Councillors at Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) will meet on the 12th January 2015 to decide the fate of the Futurist Theatre. It is anticipated that councillors will be voting to bulldoze the theatre regardless of the outcome of Flamingo Land’s preferred bid to build on the prime seafront site.
North Yorks Enquirer sources confirm that SBC’s Estates Department have telephoned the council’s current tenants in the Futurist building. The tenants have been warned they may receive notice from the council to quit their current premises on the 13th January 2015.
SBC’s majority Conservative cabinet voted on the 16th September 2014 to approve ‘Bidder B’ as the preferred bidder for the Futurist site. It was later revealed by the North Yorks Enquirer that ‘Bidder B’, earlier revealed as Flamingo Land, had donated £50,000 to the Conservative Party in 2014.
The total cost of levelling the theatre by professional contractors was initially mooted at £600,000 to the SBC cabinet, but after tenders were received the price of the demolition rose substantially. The price of bulldozing the theatre is now thought to be in excess of £2million.
Given that the Town Hall and Futurist development has long been a cornerstone of Scarborough and Whitby Conservative Party policy, it is expected that elected members of the Conservative party will be under party orders to vote for the theatre to be razed to the ground.
The North Yorks Enquirer has learnt there will be a number of Tory rebels. The councillors, all in marginal seats, fear that passing the motion for demolition so close to the May 2015 elections will be lead to them not being re-elected. It is to be expected the Conservatives will be calling in favours from some pale blue ‘Independent’ councillors.