Scarborough shop premises could be turned into benefits centre

One of Scarborough’s most iconic stores could be turned into a benefits assessment centre under new plans.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 1:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 1:39 pm
Retro 36

Retro 36 stood out for a long time in St Nicholas Street for its bright red exterior and range of unique stock, including Harry Potter memorabilia and retro toys and games.

Since the family-run business closed last year the shop has remained empty. An application was made in October to turn it into a cafe to try and attract a tenant but now a new plan has been put forward.

Ascenti, which is contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions to carry out Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claims, wants to use the building as an assessment centre.

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A planning application submitted to Scarborough Council states: “The activities that will go on at the centre will include one to one interviews and assessments in interview rooms to establish whether claimants are entitled to the PIP, a review of medical and occupational history and functional restrictions and Ascenti also undertakes physiotherapy so this could take place at the site as well should the initial need for PIP assessments to take place diminishes.”

The PIP scheme is designed to help people long term ill-health or disability issues meet the costs of living with their condition.

The application adds that the layout of the unit will be reconfigured with a reception area, four interview rooms and a disabled toilet.

The plans for a change of use on the building are now out to consultation.