TV cash boost for piers repair fund

Waves crash against the pier. Inset: Clarkson and May when they were filming in Whitby.

Waves crash against the pier. Inset: Clarkson and May when they were filming in Whitby.

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The money paid to the borough council to host The Grand Tour filming in Whitby will go into the piers repair fund, it was announced at Tuesday’s town council meeting.

Addressing the full council, borough councillor, Rob Barnett said that the director of finance at Scarborough Council has told him that the cash will go towards repairing the piers “once the costs have been taken out”.

However, the amount paid by the show to set up in town will not be revealed, as a nondisclosure agreement is in place.

Pressure had been put onto the borough council to announce that the money will go into Whitby harbour, given that The Grand Tour tent pitched up on harbour land.

As reported by the Gazette, at last month’s full council meeting, leader Derek Bastiman said: “Those involved in negotiations with the film company all had to sign non-disclosure agreements, the funds have been paid to Scarborough Council and will be apportioned accordingly, but apart from that I can’t say anything else.”

But now Cllr Barnett has revealed that the cash will go towards the piers. He said: “The director of finance (Nick Edwards) has emailed me back to say that we can’t disclose exactly how much The Grand Tour paid the local authority but it is going to the local authority, not Dalby offshore, and there is a non-disclosure agreement on the exact sum of money.

“But once the costs have been taken out, Mr Edwards assures me that the money is going to go into the piers fund.

“Exactly how much that is and when it is paid in, the town council might have a view on that.”

During the public participation session at the town council meeting, Ian Dixon, 53, from Whitby said: “I cannot believe that an organisation like Scarborough Council cannot answer the public as to how much money came in from Clarkson’s Grand Tour.”

Life-long resident Mr Dixon also made a passionate speech expressing his views on how Whitby is run.

Reacting to the news that the Grand Tour money will go towards the restoration of the piers, Fight4Whitby committee member John Freeman said: “I believe, as most of our group does, that if it hadn’t been for the pressure we put on, that would not have happened. I think they have bowed to public pressure.”

The Grand Tour came to Whitby for filming in October. The first episode starring the town was released last Friday, with the second airing today.