Scarborough's new observation wheel takes shape at former Futurist site

Construction has begun on the new big wheel on the former Futurist site. PIC: John Margetts
Construction has begun on the new big wheel on the former Futurist site. PIC: John Margetts

Construction has begun on the latest attraction to come to Scarborough's South Bay.

A new observation wheel will continue to be assembled over the next four days on the former Futurist site and is due to open on Tuesday July 30.

The main tower being built. PIC: John Margetts

The main tower being built. PIC: John Margetts

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Construction schedule

Observation Wheel UK Ltd will bring the structure on four articulated vehicles with seven technical engineers working on the project.

• Day One (Thursday) - Levelling and putting up the main towers.

• Day Two (Friday) - Putting all the support arms in place.

• Day Three and Four (Saturday and Sunday) - Attaching the gondolas to the wheel and install associated steps, fences and walkways.

• Day Five (Monday) - Washing, cleaning and polishing.

The final structure

Once installed, three gondolas can be loaded with passengers at a time.

The observation wheel can carry a maximum of 144 passengers - six people seated in each of its 24 enclosed gondolas.

It will be open daily from 11am to 9.30pm - provided there are no high winds - and is set to operate until Monday August 26.

However, if it proves successful, and Scarborough Council is happy with all aspects of the operation, there is an option to extend the lease until November 10, subject to planning permission.

The experience will last approximately 8 to ten minutes and there will be a 10 per cent discount on all ticket prices for residents and hotel guests in YO postcodes, as long as proof is showed at the time of booking.

The operator plans to give 300 free charity rides to help raise funds for the Borough Community Fund, offer free rides to local hospices, and donate £500 towards the cost of fireworks for Scarborough’s annual Seafest festival taking place this weekend.

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History

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

Original designs showed a four-storey building with space for attractions, education facilities, restaurants and children’s play areas, another structure housing a ‘winter garden’ and to the rear of the main building, a roller coaster and a cliffhanger tower.

However, Leader of Scarborough Council, Cllr Steve Siddons has told The Scarborough News he is still considering the details of Flamingo Land Coast, saying: "We are still unclear as to what Flamingo Land is proposing."

In the interim, Observation Wheel UK Ltd will operate on the site.