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No "Open Ended Cheque" for Scarborough's Alpamare Water Park

Council Finance Boss says there are financial constraints on efforts to reopen Scarborough's Alpamare Water Park.

There is no blank cheque for Scarborough's Alpamare Water Park.

That's the message from North Yorkshire Council's finance chief.

Councillor Gareth Dadd was asked about the closed water park by Malton councillor Lindsay Burr - who says she has received dozens of emails about the situation from Scarborough residents.

The Water Park closed last autumn with the operator saying it would reopen in the spring, but weeks later the company behind the park - Bechmark Leisure -  went in to administration.

Benchmark had received a £9m loan from the former Scarborough Borough Council to help pay for the development of the site, £7.8m of that loan remained unpaid when the the company folded.

Councillor Dadd says that writing off the Alpamare Water Park loan is costing North Yorkshire Council around £350,000 a year in lost interest.

But, the Executive Member for Finance says the fact that the council now has ownership of the water park will lessen the impact of the loan losses.

Last month North Yorkshire Council confirmed that questions about millions of pounds of taxpayer money that was loaned to the developer in 2013 have led the authority to launch an investigation which it said was “progressing well”.

Investigators led by the council’s internal auditor Veritau had been speaking to “a number of councillors and officers” but said it was “too early to give any outcome of this investigation”.

The authority said it was “reviewing options” about how the site would be operated in the future and by whom, but did say it was hoping to have the facility open by the summer.


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