Yorkshire Coast BID: Owners of pubs, shops, cafes and hotels set for showdown in court over refusal to pay 'tourist tax'

The owners of pubs, cafes, campsites, shops and other businesses in Yorkshire seaside towns are to appear in court next week over their alleged refusal to pay a controversial levy towards attracting tourists.

A day has been set aside at Beverley Magistrates Court on Monday for East Riding Council to prosecute a large number of the ‘rebels’ who are accused of failing to pay the Yorkshire Coast BID’s tax.

The Business Improvement District, or BID, was set up in 2018 to promote tourism in the region and is a private company. Around 1,300 businesses from Staithes to Spurn Point must pay the mandatory levy, after a ballot was passed for it with a turnout of just 29 per cent. Nearly 70 votes were given to Scarborough and East Riding councils, who collect the tax for the BID, because their car parks and public toilets were included as ‘businesses’.

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East Riding Council has obtained court orders to recover over £16,000 from 27 businesses. By the end of 2021, there were 800 businesses in arrears on the levy.

The Downe Arms, WykehamThe Downe Arms, Wykeham
The Downe Arms, Wykeham

Many of the businesses affected argue that they do not benefit from the tourism industry, and those on the court list on Monday include a construction company, a golf club and a carpet shop. Scarborough’s MP, Robert Goodwill, questioned why a funeral parlour was being made to pay.

Appearing before Beverley’s bench on Monday are Oliver’s Mount, the motor racing circuit on the outskirts of Scarborough; the Arch & Abbey pub in Whitby; Chapman Amusements in Bridlington; Davis’s House Furniture in Bridlington; The Downe Arms Hotel in Wykeham, Scarborough; J & S Pub Company, which owns five pubs in Scarborough and Whitby; Monks Haven Cafe, Whitby; North Cliff Golf Club, Scarborough; carpet shop Squire of Scarborough; The Expanse Hotel in Bridlington; Scarborough gift shop Thornton and Collins; and Whitby furniture and clothing retailer Tim Ruff.

Despite a no-confidence vote in the BID, its directors have pledged to continue its work until at least summer 2024, and claim they have funded a number of projects that have brought visitors to the area, including Scarborough Stories.

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Full list of individuals and businesses to be prosecuted at Beverley Magistrates Court by East Riding Council

Expanse Hotel, Bridlington.Expanse Hotel, Bridlington.
Expanse Hotel, Bridlington.

John Anderson

Arch & Abbey, Whitby

Paul Beeforth

Jillian Blackburn

North Cliff Golf Club, ScarboroughNorth Cliff Golf Club, Scarborough
North Cliff Golf Club, Scarborough

Candy Confectionery & Gifts

Chapman Amusements, Bridlington

Anthony and Gillian Cowan

Davis House Furniture, Bridlington

Oliver's Mount, ScarboroughOliver's Mount, Scarborough
Oliver's Mount, Scarborough


Diversorium (owners of Downe Arms Hotel, Wykeham)

Arnold Dixon

G Collinson Construction, Scarborough

Garry Tuby

Reece Holland

Hyde Hotels Ltd

J & S Pub Co, Scalby

Joocoe Ltd

Kay & Shi Ltd

Jacqueline Link

Lizannes Bar

Nathan Long

Helen Matos

Monks Haven Cafe, Whitby

D Winspear & L Halidu

E & S Austin

Roger Newton

North Cliff Golf Club

Oliver’s Mount

Nealia Pattinson

Scott Hamlin

SH Brown & Son

Squire of Scarborough

The Expanse Hotel, Bridlington

Thornton and Collins, Scarborough

Tim Ruff Ltd, Whitby

A Vodden

W U Butterfield Caravanning

David White