Green light for station gateway transformation

Wednesday, 20 October 2021
Artist's impression of how Pavilion House could look

A building – once voted Scarborough’s ugliest – will be completely transformed after our cabinet gave the green light for a plan to transform the town’s station gateway.

The approval allows us to proceed with the purchase of Pavilion House, opposite the railway station, so it can be refurbished and turned into high-quality office accommodation.

The purchase is one part of a wider flagship regeneration project for the area around the station which could unlock £50 million of investment in the borough.

The station gateway is the single biggest aspect of the Scarborough blueprint to transform the town centre.

Cabinet also gave the go ahead to buy the former Comet building on Westwood.

Our ambition is to radically improve the area around the railway station to create a more attractive entry into Scarborough for visitors and residents.

The road junction and public space will be remodelled as a 'station square' to boost its visual appeal and make it easier for pedestrians to negotiate the junction and access the town centre from the station.

A new transport interchange will be created to provide more opportunities for people to travel around the area and leave their cars at home.  

The proposals include electric car hire and car clubs, a cycle and scooter hub, electric charging points and improved access to local bus and taxi services.

The 1970s concrete cladding on Pavilion House will be removed and replaced by glazing to give the building a modern look and to enhance its environmental credentials.

Our ambition is to create a public sector ‘hub’ in Pavilion House and we are in discussion with the NHS and Beyond Housing about their future accommodation needs.

The rest of the building will be offered as ‘touchdown’ workspace for businesses to use.

The proposal for the former Comet building is for it to be demolished and replaced with high-quality office accommodation.  

It is earmarked for a new digital workspace called FabLab.

Fablab is a digital ‘factory’ which supports entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into products and prototypes by giving them access to advanced manufacturing technologies.

Our aspirations for the station gateway redevelopment are supported by Scarborough’s Town Deal Board, local businesses leaders, train operator Transpennine Express, the East Yorkshire Motor Services bus company and North Yorkshire County Council.

The scheme costs will be met by income from the sale of other council property and the already approved invest-to-save fund which was set aside to buy property in Scarborough.

It is also hoped a bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund will be successful, enabling a further contribution of funds towards the transformative work.

Councillors have previously agreed to a blueprint masterplan for Scarborough and a separate Town Investment Plan (TIP).  It focusses on skills and enterprise, cultural activities, the environment, connectivity, well-being and sustainability.

Transforming the station gateway area will remove some of the barriers to economic growth within Scarborough and help the economy recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

Councillor Steve Siddons, leader of the council, said:

"This is a hugely significant and exciting piece of work and I welcome the cross party support it received from cabinet and our overview and scrutiny committee.

"The station gateway project will kick start Scarborough’s blueprint and unlock wider investment in the town centre to stimulate economic growth and much needed environmental change.

"Purchasing Pavilion House and the former Comet building is just the beginning. The work that will follow will start to re-shape Scarborough and the wider borough as a progressive place to live, visit and do business."

Councillor Liz Colling, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for inclusive growth, added:

"I wholeheartedly support this project, which is crucial for the success of our wider regeneration plans for Scarborough and the rest of the borough.

"Not only will it transform the town's 'shop window', it will also allow us to plan a more environmentally sustainable economy for future generations, one which exploits new technologies and encourages innovative growth."
David Kerfoot, chair of Scarborough Town Deal Board, said:

"The proposals for the station gateway area of Scarborough are exciting and I am very much in favour of transforming this part of the town centre.

"First impressions are very important so when visitors to Scarborough currently arrive at the railway station they are greeted by a major road junction and ugly 1970s building.  

"That’s why the Town Bid feels we can we can do so much better and give those visitors an initial first class impression of the town. 

"Further, the council's vision for high-quality office accommodation and a new transport interchange will create a much better proposition for business investment which is so important."

Gareth Edmunds, external affairs director, Anglo American, said:

"Improving the area around the railway station will be an important part of the town’s regeneration and future economic success.

"We look forward to this ambitious vision for Scarborough developing further for the benefit of residents and businesses."

James Goodall, director, The Goodall Group, said:

"These ambitious plans for the station gateway are integral to delivering the Town Deal aspirations and the continued regeneration of the town centre. 

"The town has been crying out for modern office space and this will turn the current eyesore into the beating business heart. 

"I am sure this will only lead to further investment in Scarborough and feels like the start of exciting times for the area."

Artist's impression of the proposed use of the Comet building