Famous seaside theatre facing bulldozer as major development considered

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Senior councillors in Scarborough will be asked to back proposals to demolish a famous seaside theatre to make way for a major new development.

A long campaign has been fought by those who wanted to see the Futurist Theatre in Scarborough remain but the venue, which was once one of the best known seaside venues in the country, playing host to names such as the Beatles, has been facing its final curtain for some time after council bosses warned it was “unsustainable” and, together with the surrounding area, suitable for redevelopment.

Members of Scarborough Borough Council’s cabinet committee will be told on Tuesday that two bids have been received. One, considered suitable by officers, is a visitor attraction which would feature a rollercoaster and a Space Shot Tower which would propel guests 55 metres into the sky.

It also proposes a new town square, an elevated dining venue which would give diners a sea view, an undercover botanical garden and potential space for residential, office or hotel use. Members will be asked to decide whether they support the bid and back it as the preferred bid or reject it.

Nicholas Edwards, the council’s director of business support says in a report to members: “Given that Bidder A or Bidder B did not express any interest in retaining a theatre of any form within their development proposals consideration must be given to the development opportunities that may be derived from demolishing the Lower Tier Futurist buildings and clearing the site.”

More than 4,000 people signed a petition urging council chiefs to save the historic venue. But the lease for the operation of the theatre came to an end at the start of the year. The date of the termination of the operator’s lease was agreed by Coun Tom Fox, the leader of the council, after all attempts to secure an alternative operator were exhausted and a proposal by the most recent operator to run the theatre during 2014 on a management fee basis was refused.