made public when appropriate and complete” and that questions would be answered “when we can without damage to the judicial process”.
Speaking at the meeting, Alison Hume, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Scarbrough and Whitby, said: “I understand the financial situation is murky and making waves, unlike the water in the pool which until recently was being kept clean by the pool manager.”
She told councillors the closure of the “important community pool” had affected “people attending aquafit classes and hundreds of children who have also missed out on swimming classes”.
She said: “It is clear that the leisure facility is far more than an important tourist attraction, it’s an essential part of the community and Scarborough is now reduced to one pool with a population of 109,000.”
Though not present at the meeting, the Conservative candidate for Scarborough and Whitby said he would also be talking to the council about reopening Alpamare: “Alpamare is not just a major attraction for many people who come to visit Scarborough, it also provides essential facilities for local groups – we must ensure any new management makes the facilities more accessible for everyone in our town”.
Local councillors also said they had been “inundated” with feedback from concerned residents who used the facilities and wanted to see the site reopened as soon as possible.
Coun Dadd added that the council was “committed to delivering the best outcome from a situation we have inherited from Scarborough Borough Council for the town’s residents and businesses as well as the wider North Yorkshire communities”.