Plans submitted for redevelopment of the Brunswick, Scarborough

Dec 19, 2022

Having acquired The Brunswick in Scarborough in September 2021, we’re now planning a major repositioning of the 1990’s-built, Debenham’s-anchored shopping centre to create a new leisure-led destination, based around a modern, high-quality cinema.

Our proposals also anticipate a range of other leisure, food and beverage, and ancillary retail uses, all delivered within the existing building envelope.

Our team is working closely with Scarborough Borough Council to help meet its strategic objective of Scarborough becoming the best performing coastal town centre in England by 2025 and the primary economic hub for retail, leisure, learning and living within the Yorkshire coast area.

Accordingly, our strategy for the scheme has taken the opportunities for positive impacts on the town centre to its core.  Our plans will improve the building’s relationship with the public realm around it, and create greater permeability in the immediate area. Our strategy also aims to improve visual links to the arrival points from the seafront area and the town’s famous Esplanade, to enhance wayfinding and footfall.  The Brunswick’s car park will be retained and upgraded to meet the latest standards.

Opened in July 1990, The Brunswick was once a thriving retail destination in the heart of Scarborough town centre. However, a shift in consumer shopping habits, exacerbated by the global pandemic, led to a dramatic decline in footfall and the loss of its anchor tenant, Debenhams.

Since acquiring the centre, we have been busy shaping and refining its plans in collaboration with its specialist design team, which includes architect, Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher, engineer, Buro Happold and planning consultant, Zerum alongside Scarborough Borough Council, with a view to creating a concept that offers an experience to draw in visitors of all ages and interests, all year round.

It is expected that the transformation of The Brunswick will stimulate the regeneration of the wider town centre, create new jobs for local people, and act as a catalyst for further investment.

Mark Jackson, Group Development Director at SGI, commented:

“Town centres across the country are suffering as changes to the nation’s shopping habits affect the demand for retail space, and The Brunswick has found itself with all-too-familiar problems. The collapse of Debenhams and Arcadia was a significant loss for The Brunswick, and viable occupier demand no longer exists for the centre in its current form.

“We bought The Brunswick in September 2021 to set about giving it a renewed purpose through a leisure-led offering that will secure its long-term future, while also delivering important new facilities that will benefit the town centre and the wider borough. We want to see The Brunswick drive the town centre economy once again, and promote further investment in Scarborough; today marks an important milestone and step forward in the delivery of that vision.

“It is no easy task though to fit a cinema and other leisure uses within an existing shopping centre structure, especially in an efficient and cost-effective manner.  So, over the last 12 months our team has been busy developing innovative plans that will serve the local population and Scarborough’s many seasonal visitors, to maximise the positive impact upon the town’s economy.

“We are very mindful that The Brunswick is one of the town centre’s key opportunities to support Scarborough Borough Council’s strategic objective of becoming the best performing coastal town centre in England by 2025 and the primary economic hub for retail, leisure, learning and living within the Yorkshire coast area, and we recognise our responsibilities to these aims.”

The scheme is being funded by a mix of private and public sector investment, specifically drawing on Scarborough Borough Council’s Future High Street Fund and Levelling Up Fund allocation.

Councillor Steve Siddons, leader of the council said:

“It’s been a long term ambition of this administration to have a multi-screen cinema in Scarborough.

“This facility will breathe new life into the centre of the town particularly the early evening and night time economy offering residents and their families the opportunity for new and exciting entertainment facilities. 

“We have worked closely with Scarborough Group to develop these bold proposals which I hope we will see in the very near future.”

The application is now going through the statutory process and will be determined in line with national and local planning policy. If permission is granted, work is expected to start on site in by mid-2023, with the finished scheme open by Christmas 2024.

The proposed plans can be viewed on the consultation website


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