Scarborough voted UK’s Enterprise Capital

Peter Jones

Scarborough has been announced as the winner of the Government’s Enterprising Britain competition.

Peter Jones

Run by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), the competition recognises areas of ‘enterprise excellence’ across the UK, where jobs and a better climate for business and the local community have been created.

The award was presented to Scarborough Renaissance Partnership at a ceremony in Downing Street for its Waking Sleeping Beauty project. The initiative has transformed Scarborough from a town where unemployment was twice the North Yorkshire average, many of its neighbourhoods were among the most deprived in the country and seasonal unemployment was around 20% during the winter.

With support from the local council and Regional Development Agency, Scarborough Renaissance Partnership has moved the local economy away from being reliant on the declining tourism and fishing industries. In the last six years it has eliminated seasonal unemployment, created new industry sectors and attracted more than £200 million of private sector investment — amounting to £10 of private sector investment for every £1 invested by the public sector.

Regeneration of the harbour area and developments have encouraged start–ups in sectors such as surfboard manufacturing and graphics. Scarborough has also introduced free wireless broadband along the coast in a further bid to help local businesses. Peter Jones, from BBC television programme Dragons’ Den and judge on the Enterprising Britain competition said:

“Scarborough’s story is really compelling and the visible impact of renaissance is clear — the creation and growth of a thriving creative and digital industry where one previously could not have existed is a huge achievement,”.

“This sector now accounts for 19% of Scarborough’s economy, having taken over from tourism. Its success deserves to be celebrated.”

Herefordshire received the Enterprising Britain 2008 runner–up award, while the Enterprising Britain 2007 winner was North Staffordshire.

Scarborough will now be entered into the European Enterprise Awards. These awards aim to reward local and regional initiatives that are improving business prospects across the EU.

For more information on the Enterprising Britain competition, visit

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