Scarborough Open Air Theatre: 'Will it make a profit or a loss?' clash between councillors

Scarborough Open Air Theatre
Scarborough Open Air Theatre

A row broke out during a meeting of Scarborough Council today over whether the town’s Open Air Theatre (OAT) will make a profit in 2019.

Labour deputy leader Cllr Tony Randerson clashed with his Conservative counterpart, Cllr Helen Mallory, during a meeting of the cabinet at Scarborough Town Hall.

Cllr Randerson asked if the council would see any return on its deal with promoters Cuffe & Taylor and LiveNation which did not return a profit in 2018 despite more than 90,000 people watching acts including Britney Spears and Gary Barlow at the 8,000-capacity venue.

He said: “All I want to know is in the forthcoming year is this council going to be making a profit or is it going to be making a loss on the OAT?”

Cllr Mallory, who was chairing the meeting due to the absence of council leader Cllr Derek Bastiman, said that she could not predict the future.

She said: “I do not know what the figures are going to be in the future. If I had a crystal ball to tell you what the figures are going to be [I would]. I have given you an answer which is you cannot predict things like that.”

Cllr Randerson responded: “Either it is budgeted to make a profit or a loss, clearly you don’t want to answer the question.”

Cllr Mallory told Cllr Randerson he was “a bit out of line”.

She added: “I can’t answer a question to which there isn’t an answer.”

At that point, Cllr Randerson left the debate and took a seat elsewhere in the chamber.

Five acts have so far been announced for this summer’s OAT line-up.

On Monday, Lewis Capaldi joined Kylie, Cliff Richard, Madness and the Hacienda Classical in this summer's line-up.