Monday 20th May 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

Misplaced? 1 Seaweed Sculpture

Misplaced? 1 Seaweed Sculpture

Harbours correspondent ALLAN ROBERTS casts a quizzical eye over the next in a long line of ‘curiosities’ proposed for Scarborough Harbour.

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According to ThisIsTheCoast, a ‘Seaweed Scuplture’ proposal is being put forward by Wild Eye.

Wild Eye is funded by the Towns Fund, drawn from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC), now administered through North Yorkshire Council.

Meanwhile, we also have the West Pier Regeneration Plan, which  is also funded by the Towns Fund, drawn from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC), and also administered through North Yorkshire Council.

Designed primaraly to promote tourism on West Pier, rather than the intended purpose of the Town Deal Fund, which was to revive Town Centre shopping areas, the West Pier Regeneration Plan has placed much emphasis on Scarborough Harbour’s culture and heritage as part of its ‘vision’, which states:

The diversity of the tourism offer will be further enhanced by the West Pier through its connection with maritime heritage and natural environment as it celebrates this heritage with artistic features based on SeaGrown & Wilde Eye projects.

The plan pre-dates March 2022, so it is apparent that, like the rest of the West Pier Regeneration Plan, the plan for the proposed Seaweed Sculpture was all cut and dried from the very start, with mere lip service paid to ‘consultation’.

Indeed, at a ‘consultation meeting’ with the Scarborough Harbour Users, on 21st March 2023, Helen Jackson (SBC’s ), in response to a question put to her by a Harbour representative regarding the West Pier Regeneration Plan, confirmed that there had been no consideration of recognising the history or heritage of the Scarborough fishing industry in the form of a memorial or sculpture on West Pier.

Hmmm.

It is significant that an FOIA request to the Council, dated 1st February 2023, reveals that, since February 2020, when the first of the seaweed farm vessels arrived:

Declared landings of aquaculture products at Scarborough Harbour are currently NIL.”

Aquacultural products, of course, include seaweed. Success rate so far = NIL.

How strange, then, that the Council is happy to consider spending Town Deal Funding on a sculpture recognising an industry that, apparently, has yet to produce any landings at all of the very product that the sculpture issupposedly promoting.

How strange also, that the proposed sculpture is to be located on the East Pier, when the West Pier plan states: 

The West Pier is clearly positioned as integral to the realisation of the Town Investment Plan.”

Would it not be more appropriate to commission a sculpture commemorating the historical heritage of the Fishing Industry, and locating that on the West Pier?


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