Futurist site put on the market as council says grave claims unfounded

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The Futurist theatre, one of Scarborough’s most iconic venues is to be put on the on the market with a view to attracting a major developer to regenerate the site, council bosses said yesterday.

The announcement yesterday claimed evidence obtained by Scarborough Borough Council dispelled the claims there could be a grave containing human remains on the site.

Supporters of the Futurist have said they believed a concrete slab on a terrace to the rear of the theatre may mark the position of the final resting place of Thomas Alfred Fox, a brother of Will Catlin, who was the former founder and owner of the Futurist. They called for scientific tests to be carried out.

A long campaign has been fought by campaigners who want to keep the theatre open.

However, yesterday the council said results from exploratory excavations around and underneath the concrete slab, carried out in May by a specialist, independent contractor, did not find any indication of human remains below the concrete slab. Although it was not possible to expose the entire area below the slab, due to a covenant attached to it that restricts its removal, the contractors consider it highly unlikely that a burial dating from the early 20th century is located there.

Nick Edwards, the council’s director of business support said: “Based on the contractor’s detailed explorations and subsequent findings, we are as satisfied as we can be that no human remains are buried below the concrete slab.

“We are now looking forward to seeing what proposals come forward from developers interested in regenerating the site.”