Uk News 'Even hipsters like fish and chips on the beach': How Covid travel restrictions could save the British seaside United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Travel restrictions mean more of us plan to holiday close to home - and that could be a welcome boost for Britain's traditional seaside resorts
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! There is a signpost on Scarborough’s promenade that points visitors to the Futurist Theatre. However, should anyone follow it they won’t find the venue where The Beatles once played. Instead they’ll find a gap on the seafront where the theatre used to be.By the time it was demolished in 2018, the Futurist had long seen better days and, despite a campaign to save it, for many the building had become an unwanted symbol of fading grandeur in a town which lays claim to being Britain’s first seaside resort.“Scarborough was built for a different age,” says Richard Grunwell, chairman of the Town Centre Team who moved to the resort 40 years ago. “It was built for a time when we hosted the tennis tournament right before Wimbledon, when international touring cricket sides would play here and when the conference trade would bring customers for upmarket shops.The i newsletter latest news and analysisEmail address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription.“It took people a while to accept that the heyday had gone. I am all for doing up buildings if you can find a use for them, but there is no point sitting on historic assets if they are not going to benefit the town.”While the first tourists arrived in Scarborough in the 17th century following the discovery of spa waters, the resort’s boom years began in the Victorian age and continued through to the early 1980s.Like many seaside resorts, the rise of cheap foreign holidays hit the town hard. Today the main shopping street is blighted by empty shops and the recent announcement that Debenhams will not reopen was a further blow. However, in a year when many of us are thinking of holidaying closer to home there are signs of a long-awaited renaissance on the Yorkshire coast.Donkeys on the beach at Scarborough (Photo: Matthew Lloyd/Getty) A few years ago the town’s indoor market was restored, vinyl wraps designed by local artists are brightening up the vacant shops and having secured £20.2m of funding under the Government’s new Towns Fund, Scarborough is hoping to find a way to extend the traditional summer season.“The issues we have here are not unique to Scarborough, but we do have a vision of how the future will look,” says Liz Colling, a councillor who is also hoping for a slice of the new Welcome Back Fund specifically targeted to help coastal resorts emerge from the shadow of lockdown. “Fortunately we have been given a bit of an advance on the Towns Fund money which will allow us to replace the outdated signage and really get us ready for the summer crowds.“Accommodation bookings look really robust and we are hoping that with less people going abroad, this year will be a bumper one. However, we also know that we need to be more than just a bucket and spade destination.“We want to launch a year-long programme of cultural events under the banner of Scarborough Fayre and we are also looking at ways to prevent the town centre being overrun by tumbleweed after 4pm by encouraging a pavement café culture and residential accommodation which hopefully will create a new community.“A lot of the ideas aren’t new. They have been kicking around for almost a decade but hopefully now we have the funding and the will to make them a reality.”In 2009 the European Commission named Scarborough Britain’s most enterprising town. It should have been a springboard for investment, but as the credit crunch deepened hopes of wider regeneration were put on hold. However, in the town once known as the Queen of Watering Places, the tide appears to be turning and Covid is, at least in part, to thank.“We have been inundated with people wanting to move north to Scarborough,” says Lisa Crowe, a local estate agent. “Partly it’s about the cheaper property prices, but it’s more than that. Recently I chatted to a couple from Watford who had always wanted to live by the coast. They said that the past year had taught them that we are only here once and they weren’t going to put off fulfilling their dreams.“The generation who came here on holiday as children now have families of their own and there is a definite sense of nostalgia which is bringing them back.” South Beach in Scarborough (Photo: Loop Images/Universal Images Group/Getty) Holidays at home As uncertainty about foreign holidays continues, travel firms are reporting a surge of interest in “staycation” holidays as more of us plan ahead for the easing of domestic travel restrictions.As of 27 March, people in Wales can already book self-contained holiday accommodation within the country (self-catering, or ensuite hotels with room service), with those from the same household or bubble.In England, self-catering holidays within the UK will be allowed from 12 April, with hotels set to open from 17 May, and people in Scotland can travel within the country from 26 April, with accommodation open with restrictions. Restrictions are expected to lift from 21 June.Seaside holidays are proving popular, according to homestay firm airbnb. Currently its top 10 trending destinations include three resorts in Devon and two each in Cornwall and Sussex. Top of the list is St Clears in Pembrokeshire, Wales.British holiday firms are reporting a huge boom in bookings, especially for self-catering holidays. Tourist bosses in Cornwall say some families are asking to join waiting lists for popular spots.Which? reported last month that high demand has led to a surge in prices of up to a third in popular resorts such as St Ives, Llandudno, Brighton and Whitby and some restaurants booked for months ahead.
