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Yorkshire Coast Tourism Advisory Board

Minutes of the meeting held on 5 April 2019

Venue: Sea View Conference Room, Town Hall

Date: 5 April 2019

Time: 2pm

Chair: Clive Rowe Evans

Taking Minutes: Janet Deacon

1. Welcome and Apologies for absence
    Mike Wilkinson
    Janet Jefferson
    Diane Uhalde

2. Minutes and actions arising from last meeting

All agreed as a true record

Actions from minutes

Action 1 - Janet to update 3 year VES Action Plan. Janet had previously circulated update. Any members who had any questions to let Janet know.

Action 2 – Seamer Station update. Janet read out update from Richard Bradley. Discussions regarding land are still ongoing between SBC and NYCC. Graham gave an update from NYCC and advised the group that the Seamer Station work was a NYCC piece of work and that there was going to be a stakeholder group meeting in May which Alex Richards and Richard Bradley would be invited to.

Action 3 – Catriona to update on NYMNP Activity.

Actin 4 – Janet to speak to WTY regarding establishing marketing group to look at how can promote new rail developments, especially Transpennine and Northern – Janet had sent an email to WTY regarding setting up a working group awaiting response. Janet will pick up at the next SMT meeting.

Action 5 – Andrew Clay is going to invite David Warner to the next meeting.

3   NYMNP Update

Catriona gave an update from the NYMNP. A restructure had taken place at the park and Michael Graham is the new Director. Catriona had been given a promotion. A new communications strategy has been developed and will begin roll our shortly. Coastal Communities Fund projects are now completed. NYMNP had been voted best National Park of the Year by BBC Countryfile magazine. Countryfile have filming Rosedale and Gillies Jones for a special edition on the 70th anniversary of National Parks to be broadcast on 7 April. England’s National Parks have also won outstanding contribution to Tourism at the Visit England awards.

Catriona advised that it was the 50th anniversary of the Cleveland Way National Trail. There are a number of events taking place. One on the 24 May which is a walk from Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey. Also Songs of Praise will be filming in the NYMNP in April to be broadcast later in May. There will also be an exhibition at the Inspired by… gallery with artists featuring pieces depicting the coast.

Action 1: Catriona to send Janet links to events so that they can be sent out with minutes.


4 Welcome to Yorkshire

Janet read out statement regarding the WTY situation.

“You’ll be aware it’s been a tough few months at WtY following the resignation of our Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity last month. There are now going to be two independent investigations into his expenses and behaviour. The organisations carrying out these investigations will be appointed very soon and we will keep all of our members up to date. Should you have any questions please come and chat to me at the end and I can put you in touch with the right people. Please be assured that there is a fantastic team at WtY who continue to work incredibly hard for Yorkshire. At Y19 this week we made lots of exciting announcements for how we’ll continue to promote the region, including plans for a consultation where our members and partners can help us shape our vision for the next 10 years, so please head to for more information. We thank you for your continued support.”

Richard Marcroft asked if this posed any risk to the arrangement that the Council has with WTY. Janet confirmed that the Council’s Governance group would be undertaking a review and would be preparing a response to the future working arrangements with WTY. Janet confirmed that until the review had been undertaken that the relationship with the WTY team and her position as Area Director would remain unchanged. As members are aware WTY funds a large proportion of the activity that is delivered on the Yorkshire Coast including staff costs. If for any reason the relationship changes then this would pose a risk. The Council however will be looking at this as part of its review into the Partnership.

Charles Forgan said that the majority of the work delivered to promote the Yorkshire Coast was being undertaken at a local level by Janet and her team and that they were delivering the activity as a sub regional Tourism Body, he highlighted the importance of retaining this arrangement. Either funded directly by SBC or the DBID moving forward.

Charles highlighted all the great work that the team at WTY had delivered and he stressed the importance of ensuring that they continue to deliver regional marketing activity. Charles felt that WTY had done a fabulous job on cycling and suggested that there should not be a separate organisation created to run cycling events.

Clive advised the board that WTY had agreed to undertake consultation with the industry and obtain feedback on what businesses feel WTY should be delivering moving forward. Clive asked Janet how the consultation would be carried out. Janet advised that she was not aware at this moment in time but would ensure that the group had the opportunity to feed into the consultation along with other groups across the Yorkshire Coast.

Clive also informed the board that there was a call for WTY to develop a marketing strategy for the region moving forward.

Graham suggested that the consultation should also be carried out across groups to ensure that everyone was aware of the feedback.

Action 2: Janet to speak to WTY regarding the consultation process and feed back to Board.

5 Round Table How’s Business Update

Adrian said that they had been significantly busier since Christmas. There is more talk about staycation holidays because of Brexit. Adrian confirmed that they were struggling to get staff as there were fewer Eastern European’s applying for jobs. Adrian said that they had increased prices due to higher prices for fish and potatoes and the minimum wage increase. Adrian said that this resulted in price increases of up to 10/15%

Richard said that business was ok and that there was an irregular pattern of footfall and spend. Always sees an increase over pay day weekend. 1st quarter had gone as expected. Changes in school holidays being over four weeks instead of two was having an impact and spend being more spread out.

