Flamingo Land deal for Futurist site in Scarborough is to be examined by new council boss

Artist's impression of the Flamingo Land proposal
Artist's impression of the Flamingo Land proposal

A review of Scarborough Council’s deal with Flamingo Land to develop a coastal attraction is to be carried out by the authority’s new chief executive.

Michael Greene, who took over at the borough council last month, has been tasked by the authority’s leader Cllr Steve Siddons (Lab) to look at the business case for the deal for the former Futurist Theatre site.

Cllr Siddons has previously spoken of his own concerns about the deal, which saw the council spend more than £4m to demolish the theatre ahead of a planning application by the Ryedale-based theme park operator which includes a 60m-high “cliffhanger” ride, a rollercoaster, and a four-storey building housing restaurants and play areas.

The observation wheel in pictures, see HERE
At today’s meeting of Scarborough’s full council, Cllr Siddons said he asked the new chief executive to investigate the business case for the Flamingo Land proposal.

He said he was “not against Flamingo Land per se” but that he and other members had concerns about the business case and the decision-making process that had yet to be addressed.

Cllr Siddons added: “I want to ensure that the resulting development is right for the overall vision of our borough, the town and the South Bay.

“Now our new chief executive is in post I have had the opportunity to task him with carrying out a review of the process we followed and the business case that was developed.

“He is looking to work with external partners to bring robustness to this process and we are hoping to complete this piece of work by the end of the autumn."

Flamingo Land was named as the council’s ‘preferred bidder’ for the site under the terms of the deal, beating another, unnamed bidder.

The theatre was demolished and the site cleared. While the Flamingo Land plans move forward a temporary observation wheel has been operating on the land.