Vandals still blight stadium

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URGENT decisions need to be taken over the future of the former McCain Stadium, which is still a target of vandals, according to a leading Scarborough councillor.

The issue was raised during a statement by Cllr Tom Fox, the leader of Scarborough Council, at Monday’s meeting of the full council.

In his statement he highlighted the problems experienced at the now derelict Seamer Road football ground – which included unwelcome visits from trespassers and bottle collectors.

He said: “We could clear the site of bottles. Two relatively new stands and floodlights could be re-used.”

In October the Evening News revealed that the council had put out a tender to level the former McCain Stadium. The main stand, clubhouse and shed stand would be the first to go with the possibility of other stands being moved to a new sports village or demolished at a later date.

Cllr Fox confirmed that there was also an option for either full or partial demolition of the stadium.

He said that a shortlist had been produced with six private companies interested in developing the sports village – which could be built in Weaponness Coach Park at a cost of up to £22 million.

The shortlist would then be whittled down to three bidders once outline proposals had been received from the six shortlisted companies.

It is hoped that the sports village – which could include a swimming pool, a sports hall, outdoor pitches as well as community, health and education facilities – will be open within five years.

Deputy mayor Cllr John Blackburn said he had always had an interest in the McCain Stadium and somebody from the council should be involved in any future decisions.

He added: “I don’t think our decision should be taken on what Scarborough Athletic say.”

Since Scarborough FC folded in 2007 the stadium has fallen into a state of disrepair and has been subjected to regular bouts of vandalism and arson attacks.

The council bought the stadium in 2008 for £1.335 million but safety concerns meant the local authority had no other option than to bring an end to well over a century of history – football was first played at the site in 1898. Engineers found it would cost a further £1 million to return the ground to an acceptable standard.

Planning policy requires the provision of a replacement stadium.