Scarborough Borough Council is seeking ideas from businesses and members of the public about what they think Scarborough town centre should offer in the future and how it can continue to improve as a destination for leisure, retail and other goods and services.
The call to action is the first stage of delivering on the outline version of the council’s new Town Centre Strategy, which aims to continually improve people’s experience of Scarborough through a range of initiatives such as investment in the public realm, broadening the offer of what is available and encouraging people to think about the town centre differently and not just as a place to go shopping.
Two workshops style events will be held at the Royal Hotel on St Nicholas Street between now and Christmas, which will give the council’s Regeneration Services team the opportunity to introduce the strategy to the community and find out what those attending want from the town centre. Feedback obtained at the events will help inform the final version of the strategy, which is expected to be adopted in February 2019.
The first event, which will be a private event for local businesses and service providers, will be held on Wednesday 28 November, starting at 6.00pm until 8.00pm. An open, public event will then take place on Tuesday 4 December, also between 6.00pm and 8.00pm.
Those attending the workshops will get to hear about the bold ambitions of the council’s strategy, which are to be the best performing coastal town centre in England by 2025 and the primary economic hub for retail and night time economy activity within the Yorkshire Coast area. The strategy also aims to increase residential living within the town centre by 25% by 2025 and foster an approach of working with public and private property owners and organisations to ensure the built environment and infrastructure exceeds the expectations of the community.
Matthew Joseph, Scarborough Borough Council Senior Community Regeneration and Support Officer said:
"With the Borough of Scarborough welcoming more than 5.5 million visitors each year, as well as a resident population of 108,800, the importance of the quality and management of Scarborough town centre, as the area’s main principal town, are paramount.
"Scarborough faces similar challenges to other town centres of its size across the UK, including the withdrawal of national retail brands to consolidate in larger cities, as well as the ever-growing trend of online shopping, so key to future success is looking at how we can reinvent the town centre to create an environment that still includes shopping but has far less reliance on it. We want to create an inviting public realm that everyone can be proud of and enjoy spending time in."
The focus of the council’s activity will be making the town a mixed-use environment; encouraging a diverse offering through festivals and events, incentives, planning, licensing and regulation and building on the town’s cultural and heritage assets. It will also look to capitalise on the town’s growing university student population, introduce SMART town centre infrastructure, encourage a collaborative and supportive town centre community and maximise the Scarborough ‘brand’ through enhanced marketing and promotion.