Charles reported that 2018 was a record year for footfall figures, 10% down in visitor numbers to date but still optimistic.

Ed updated the group on the star women in business awards. 80% attendees were women. The event fits into the aspiration agenda as schools and colleges are also engaged in the event. Ed also updated the group on a new business to business booklet called Topic that was being developed. Ed said he would bring copies to the next board meeting. Ed said that there was a piece on Scarborough Creatives in the next edition.

Chris advised the Board that some businesses were struggling to commit money and are awaiting the outcomes of Brexit. The station is still playing to record audiences. Bower media have now bought UKRD owning 60 radio stations in total.

Sarah said that the accommodation agency had had a fantastic start with the first quarter of the year being up 9% along the Yorkshire Coast. Sarah reported that 42% of bookings were for short breaks compared with 35% last year. The agency were reducing prices out of main season. Easter school holidays being split this year was also making a difference. 6 New jobs has been created in Whitby at the agency.

Catriona said that the NYMNP Centre was being developed. The exhibition area has been stripped out and a new exhibition is being installed connected to the Land of Iron Project.

Graham said that the rail companies were now improving and becoming much more punctual so many services have been resumed.

Cllr Martin Smith confirmed that the Open Air Theatre had already sold 36,274 this year with Kylie selling out quickly and Lewis Capaldi also selling out within half hour, a second night has been booked for Lewis Capaldi. Four or five more shows have been promised but awaiting Cuffe and Taylor sorting out contracts.

Martin also confirmed that Oliver’s Mount Motor Cycling had been resumed again this year with 2 events taking place The Barry Sheen Classic 27-28 July and the Gold Cup on 28 and 29 September. Also Further Hill Climb events are also expected to take place.

Cllr Smith also confirmed that Cabinet had approved a free park and ride facility from Abbey Car Parks to Langbourne road running from middle April to end September. This is being run by Esk Valley.

Charles said that the Park and Ride in Whitby needs more publicity and also had asked if it would be possible to have the NYCC Park and Ride open later.
Clive suggested that Charles drafts a letter to be sent out from Advisory Board.

Action 3: Charles to draft a letter to NYCC highways asking about marketing and later opening of Whitby Park and Ride.

6  Fish and Ships Festival

Janet updated the Board on the activity taking place over the Fish and Ships Festival weekend. A full programme will be printed next week and distributed prior to Easter. A seafood trail is also being produced and will be distributed.

Publicity of the event is going well with features appearing in Yorkshire Life, Living North, Life up North, Coast Magazine, Yorkshire Press, Fry Magazine, York Press, Gazette and Herald, Yorkshire Post, Whitby Gazette, Love Exploring, Living Tradition, Newslocker, Norther Echo, Yorkshire Coast Radio, Daily Mail.

Adrian said that it was working really well with many businesses engaging.

Janet advised the board that she had received feedback that accommodation bookings were being taken as a result of the festival.

7  Major Projects Update

Futurist. Demolition is completed. Work is continuing on regrading of the slope and finishing the face of the wall. Should be finished on site before summer. Flamingoland have gone public with their proposals and are working on a planning application. Local Planning Authority have determined that an Environmental Impact Assessment is required.
The Board had a discussion regarding the negativity that was coming out on social media regarding the proposals. Richard said that whilst he understood there were some concerns there was no alternatives being proposed from these negative individuals. He advised that the Board should feed into the consultation and get ready to prepare a positive response with constructive feedback once the planning application had been submitted.

Action 4: Janet to inform the Board as soon as consultation on plans is make public.

Whitby Piers. Works remobilised on 18 March following the winter shut down. Work is beginning on providing the new toe support to the West Pier. Work anticipated to finish in 1Q2020.

South Cliff Stabilisation. Work is progressing well and most of the soil nails and half of the piles have been installed. Work should complete by the end of 2019.
HLF South Cliff Gardens. Grant secured and design work continuing for the works to the whole gardens from Holbeck to the Spa Bridge. Work should start on site in 2020.

Whiby East Pier Bridge. Bridge has been manufactured and is now being painted over the next few weeks. Will then look for a suitable weather window that can be coordinated with when Balfour Beatty are not working on the East Pier over summer to install.

Whitby Church Street Flood Alleviation Wall. Grant being secured this week and works anticipated to be commencing over summer.
North Bay Cinema Development. Awaiting response from applicant with regard to NYCC comments on plans.

Oliver’s Mount – New Operators Two Four Three racing will be running the events at the Mount. The Barry Sheen Classic 27-28 July will take place and The Gold Cup – 28th and 29th September. Further Hill Climb events are also expected to take place.

8 Town Centre Strategy Update

Report has been taken to Cabinet.

