Observation wheel for former Futurist site

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Scarborough is to get a brand new temporary seafront attraction for the summer, which will provide stunning views of the town’s South Bay from 32 metres above ground.

We are delighted to announce that we have chosen Observation Wheel UK Ltd to operate a wheel on the site of the former Futurist theatre. The observation wheel will carry a maximum of 144 passengers with six people seated in each of its 24 enclosed gondolas.

Observation Wheel UK Ltd will initially operate under a lease from the council from Tuesday 30 July until Monday 26 August. If successful and the council is happy with all aspects of the operation, there will be an option to extend the lease until 10 November, subject to planning permission.

The operator plans to give 300 free charity rides to help raise funds for the Borough Community Fund, offer free rides to local hospices and donate £500 towards the cost of fireworks for Scarborough’s annual Seafest event due to take place from 26 to 28 July.

Cllr Steve Siddons, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council, said:

"I am really pleased that we have been able to secure such a high quality attraction for Scarborough and I am looking forward to seeing it in operation later this month. The observation wheel will be something unique for the South Bay, which will complement existing businesses, help to attract extra visitors and benefit the town until plans for a permanent solution on the site are finalised."

William Abbott, Managing Director of Observation Wheel UK Ltd, said:

"We are delighted to be awarded this prestigious contract and are thrilled to be bringing one of our elegant wheels to Scarborough over the 2019 summertime period.

"Scarborough is such a beautiful resort town and the site is perfect for an observation wheel as it will enable spectacular 360 degree views out over the bay. Visitors will get a unique perspective over the town and see the bay from the sky.

"We have found a strong growing trend in seaside based local authorities all across the country taking advantage of observation wheels since they provide an iconic landmark and draw large visitor numbers into their locations, which then in turn helps to support other local businesses.

"Our wheels attract families and people of all ages and are beautiful feats of engineering that transform a skyline – adding a dynamic visual spectacle both day and night. The observation wheel will be the tallest family attraction in Scarborough, and we look forward to welcoming both residents and visitors."

The observation wheel will be open to the public daily during the period of the lease, from 11.00am to 9.30pm, provided there are no high winds. Prices for the experience, which will last approximately eight to ten minutes, will be: £5 for an adult, £4 for a child, OAP or member of the Armed Forces, £3.50 for cadets and members of Girlguiding and The Scout Association, aged 5 to 17. A family ticket, for two adults and two children or one adult and three children, will be £16. There will be a 10% discount on all ticket prices for residents living or hotel guests staying in all YO postcodes (proof of address required).

Observation Wheel (UK) Ltd was selected as the best operator following a marketing and tendering exercise, which took place last month.

Artist's impression of the observation wheel on site