Scarborough Council approve strategy to transform borough into 'cultural leader' over next 10 years

A strategy to make the borough of Scarborough a cultural leader in the UK has been approved.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 4:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 4:54 pm
Heritage buildings like Scarborough Castle will be celebrated as part of the plan.

Scarborough Council wants to use the iconic scenery, locations, history and uniqueness of the area in order to celebrate the borough and improve the lives of residents and attract new visitors.

Cllr Liz Colling, Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Growth, said: "Culture is a tool for regeneration, as a way of improving the economic outputs of the borough, as a way of enhancing social inclusion and getting those people who think of culture as ‘opera and ballet’ to recognise that we are all creative and artistic and culture pervades everything we do."

The strategy’s vision is stated as: "For the area to be recognised as a cultural leader and a place of inspiration using cultural activity to celebrate the best of what the area has to offer (the landscapes, the seaside heritage, the people and the creativity) to support local communities, to encourage existing and new visitors to the area and to strengthen the cultural sector."

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Scarborough's Rotunda Museum houses thousands of objects which tell the stories of the town's heritage, culture and history.

The strategy has been produced in conjunction with COAST, a consortium of arts and education organisations based across the borough of Scarborough, and Wakefield-based BEAM consultants.

Cllr Carl Maw, Portfolio Holder for Stronger Communities and Housing, said: "Culture’s not just about art galleries and statues, it’s about celebrating heritage, stories, the people, and the architecture of the area."

Referring to a birds-eye view of Scarborough South Bay, Cllr Maw said: "There are stories-galore there, the history of the castle, the stories of the herring girls on the beach, the Spa. If you go just up the coast to Whitby it is built on the stories of Captain Cook, even to an extent the stories of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

"Heritage and stories is something that this entire are is built on, so we really need to celebrate them."

One of the aims of the strategy, councillors heard, is to attract and maximise external funding to pay for projects and events.

The strategy also contains a number of action plans which include: Investing in culture, strengthening the cultural sector, improving the quality of life through culture, celebrating the borough’s heritage, stories, people and architecture, using open spaces for cultural activity and supporting creative businesses and entrepreneurs.

The council’s 10-year cultural strategy was unanimously approved at a meeting of the council’s cabinet on Tuesday last week.