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.“Back in the day we had to force the doors shut at 11pm,” says Giulian Alonzi, whose family has run the South Bay ice cream parlour since 1945. “In those days the place was overrun with tourists for 14 weeks of the year and they spent so much it was OK to be quiet the rest of the time. Read More The volunteers turning the tide on beach litter as concerns rise about plastic during a summer of staycations “You can’t run a business like that now and we have gradually built up trade during the winter season. People come to the seaside for fish and chips and an ice cream on the beach, but as well as preserving the tradition of the place we also need to be forward-looking.”Nowhere is that more in evidence than in Scarborough’s entertainment offerings. At one end of the resort the Open Air Theatre, which markets itself as Britain’s answer to the Hollywood Bowl, is due to welcome contestants from Ru Paul’s Drag Race and the singers Anne-Marie and Lewis Capaldi. At the other, the former Butlins’ Redcoat Tony Peers is almost single-handedly keeping the traditional summer variety show alive in the historic Scarborough Spa.“We have pretty much seen everything over the years,” says the 73-year-old known to locals as Mr Entertainment. “When there’s a problem we find a way to solve it, but this last year has left us in limbo because we haven’t been able to plan.“I’d like to think we’d have a summer show in Scarborough for July, but we can’t risk opening and then closing again.“Scarborough is a strange place without visitors and this last year has been the quietest I have ever known it. However, as the world opens back up there is an opportunity here if people are willing to embrace the future.“I will keep doing what I do, but I’ve had my time; now there is a chance for others to write the next chapter in the history of this beautiful town.”
‘We expect our busiest summer for years’ – what seaside traders say Peter Curtis Jnr runs Peter’s Fish Factory with his father on Margate’s sea front “On the very first day lockdown restrictions eased we were as busy as an August bank holiday and we are expecting our busiest summer for years. “When Dad opened the business in 1983 it was the tail end of the heyday when you were still getting pensioners coming here to listen to someone play the organ. “Margate did become quite run down in the 1990s, but the opening of the Turner Contemporary art gallery changed that. The town has become quite arty, but we haven’t changed – even hipsters like fish and chips on the beach.” John Nuttall, the third generation of his family to offer rides on the beaches of Skegness, Cleethorpes and Mablethorpe (Photo: Supplied) John Nuttall, the third generation of his family to offer rides on the beaches of Skegness, Cleethorpes and Mablethorpe on one of his 80-strong herd of donkeys “It was touch and go for a while. Last year we didn’t have any income coming in, but we still had bills to pay. Fortunately we managed to raise some money through crowd-funding and we have had a lot of support from the locals here. “Sadly, it’s the same story for a lot of the tourist businesses. Some were hanging on by a thread even before Covid and I suspect some won’t reopen. What we need is a good summer. If it’s a washout that might be the final nail in the coffin.” The End of the Pier Show in Cromer, Norfolk (Photo: Alison Toon) Rory Holburn, director of the End of the Pier Show – the last of its kind in the country – in Cromer, Norfolk“We plan to open in July, a month later than normal, in the hope we don’t have to enforce social distancing. We got an Arts Council grant, which helped, but we are still around £400,000 out of pocket. I suspect it will be three to five years before we fully recover. “There is still an audience for a traditional variety show, albeit one which is less risqué than it used to be. Now we just need a summer of sunny mornings where the rain clouds gather around lunchtime to force people into the matinee performance.” Mark Wilson, owner of Southsea Model Village in Portsmouth “We’ve used the time we’ve been closed to create some new attractions. We’d bought some model animals a while ago but the zoo we built never looked quite right, so now we’ve turned it into a miniature safari park. “This place is a little oasis of calm. Parents love it because the kids aren’t glued to their screens and they can grab a coffee while the little ones wander around the village. “I’m in my forties now and 20 years ago the seafront here was on its knees, but things are definitely changing for the better.” Chris Hopkins, organist at Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom “Playing the organ is like being an artist, you can’t just go through motions and it just isn’t the same without an audience. “Before Covid happened, we were doing really well at the ballroom. That was partly down to the boost we had been given by Strictly Come Dancing but we’d also modernised our offer. “I know people want everything back to normal this summer and I hope they’re right, but I think it will be another couple of years before we are packing them in like we used to.”
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