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Scarborough creates vibrant town centre model

Scarborough is aiming to create a new vibrant new town centre model with fresh ideas to welcome shoppers and visitors – and its Town Team has just become a new executive member of the Chamber.

The future of Yorkshire’s big seaside resort is being discussed by the team as it aims to tackle major retail challenges which have been accelerated by Covid-19.

“We have a good story to tell of the great range of ideas we are considering and how we hope to transform the town centre to make it more vibrant,” said Sue Anderson-Brown, who leads the team of 12 members from various backgrounds.

Sue, who is also manager of the Brunswick Shopping Centre in Scarborough’s main street, said: “The retail community has to evolve and adapt.

“We need to work in partnership with all sections of the community, the council, the cultural and creative sector and also to listen to voices of the younger people.

“We want to regenerate the town centre and hope that our new membership of the Chamber will assist this important process.

“We are looking at the use of the public space and how it can be made more welcoming and attractive and how we can offer a more enjoyable town centre experience to help retailers and the community.”

Sue outlined the kind of ideas being debated:

· Regular events and performances

· A more inviting environment for families, particularly during the evening, and incorporating leisure, entertainment and potential town centre cinema

· A tree-lined town centre and new spaces for leisure areas and informal events

· More people working and living in the town centre with more accommodation and with digital and creative spaces

Other ideas being discussed include improved transport and digital connectivity, a greener Scarborough with traffic-free zones and a regeneration of the area around the railway station. The team was set up to help produce a bid for The Future High Street Fund for up to £10m for each area, a government scheme to rejuvenate 100 town centres.

The objective is to attract new businesses, improve town centre access, convert empty units into new homes and workplaces and to encourage investment.

The efforts are themed into topics such as Improved public realm, Engaging People, Property conversion and investment, Transport review and Increased Town Centre activities.

Sue added: “We must not over-promise on the possibilities of these ideas and they are subject to further debate and funding. “But we are fixed towards a better quality, more attractive centre in every way we can.”