A plan to transform Scarborough into the country’s best performing coastal town centre by 2025 has been welcomed by borough councillors.
The council wants to bring the high street into the 21st Century with ideas including creating a “smart” town with wifi and 4G coverage, making use of empty units for pop-up shops, becoming a true university town and staging year-round cultural events to bring people back into Scarborough.
In order to fund the ambitious plans the authority is to bid for a share of £675million recently announced by the Government as part of its Future High Streets Fund.
Other plans include improving the nighttime economy, increasing residential living in the town centre by 25% and establishing a small business start
up and expansion grants scheme.
The full report went before the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Board today and it is hoped the strategy will help the borough make the most of the seven million people who visit each year.
Cllr Tony Randerson (Lab) said that nothing had been ruled in or out of the final masterplan at this stage.
He added: “This is perhaps the most important piece of work that has been carried out during my time on the council.
“It is vital that we get it right. I will say that some of the properties above shops on the precinct are in a terrible state of disrepair and that is something we can start looking at in the short-term.”
The council is also proposing to create a “Town Centre Team” which will lead on delivering the action plan supported by a new town centre delivery manager who would coordinate action.
More than 150 attended two consultation events when the action plan was being created. A task group of councillors was also created to oversee the drafting of the action plan.
The draft plan was approved by the Overview and Scrutiny Board today.
The final strategy and action plan will be submitted to the Full Council in May 2019, if it is moved on by the Cabinet at its meeting next week.
From there, the town centre masterplan is expected to take a year to create.