‘Ugly’ sign for open air theatre is slammed

A poster for Scarborough Open Air Theatre at Whibty's Tourist Information Centre''w131003a
A poster for Scarborough Open Air Theatre at Whibty's Tourist Information Centre''w131003a
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A LARGE advert for Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre has taken pride of place in Whitby’s tourist information centre, much to the annoyance of councillors.

At a meeting of Whitby Town Council, members slammed the “disproportionate” advert for the Scarborough Borough Council owned multi-million pound venue with one claiming the sign was that large, it should have planning permission.

Coun Havelock said: “My eyes were drawn to this quite inadvertently.

“It’s disproprionate which is my concern, not that it shouldn’t be there.”

Coun Amanda Smith added: “We should also encourage the residents and visitors alike to visit our own pavilion and it’s theatre and. We need to be advertising all the venues in the town.”

Coun Niall Carson added the sign was taking up 25% of the tourist information centre’s window space.

“When I first saw it I though it was an advertising hoarding,” he said. “My first thought was that would have to have planning permission and it ought to be refused.”

Deputy mayor of Whitby, Heather Coughlan said she was pleased the council was advertising events more widely and Whitby people should know about them, but thought the sign was “ugly.”

“It’s street clutter,” she said. “They must have saw down and thought, what can we send to Whitby,” she said.

The town council agreed to write to David Chance, SBC’s cabinet member for tourism and culture to voice their concerns.

In response, he said: “All of our tourist information centres, including Whitby, promote events and offerings from across the borough and are not, by way of necessity, parochial in their outlook.

“This approach is beneficial in promoting the range of attractions that our visitors require when visiting our borough and that local residents also want to take advantage of.

“Last year the Open Air Theatre attracted 60% of its audience from outside our borough.

“This audience share contributed substantially by way of the multiplier effect to our local economy, every £1 spent on tickets resulted in a further £3 being spent in our borough and increases the potential for overnight stays.

“It was raised through tourism forums that for areas outside Scarborough town to benefit, better information needed to be available covering a wider area to encourage bookings to be made in, for example, Whitby, with people travelling to the Open Air Theatre as part of a holiday or short break package.

“The use of window vinyls is an extremely cost effective way to do this and we are now in the process of extending this approach to include the promotion of other events that are taking place throughout the borough.”