Humberside

Hornsea £5m theatre complex plan in doubt

Artist's impression of proposed theatre complex
Image caption The centre was to replace the coastal town's old Floral Hall

Plans for a £5m theatre and business complex in Hornsea are in doubt.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is paying £3m towards the scheme. The remaining £2m is needed from regional development agency Yorkshire Forward.

The council said "local wrangling" over the location of the centre led to delays in seeking the extra funding.

It said with government spending cuts under way the prospect of the agency committing to the scheme was "not encouraging".

A planning application was approved in April for the centre, which would include a 300-seat auditorium and stage and conference facilities with sea views.

The facility, next to Hornsea Leisure Centre, was to replace the coastal town's old Floral Hall.

The council hoped to open the centre by summer 2012, but said it was still awaiting a funding decision for Yorkshire Forward.

In a statement the authority said: "With the government's spending cuts to reduce the public deficit, the Hornsea project, along with hundreds of others nationally, is effectively in limbo and the prospects of Yorkshire Forward committing to new schemes are not encouraging."

Time 'lost'

The proposed location of the new centre was criticised by some residents, who believed the existing Floral Hall site, on The Esplanade, should be redeveloped.

Council leader Stephen Parnaby said: "The council will of course continue to do all it can to support this project but the outlook for the new centre in its present form is not good.

"Unfortunately a lot of local wrangling and delay eventually led Yorkshire Forward to commission an independent study which decisively concluded that the council's preferred site and not the existing Floral Hall site was the right choice... but in the meantime valuable time was lost.

"If we could have moved faster, I am confident we could have got the funding package sorted and been on with the job to the benefit of Hornsea residents and visitors."

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