Scarborough’s Futurist loses battle for listing to prevent demolition

The interior of Scarborough's Futurist Theatre The interior of Scarborough's Futurist Theatre
by -

Campaigners hoping to save the Futurist Theatre in Scarborough from demolition have vowed to fight a decision that prevents the building being listed.

As reported by The Stage in January, campaigners had hoped that an application from the council to make the building immune from listing would be rejected by the government. A certificate of immunity from listing means the venue could not be statutorily listed for a period of five years and could therefore be demolished.

Scarborough Council approved £4 million of funding to demolish the theatre earlier this year. Although there are no plans for a replacement development, theme park Flamingo Land has previously expressed an interest in the site.

Historic England, which oversees the listing of buildings, confirmed to The Stage the government was “minded to approve a certificate of immunity from listing for the Futurist in Scarborough on the advice of Historic England”.

Nick Bridgland, listing team leader in the north said: “We realise that there is much local interest in and affection for the Futurist. We carefully assessed the Futurist for listing and advised that because the building has been extensively altered over the years, it does not have the special historic or architectural interest to meet the criteria for national listing.”

There will now be a statutory period of 28 days to allow for review, after which a final decision will be made by the government.

Responding, the Theatres Trust said it was considering appealing the move.

“Local support for the building has grown strong over the last few months and campaigners are continuing to battle to save the Futurist. We support the Save the Futurist campaign group and other stakeholders who would like to see the Futurist Theatre restored for cultural use,” it said.

It added: “[The Futurist] could provide a large-scale theatre for the presentation of musicals, comedy, music and drama in Yorkshire, thanks to its capacity and flytower, and would be an immense cultural and economic benefit to the people of Scarborough.”