Seaside mayors open 'whalebone' marina building after long delay

AN iconic new marina building in Whitby which will benefit hundreds of boat and yacht users has finally opened – after a planning wrangle which dragged on years.

Scarborough Mayor Hazel Lynskey and the Mayor of Whitby Terry Jennison performed the opening ceremony for the 850,000 building, which was inspired by the whalebones structure on West Cliff and the gothic arches of Whitby Abbey.

Replacing the outdated public toilet and onshore facilities, the building is part of the 2m project to transform the upper harbour which has also seen new pontoons and rock revetment works.

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After unveiling a plaque at the new marina building, the two mayors enjoyed a boat trip around the harbour – a treat also given to local school pupils who helped with artwork and designs for the building.

The onshore facilities for Whitby Marina were delayed for many years because of widespread public opposition to the original plans.

Objectors including shopkeepers, hoteliers and restaurateurs fought the scheme for more than a decade. It was originally condemned as too commercial and subsequent proposals were criticised as being too modern for Captain Cook's old port.

Plans for a much bigger marina were finally dropped by councillors because the argument had dragged on so long that it would be difficult to complete the works to the timetable drawn up by the funding bodies, risking the money being clawed back.

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Eventually Scarborough Council reduced the size of the marina, and the new plans, designed by Salt Architects of Beverley, received almost universal support.

A Scarborough Council spokesman said: "We now have high quality public toilets and facilities for the thousands of marina users who come to Whitby each year in their leisure craft, as well as the yacht and boat enthusiasts in the town.

"The building draws inspiration from the existing and historic architecture of Whitby. There has been particular reference made to the whalebone structure on the West Cliff, the gothic arches of the Abbey, the vertical lines of the townscape and the ruggedness and character provided by its natural stone structures.

Whitby Mayor Mr Jennison said: "It has been a long time coming. but it has certainly been worth it.

"The co-operation between the borough council and the towns people of Whitby has certainly worked well. It is a great building and I am very impressed with