Scarborough Wheel: Council to decide on return of controversial observation wheel to Yorkshire seaside

A 32m high observation wheel could return to Scarborough’s seafront if new plans are approved.

A controversial observation wheel could soon return to the site of the former Futurist Theatre on Foreshore Road in Scarborough if plans are approved by North Yorkshire Council.

Observation Wheel UK has proposed that the wheel and an 18-hole adventure golf course occupy the site on a seasonal basis until October 2025.

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The operator had previously been granted permission for the wheel to operate on the signature spot for three years but the deal ended in 2023, putting the future of the attraction in doubt.

Scarborough Observation WheelScarborough Observation Wheel
Scarborough Observation Wheel

The 32-metre high wheel first arrived in 2019 and has given visitors birds-eye views of the town’s South Bay and North Sea.

Submitted plans state that it will carry 24 “evenly spaced gondolas each on an individual axel” which allows them to “hang freely and remain level while the wheel is rotating”.

The wheel has been criticised by residents over its location and appearance but has proved popular with tourists.

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The 18-hole Captain Jack’s Adventure Golf course would be positioned directly adjacent to the observation wheel and would be operated by the same company. A supporting structure with decking, ramp access, and a ticket office would also be installed.

The site is located on Foreshore Road, between St Nicholas’ Gardens and Coney Island amusement centre, on land that was previously occupied by The Futurist Theatre. The theatre closed in 2014 and was demolished four years later.

The applicant has stated that the wheel “should provide the public with an entirely new appreciation for the surrounding Scarborough conservation area”. North Yorkshire Council has not yet made a decision on the planning application.