Re seafront facelift: I am most surprised there has been so little response to the town’s seafront regeneration plans. There was a large attendance at both the business forum, the public exhibition, and even a slot allocated to the issue on Radio Humberside.
The council is looking to spend £3.8 million to improve the area. They say it is a priority for them and re-landscaping the seafront will enhance the public realm for residents and showcase the area’s rich heritage to visitors.
In its original town plan the council recognised that parts of the seafront were already “down at heel”. Businesses, particularly in the Prince and Cliff Street areas, had been struggling commercially for years. They have felt for some time that the seafront should be one of the principal assets for developing Bridlington’s competitiveness as a place to live, invest and run a business and visit all year round and not just the summer months. The seafront has the setting, and the built heritage, that should enable it to function as a prime location for a wide range of uses.
The regeneration team consulted businesses throughout the area prior to the public exhibition and claim that 90% of them approved the plans. However, it would be most helpful to know what residents, and indeed, visitors feel.
An interactive board and a located art display are planned for the so-called Garrison Square. It is proposed to reduce the width of Garrison Street to about 3m, to create more pedestrian space, and to renew footpaths, lighting and seating from the harbour top to the Leisure Centre.
The plans look most adventurous and futuristic. There is an open area around Fort Terrace to the south side of the Leisure Centre. Hi-tech moveable benching with underseat lighting is planned. This will enable those seated to see what they are doing during the late hours and enable daytime ones to move with the sun and quickly acquire a breezy Bridlington tan. A hotelier feels that it will become easily dated and unfortunately damaged by young people on skateboards and bikes given the tempting slopes and slides that are being included.
Businesses are to be encouraged to spill out onto the open pedestrian areas, to be open all hours, and further develop their trade. It is hoped that such plans will meet the need for Bridlington to raise its game, improve the quality of its offer, diversify its appeal, and extend the season.