To consider the content of the draft Strategic Business Plan for Scarborough Harbour (report reference 17/158), and provide feedback and part of the first phase of wider public consultation, prior to presenting the plan to Cabinet for a decision.
The Economic Development Project Manager, Mr A Richards, presented his report in respect of a proposed strategic business plan for Scarborough harbour: the first of three proposed business plans, the other two being devised for Whitby and Filey in due course. The Council’s current ports strategy had required updating to take account of changes to the roles of the various maritime sectors, port operations and the wider economy, the expansion of tourism in Scarborough, and the requirement to upgrade some elements of the port infrastructure. The proposed business plan had set out the direction in which Scarborough Harbour would be guided, managed and developed over the coming years. It took account of the port’s chief uses, including trawling, fish processing, retail, tourism, leisure boats and public parking.
The key aims of the business plan were:
The regeneration of West Pier, including new mixed use development;
Exploring opportunities for additional retail / commercial concessions in and around the harbour;
Improving port user facilities; and
Investment in the port infrastructure.
The Overview and Scrutiny Board had been included in the consultation on the business plan, which would also include port users, other stakeholders, local businesses and the general public. In addition to providing feedback and suggestions for the business plan, Mr Richards asked the Board to provide regular oversight on the consultation process and on the adoption and implementation of the plan.
During the ensuing discussion, the following key points were made:
Some potential opportunities and threats to the harbour’s economy were difficult to quantify at present do to some factors being unknown, including competition from other harbours, the economic effects of the UK leaving the European Union, potential levels of European grant funding, the renewables industry and the potential for business to accumulate through offshore wind generation, the port’s ageing infrastructure, the possible regeneration of the UK fishing industry, and an increase in popularity of leisure craft and other forms of commercial development along the harbour. A significant element of the business plan was enabling the harbour to adapt and develop in the light of these opportunities and threats.
It was suggested that a public exhibition could be held in order to assist future consultation on issues affecting the harbour, and on the numerous phases of the development.
It would be necessary to agree timescales for the infrastructure works, in order to maintain harbour facilities and optimise funding.
After the results of the consultation had been analysed and incorporated into the business plan, Cabinet would consider a revised report and decide on the adoption and implementation of the plan. The Board agreed to provide regular oversight during the process of the plan’s adoption and implementation, and to assist as necessary, employing a Task Group to develop ideas for the harbour to provide benchmarking and opinions from experts and stakeholders.
The Board commended Mr Richards for his excellent report and research.
(i) the report be noted; and
(ii) the Overview and Scrutiny Board’s comments above, on the draft Strategic Business Plan for Scarborough Harbour, be included in the consultation, as part of the first phase of public consultation prior to presenting the plan to Cabinet for adoption or otherwise; and
(iii) the Board will assist with the implementation and delivery of the business plan as necessary, providing regular oversight, and employing a Task Group to develop ideas for the harbour.