BRID’S FUTURE PLANS: Town’s business forum is relaunched

John Lister, head of Bridlington Renaissance, with the Bridlington Area Action Plan proposals.

John Lister, head of Bridlington Renaissance, with the Bridlington Area Action Plan proposals.

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BRIDLINGTON’s Business Forum is to be re-launched amid growing interest from businesses in the Area Action Plan under which the town is set to get a multi-million regeneration.

After it wound down around four years ago, the Business Forum is being revived by the Bridlington Renaissance team on the back of the planned regeneration - the Area Action Plan (AAP).

John Lister, of Bridlington Renaissance told the Free Press that the AAP has attracted a growing interest from businesses, and the forum is one way to channel this interest and try to boost businesses in the town.

“The chamber of trade hasn’t really had too much to do in Bridlington so we are trying to pick it up so it all gets back into swing,” Mr Lister said.

As previously reported after a 15-year wait the AAP has finally been deemed “sound” by a planning inspector meaning that building work could now begin within the next two years.

The AAP will see up to £200m spent on the development of a new shopping district known as Burlington Parade, town centre car parking, a new public square and a remodelled Gypsey Race park, as well as a marina, creating 1,900 new jobs in the process.

The Business Forum will act as a think tank, with regular committee meetings and potentially quarterly public meetings to which local businesses will be invited.

“The main objective is awareness, the promotion of existing business facilities within the business community,” Mr Lister said.

“It’s also about quality, the improvement of services and training; Availability, to revise opening times of town centre facilities and trying to encourage businesses to stay open longer; Identifying street scene improvements, which is about the order of work for the AAP; Trying to promote the business centre and the facilities they have there; and looking at identifying the local opportunities presented by the AAP,” Mr Lister added.

The Business Forum committee is due to next meet on September 25, a meeting which will be for the committee only, with details of future public meetings to be made available in due course.

And it comes just as Mr Lister has assured the public that the AAP will increase the number of car parking spaces in the town after some concerns were raised by Free Press readers that the plan would lead to the loss of key car parks.

Michael Maycock, of Green Lane, in Bempton contacted the Free Press to air his concerns that council planners were trying to establish the town as a “car-free zone” where visitors either used the park and ride during the summer months or walked for miles into town.

“I have great difficulty seeing all those extra town centre parking spaces the plan states. All I can see is no more Palace car park, no more Queen Street parking, no more Prince Street parking, no more Bridge Street parking, no Hilderthorpe Road Coach Park and the small car park at the bottom of Beck Hill gone. Now even to the least smart person that’s a huge amount of lost car parking spaces.”

But Mr Lister said the AAP will see the creation of up to 800 extra car parking spaces in the town and car parking will be a priority ahead of each development, as they would not expect people to “park on clouds” while the changes are made.

“Town Centre car parking is something that has to come in ahead of some of the developments to make sure we are never down on car parking spaces,” Mr Lister said.

For further information about the Bridlington Business Forum email Denise Cowling at denise.cowling@eastriding.gov.uk