Scarborough Council’s leader has welcomed the news that Scarborough could be in line for £2m in Government funding aimed at turning disused buildings into shops, houses and community centres.
Over the weekend it was revealed that Scarborough was one of 69 towns and cities that will receive a share of the £95m High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme.
The Government said it hoped the money would “breathe new life” into high streets up and down the country as new figures show that nationally 16 shops a day closed on average in the first half of 2019.
Scarborough Council leader Cllr Steve Siddons (Labour) said the money, which could be up to £2m, would be used to improve the link from Newborough and Eastborough to the seafront.
He said: “The Eastborough area of Scarborough has a rich and varied history and we need to cherish and celebrate it.
“We can use this grant to bring the lower town back to the prominence it has had dating back to the Middle Ages. Not only is it a key trading, cultural and residential area, it is also the conduit from the harbour up to Scarborough Market and the upper town.”
“In July, the first stage of the town regeneration was agreed which will see the former Argos building demolished to make way for new accommodation for Coventry University students and trainee doctors and nurses at Scarborough Hospital. We hope to see a new town square next to the market too.
“This second stage funding for the lower town area will let us complete the revival of an upper town to shore link.
“A quality connection, that people will be proud to walk through, all the way from the main transport hub at the rail station and Theatre in The Round area, passing through the town centre and then down through an upgraded historic Eastborough is now possible.”
Cllr Siddons added that the money would help the council work towards its objective of being the best performing English Coastal Town Centre by 2025.
He also said the other parts of the borough could be in line for a financial boost.
He added: “This funding should allow us, in grant partnership with property owners and traders, to re-invigorate the existing buildings and repair and renew the best examples.
“There is a rich history in the streets of the lower town and we hope to open the opportunities to celebrate what’s good about Scarborough.
“Further successful bids for the Future High Street Fund and the town centre funds could see up to £60 million of investment over the next few years in Scarborough town centre.
“No longer will we have the label of a ‘falling off the edge’ seaside town as in recent studies.
“We believe in our town and the people who live here. We want our ambitions to be shared by all and these major development opportunities will make the change for the right reasons rather than simply taking what’s given.
“And looking ahead, it’s not just Scarborough. Whitby has also been successful in being shortlisted for up to £25 million of investment. These projects could be the catalyst that delivers renewed prosperity for all our residents from Filey to Staithes and all points in between.
“Coastal towns have been crying out for government investment for many years. Let’s hope this is the start of that.
“We should all look forward to an exciting period in the history of our borough.”
The government’s Future High Street Fund is providing £52m of the money, while £40m will come from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). A further £3m is being provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Towns and cities had to bid for the £95m funding, which was first announced in May.