£37.3m boost for growth in Scarborough and Whitby
Funding of £37.3 million awarded to Scarborough and Whitby last week has been described as a "spectacular opportunity" and “a massive shot in the arm” to boost the towns’ economic and cultural growth.
As part of the government’s Towns Fund announcement on 3 March, Scarborough was awarded £20.2 million and Whitby secured £17.1 million.
The funding will supplement Scarborough Borough Council’s existing capital programme, currently underway to help build a better borough and drive forward economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Nine projects for each town, which aim to improve and bring new opportunities for skills and enterprise, cultural activities, the environment, connectivity, well-being and sustainability, were proposed as part of the funding bids.
The bids were developed by Scarborough and Whitby Town Deal boards and the borough council, working with Whitby Town Council and other local partners. Feedback from public consultation also helped to shape the bids.
The proposed Scarborough projects are:
- Cycling and walking infrastructure: between the town centre and Eastfield (including the business park), coastal routes from Cayton and around north and south bays
- Scarborough Harbour: regeneration of the harbour and West Pier public spaces, with leisure, hospitality, creative industries and support for the fishing industry
- Town centre FabLab+: skills training centre for robotics, 3D modelling and printing, sound engineering
- Scarborough Fayre: year-round programme of events and cultural regeneration, with an annual spectacular
- Woodend Plus: a vibrant town centre media space, including museum attractions with wayfinding to Woodend Creative Workspace
- Scarborough Cricket Ground: improvements to help secure the future of first class cricket at the venue
- Station Gateway: improvements to the area outside and around Scarborough Railway Station for a more attractive setting with green transport options
- Green Construction: green construction techniques at the Construction Skills Village
- Scarborough Wild Eye: a wildlife and nature trail
The proposed Whitby projects are:
- Maritime Skills Academy: training and certification for maritime, offshore and renewable energy sectors and building upon the diversification of the fishery industry training school
- Eastside and Calla Beck Well-Being Centre: expanding the Eastside Community Centre and improving the green spaces at Eastside Park and Calla Beck
- Pannett Art Gallery Extension: expansion to host new displays, galleries, education and hospitality spaces and national collections. An art trail connecting the gallery to the town centre
- Old Town Hall and Market Place: renovation, investment in market infrastructure and potential new uses to support commercial and tourism activity
- Innovation Hub: a digital space for entrepreneurs and learning opportunities within Flowergate Chapel, the origins of which date back to the 13th century
- Broomfields Farm Carbon Neutral Village: delivering 60 homes in the first zero carbon, community custom-build housing scheme in Yorkshire
- Wi-Fi Zone and Wayfinding: free wi-fi access in Whitby’s harbour area and main routes up to Whitby Abbey and West Cliff, and physical and digital signposting
- Harbourside Public Realm: possible creation of a pedestrianised route along New Quay Road, across Whitby Swing Bridge and to Bridge Street and Grape Lane, plus environmental improvements in the area
- Whitby Wild Eye: a wildlife and nature trail
Further work will now be undertaken on all projects, including additional stakeholder and public consultation. This will allow decisions to be taken by 19 May on which projects to progress to the delivery stage.
The council will seek additional funding to supplement the Towns Fund allocations to give the projects the very best chance of success.
Plans for how the projects will be delivered must be finalised by March 2022.
While Filey has not been part of the Towns Fund process, the council continues to work with Filey Town Council and stakeholders to develop an investment plan for the town.
Anyone who wants to find out more about the Scarborough and Whitby projects should visit our town deal pages.
Cllr Steve Siddons, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council, said:
"The funding allocations unlock a transformational opportunity for both Scarborough and Whitby - for the town centres in particular but also for our green agenda and cultural, economic and leisure regeneration.
"Together with other projects already underway, the Towns Fund allocations put us on course for a fantastic new range of infrastructure for residents, visitors and businesses.
"This is a time for great optimism as we work together to use the funding to drive forward recovery and build a better borough for all."
David Kerfoot, chairman of Scarborough Town Deal Board, said:
"I am delighted at this announcement; it is momentous and comes at a critical time. It gives us the opportunity for innovative projects which will make a real impact.
"The announcement also means that the government has confidence in our proposals, which we are sure will encourage additional private investment.
"Thanks are due to all the members of the public and the many organisations and businesses which contributed to the plans."
Gareth Edmunds, chairman of Whitby Town Deal Board, said:
"The announcement is great news for the town and allows us to secure millions of pounds of investment.
"There is still detailed work to do to get the schemes off the ground, but as a package they can make a positive difference to the town.
"On behalf of the board I want to thank members of the public and the many organisations which contributed to the plans."
Cllr Linda Wild, Mayor of Whitby and a member of the Whitby Town Deal board, said:
"This money and the investment it represents in Whitby and Whitby people is very welcome.
"We will make the most of this opportunity to improve the working, social and cultural lives of Whitby’s residents. We will do that by maintaining it as an attractive, vibrant place that relishes its past and embraces its future as a place to live, work and visit in the 21st century.
"We live by the sea, in every sense, so the Maritime Hub will take that association forwards and develop Whitby as a place synonymous with sustainable fishing and sustainable energy."
Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill said:
"This backing is hugely welcome and opens the door to significant new economic and tourism growth for Scarborough and Whitby.
"The intention of the Towns Fund was to help level up towns across the country to trigger new opportunities, jobs and enterprise - and in light of challenges caused by the pandemic and the high street changes, it has become even more important.
"This is about a new period of optimism for the future and how we can determine our own destiny following the bruising effect that Covid-19 has had on many businesses in the area."