Scarborough's Open Air Theatre allowed to hold more summer concerts as cap lifted

Scarborough councillors have backed a move to allow more summer shows at the town’s Open Air Theatre.

The 8,500 capacity venue is currently limited to 30 shows a year under planning conditions imposed upon it in 2016 but only 20 of the concerts can take place between the months of May and September.

Scarborough Council’s planning committee today removed the restriction on the theatre which has hosted acts such as Britney Spears, Kylie, Gary Barlow, Noel Gallagher and Sir Tom Jones in recent years.

The council owns the venue but outsources its running to promoter Cuffe & Taylor, part of the Live Nation group.

The venue was previously limited to 30 shows a year under planning conditions.

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    The move to allow more concerts in the summer was proposed to help the theatre to recover from the “devastating” impact of the pandemic, the operator said.

    The change was welcomed by members of the planning committee.

    Cllr David Jeffels told the meeting: “It is obviously going to bring in many thousands of people, many will no doubt stay in hotels and patronise the public houses and restaurants and so on.

    “So it has got to be good for the economy and a big thumbs up for the regeneration of the borough.”

    Cllr David Chance added: “I think it is eminently sensible. I was always frustrated that we were limited in the number of concerts we can have in our season and why we would ever grant permission for events out of season in that venue I will never know.”

    The decision to remove the restriction was called a “no-brainer” by Cllr Roberta Swiers.

    The change was approved unanimously.

    This year’s season is scheduled to begin on June 8 with Crowded House making their debut at the theatre.

    Other acts lined-up include Ru Paul’s Drag Race: Werq The World, Keane, Kaiser Chiefs, Olly Murs, Bryan Adams, Duran Duran and Lewis Capaldi.