Beach huts should be more ‘coast’ effective

Whitby's beach huts as they look now  w101206a
Whitby's beach huts as they look now w101206a

THE provision and management of beach huts in Whitby could be set for a shake-up.

Council officers are investigating ways to invest more money into beach huts and to improve and expand the numbers of beach huts.

Whitby has the highest numbers of council owned chalets in the borough with 140 compared to 39 at Scarborough’s South Bay and 36 at Filey.

Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) had been looking at tenders from external organisations since July last year to manage its chalets but out of the six received only one was feasible.

It offered new chalet provision and capital investment over five years but council officers said the return on investment was still “significantly below current net receipts and no opportunity for enhanced income”.

Officers asked the bidder to revisit the bid but have yet to hear back so SBC is now looking at ways to develop the chalets in the borough.

It is going to undertake a further detailed investigation into business and investment initiatives and will report back to Cabinet in September.

The income from chalet provision in Whitby for 2010/11 was £50,910 while expenditure was £27,680. Income for 2011/12 was expected to increase to £58,290 with expenditure up 2 per cent to £28,230.

At the moment there is a mixed approach to the letting of chalets, which is done under SBC’s Tourism and Culture service, with some allocated for annual let and others on a weekly or daily rate depending on their location and the time of year.

A council report said: “The chalets continue to prove a popular facility for residents and visitors with demand often outstripping supply and a strong tradition of repeat custom.

“It is widely recognised within the council that there is potential to develop and improve the existing chalet provision, associated services and facilities and possibly expand and increase this mprovision. However, with limited budget and resources currently available the council has not been in a position to realise this potential.”