No acts yet for theatre

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CONCERNS have been raised that no acts have been confirmed for next year’s season at Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre.

The situation was highlighted by Cllr David Jeffels, Scarborough Council’s portfolio holder for tourism, when he gave a statement at Monday’s meeting of the full council.

It is understood that senior council officials are due to have crunch talks with venue operators, Apollo Leisure and Resorts Scarborough, to resolve the situation.

Cllr Jeffels said that Apollo was currently in talks with a number of artists. He said: “But Apollo have yet to come forward with any big names that have been booked for the Open Air Theatre.

“Hopefully they are pursuing artists but there is considerable concern among hoteliers in particular.”

He added that tourist businesses, such as hotels and guest houses, had been very helpful in promoting events at the venue during the 2011 season and he hoped that next year would build on previous successes. He said: “A lot of money was spent renovating the Open Air Theatre and making it into one of the country’s top outdoor venues. It’s a wonderful setting and it’s proved its value to Scarborough and the potential benefit it brings the town’s tourist industry.”

Apollo were brought in as venue operators by Scarborough Council ahead of the 2011 season and announced that Elton John had been booked as this year’s opening sell-out show.

In September concerns were raised that the venue’s operator needed to improve its marketing and ticketing strategies if the theatre was to prove a hit.

At the time of going to press no-one from Apollo was available for comment.

Speaking in September a spokesman said that the venue had been a success despite a succession of disappointing attendances throughout the summer.