Scarborough Town Centre Strategy: council looks to create 24 hour digital environment

Council is looking for views to modernise the town centre
Council is looking for views to modernise the town centre

Scarborough Borough Council is seeking ideas from businesses and members of the public to transform Scarborough town centre.

The call to action is part of the council’s new Town Centre Strategy, which aims to improve people’s experience of Scarborough through a range of initiatives designed to revitalise the high street.

Alex Richards, the council’s head of economic development and regeneration services, said: “There’s been a recognition for months nationally that the retail sector is changing and on the back of reviews like the Grimsey Review we’ve been working on a strategy to bring together all the key stakeholders to try to make our town centre future proof and fit for the 21st century.

“The strategy is about making our town centre a mixed use environment, turn it into a community space where everything goes on almost 24/7. It’s about creating a space where people can live, enjoy leisure, entertainment and retail.

“One of the benefits that Scarborough has as a town is that it has a lot more to offer than just a town centre, people come to Scarborough for a variety of different reasons but we want to make sure that the town centre area is one of the reasons why they come as well.”

Ideas to revive the town centre include making Scarborough a university town, boost the night-time economy and attract festivals.

Plans also include improved connectivity through SMART town centre infrastructure.

Cllr Heather Phillips said: “One of the things that we’re looking to do is linking the people that go to the beach with the town centre, we’re thinking about what we can do to encourage them to make the walk up the hill and explore the other things that Scarborough has to offer. When I go to Sainsbury’s Argos knows that I’m there and tells me what’s on offer. We have to do the same with Scarborough.

“We have a fantastic offering, we’ve got the castle, we’ve got Alpamare so if you’re in the town centre you need to be told what’s around the edges as well and we need to work with partners to do that.”

Two workshops-style events will be held at the Royal Hotel on St Nicholas Street to give the council’s Regeneration Services team the opportunity to introduce the strategy to the community and find out what those attending want from the town centre.

The first event, which will be a private event for local businesses and service providers, will be held on Wednesday 28 November, from 6pm to 8pm. An open, public event will then take place on Tuesday 4 December, also between 6pm and 8pm.

Feedback obtained at the events will help inform the final version of the strategy, which is expected to be adopted in February 2019.