The link below is the report taken to cabinet in March 2019 and the consultation reports and findings.

Next steps:

SBC is committed to delivering the actions as outlined within the Cabinet report, TC strategy and action plan, as such we submitted a bid to the MHCLG’s - FHSF on Friday 22 March requesting revenue funding to assist in the development of the proposals therein. We hope to hear the result of this application during the summer 2019.

As a next step we will be moving to establish a Town Centre Strategy delivery team consisting of a full cross section of stakeholders and supported by officers of the Borough Council. This will likely be soon after the local elections in May.

With the Town Centre team established (and hopefully with revenue support from FHSF), we can move forward to refine the action plan and develop proposals for delivery.
A Town Centre Strategy will also be developed for the other Towns in the future.

Richard asked that the traders been involved in the developments and are consulted with throughout.

9 Wayfinding signage review

Tenders in from companies to carry out comprehensive wayfinding review across all three destinations. Contract will be awarded next week. Consultation with key groups will take place to ensure that the report encapsulates industry views.

10 WTY Update

Janet provided Board with a verbal update on activity across WTY and Yorkshire Coast. Main focus has been on Fish and Ships Festival marketing and also Tour de Yorkshire at a local level.

Coast to Country
75,000 copies of a new Coast to Country booklet have been produced. The guide focusses on Yorkshire’s great outdoors and coast, heritage, wildlife, nature watching, food & drink, sports and events, alongside our impressive accommodation offer, with a special look at the spectacular countryside and a magical coastline.

Y What’s On 75,000
What’s On: March – September: This publication went to print in February and launched in March. The guide focusses on Yorkshire’s heritage, outdoors, events, coast and family fun offering. It covers Easter, Whit Week, Yorkshire Day, and the summer school holidays.

Filming remains active with a number of productions across the borough, particularly the BBC including a BBC feature on the Easter Synod at Whitby Abbey, Fixing Dad, and Blue Planet in Filey. Coming up in the next few months will be the BBC comedy ‘Scarborough, and Sky One’s Landscape Artist of the Year. This is as a result of our effective partnership with Screen Yorkshire.

DMS and website development for DYC
A tender document has been prepared for companies to put forward quotes for the provision of a new DMS system and website. So far 127 expressions of interest have been received.

Janet will be meeting with different sectors to discuss what their needs are in relation to the destination website. It is anticipated that the website will go live January 2020.

11 DBID Update

Kerry advised the board that they had now registered the company and have gone out for membership. Once membership had been received the task group would be looking to appoint board members. The DBID company are awaiting the response from the Secretary of State. If the SOS comes back and says that he is upholding the appeal then there is approx. a 28 day period for both parties to provide information. A decision will then be taken. Kerry advised that the Chairman would be sending out a letter to the Secretary of State asking what was happening regarding the appeal and to seek approximate timescales with regard to a response.

12 Future of Advisory Board

Clive asked the Board for their views in relation to the future of the Tourism Advisory Board and whether or not, with the potential development of the DBID whether or not it should continue and also if board members felt that it was achieving its objectives.

Graham North said that he felt that there should continue to be some form of Advisory Board but that it should look to achieve and deliver more activity.

John Senior said that it should be kept as is and that it had delivered some amazing things, the Tourism Strategy, DIBD and also provided a valuable networking opportunity for businesses across the Borough. It also supported the work that Janet does and provides support as a lobbying body for both SBC and WTY in relation to Tourism and the importance.

Charles Forgan said that he felt that the Board should continue and work closely with all organisations to deliver activity, Welcome to Yorkshire, Discover Yorkshire Coast and the DBID.

Sarah said that it was a good conduit between Council and Industry but perhaps there needs to be a review of the Terms of reference and the sectors and who is on the board.

Richard said that he had two suggestions one being that the board should be more output and action based and that attendance of members should be looked at.

Action 5: Janet will circulate Terms of Reference and seek and collect feedback.

13   AOB

John asked if there had been any update on water quality. Janet to check

Richard asked if Janet has links with Cricket Club and other sporting organisations. Janet said whilst she met with them individually re promotion and encouraging them to feed in their event details there was very little contact.

It was agreed that there should be a meeting of all sporting organisations – bringing them together to see how we can support and promote their events more effectively and engage with them better.

Graham said that he had set up an events group to look at how town centre can link in better with events. He had had to cancel the last meeting but Sci Fi Scarborough was the first event that was being linked in some way to Town Centre with characters coming into town.

Graham said he wanted to meet with Andrew Clay to look at how he was looking to capitalise on William Smith anniversary. Other than the Fossil Festival being held in September.

Tina Steel from Coventry University also looking at trying to work with industry to get them to engage more in hospitality training. Janet also advised that she had been approached by NYBEP regarding how they could also work with industry to improve hospitality training.

Action 6: Janet to arrange a meeting of all sporting organisations asap

Action 7: Janet to check on water Quality Outputs and send email to Board

14 Dates of next meetings TBC