Scarborough misses out on £10m Government cash to improve town centre

Scarborough Council’s leader has spoken of his disappointment after the authority missed out on a £10m injection from the Government to improve its town centre.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 9:52 am

The Government announced on Boxing Day that Scarborough was not one of 72 areas to get a share of the £830m Future High Streets Fund.

Cllr Steve Siddons said the decision had come as a blow and he was hoping that it meant that the authority would instead be successful in its bid for more £25m in funding for both Scarborough and Whitby from the Government’s Towns Fund.

The authority bid for the Future High Street cash last year as part of its ambition to be the “best performing coastal town centre in England by 2025” .

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Scarborough Town Hall

Developed in collaboration with the Scarborough Town Centre Strategy Team, the bid was described as the “key milestone” in the journey to improve the town centre.

Had the bid been successful, the council said the £10m would have been used to support the create of what it called a “mixed-use town centre with a diverse economy and an inviting place that everyone can be proud of”.

Speaking during a meeting of Scarborough’s full council yesterday, Cllr Siddons said: “On Boxing Day, the Government announced those councils who had been successful in the Future High Street Fund.

“Scarborough was not in that list.

"This was, to day the least, disappointing given the Government had specifically named Scarborough in its press releases on the subject.”

Cllr Siddons said the council also hoped it could secure investment from the new “Levelling-up Fund”, announced during the pandemic.

He added: “The optimist among us may say that those towns in line for the bigger £25m pot in the Towns Fund should not get two bites of the cherry and scoop an extra £10m on top from the High Street Fund.

“However, just to be sure, I am looking for assurances from our local MP Robert Goodwill that the money targeted at getting Scarborough town centre moving will still be granted one way or another.”

The Leader of the council’s Conservative group, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said in a statement that questions had to be asked of the authority’s leadership.

He said: “The government funding would doubtless have triggered other inward investment into the area.

“It does raise the question of the quality of the bid put forward by the Labour/Independent administration and whether it could have been more robust if the business world in the borough had been encouraged to be involved along with all the groups on the council.”

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