London Eye-style wheel for former Futurist Theatre site in Scarborough

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A giant observation wheel could be on its way to the former Futurist Theatre site on Scarborough seafront for the summer.

The area has been earmarked for a major new attraction from Flamingo Land, but while discussions are ongoing about that controversial proposal, a big wheel - similar to the London Eye, although not necessarily on that scale - could be set up as a temporary new feature for the town.

Cllr Steve Siddons, leader of Scarborough Borough Council, said:“I promised that we would look for a high quality use for the site when I was elected and
this proposal will fit the bill.

“Having an additional, high quality attraction on Scarboroughseafront will benefit the South Bay and make use of the site until plans for a permanentsolution are finalised.”

The council says the site is ‘suitable for an observation wheel only – no ancillary stalls or rides will be permitted’.

The size of the wheel must comfortably sit within the existing site boundaries. It will not be a fairground type wheel and there will no glaring lights and no music.

It adds that the attraction will be able to operate for 28 days without planning permission and trading may be allowed for a longer period if consent is obtained.

In a statement on its website, Scarborough Council says: “The council is looking for an operator to bring a high quality observation wheel to the site which will add value to the resort’s overall visitor facilities rather than replicating existing provisions.

“Interested parties are invited to submit proposals detailing the proposed observation wheel including details of the wheel’s dimensions, loading and images/drawings.

“In preparing proposals applicants should be mindful of planning and environmental issues, land ownership, highways and accessibility for people with disabilities.”

Offers to run the big wheel must be made to the council by noon on Monday.

A 40-metre high observation wheel has been on Bridlington seafront for the past two years and was shipped in from Italy.

Earlier this year, Flamingo Land Coast was named as the preferred choice for the Futurist site and unveiled plans for a ‘cutting-edge and unique attraction’.

Original designs show a four-storey building with space for attractions, education facilities, restaurants and children’s play areas.

Another building will house a ‘winter garden’ and to the rear of the main building is a rollercoaster and a cliffhanger tower.