Heritage expert raises hopes for ailing Futurist Theatre

A HERITAGE expert believes Scarborough’s ailing Futurist Theatre can be restored to its former glory after carrying out a structural survey of the historic building.

An inspection was carried out this week, organised by campaigners battling to save the Foreshaw Road venue.

Panels which have covered the building since 1969 were pulled off for its original frontage to be examined.

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It revealed the hidden ceramic facade was in “reasonable condition” for its age and there was no reason it could not be salvaged.

Jon Wilson, commercial director of Shaws of Darwen, who carried out the inspection said one or two structural issues needed to be addressed but it was all repairable.

“Until we take the cladding off, it will be hard to predict the cost, but it would certainly be good to bring it back to its former glory, which is certainly achievable,” he said.

Re-covering the building could cost more than £650,000 and a planning brief mooting the restoration of the theatre’s frontage instead was presented to councillors yesterday.

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Scarborough Borough Council’s property asset manager Alan Dargue said: “If councillors accept the planning brief we will have to determine the different costs.

“We would all love to see it restored.”

Campaigner Patricia David said the inspection was “another piece of ammunition” in the fight to save the building, which could be sold off for redevelopment.

Ms David said: “The council have been saying for years it’s damaged beyond repair and it would cost a fortune to repair. We know that a lot of it is not damaged and there is no evidence to say it is.”