Scarborough Council agrees to take back control of Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion
Scarborough Council has agreed to take back control over two of the biggest entertainment venues on the coast.
The borough authority’s cabinet today gave the green light for its agreement with Sheffield City Trust (SCT), also known as Sheffield International Venues (SIV) which has run Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion on its behalf since 2012 to be terminated.
Earlier this month, Sheffield City Council told Sheffield City Trust, which it subsidises, that it must end its loss-making contract with Scarborough Council “as soon as possible” before it will commit to further funding.
The city council has said it will not cover losses for contracts SCT has with other authorities going forward and wanted the agreements terminated “at minimum cost”.
It follows decisions by the city council to give up to £16.6m to SCT this financial year, which is £11.6m more than budgeted for.
Today, the borough council’s cabinet backed the move to bring the venues, along with the Spa Cliff Lift and Peasholm Cafe, back under the authority’s control from January 1, 2021.
Council leader, Cllr Steve Siddons, said: “Out of the problems that have been created here over the last six to nine months as always there are opportunities and we have to take those opportunities.”
He said the venues were “jewels in the crown” of the resorts and welcomed the chance to look at how they are run.
A report prepared for the cabinet said that the council’s contract had been set to run until September 2022 and it was “unlikely that [SIV] would look to extend their relationship with the venues”.
It added that in the first three months the council intends to bring the remaining 11 members of staff across to open up Farrers’ bar at the Spa and the cafe and cinema at Whitby Pavilion if it is safe to do so.
Detailed short and medium-term plans for operating the venues will now be developed and a marketing strategy and the possibility of working with external partners to programme some events also feature in the plans.
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