Jobs in Scarborough, United Kingdom
Strange appeal of a Slightly Faded Beach Town
Scarborough is a Yorkshire beach resort on the North Sea coast. The seafront is comprised of a North Bay and a South Bay. A castle was built in the 12th century on the promontory that divides the two bays, and a medieval settlement grew up around the harbour on the south side. From 1253 until 1788 merchants from all over the British Isles and elsewhere in Europe came to Scarborough Fair during a six-week period in August and September to exchange goods and enjoy the festival food and entertainments. A version of a 17th century Scottish folk ballad which tells the tale of impossible tasks was popularised by Simon and Garfunkel in 1966, under the title ‘Scarborough Fair.’
Mineral waters running from one of the cliff tops to the south side of town were discovered in 1626. This led to the opening of Scarborough Spa – the first true beach resort in Britain. It became popular with wealthy Londoners from 1660, following publication of a widely-read book about the spa waters. The Scarborough-York Railway line opened in 1845, bringing new visitors from different walks of life. The town was ready, having begun construction of the first spa hotel – the Crown Spa – in 1841. The Grand Hotel – one of the world’s largest hotels at the time – opened its doors in 1867. German warships bombarded Scarborough Castle during World War I, but without lasting damage. In 1930 high society resort patrons took up big game tuna fishing; recreational sea fishing is still popular today.
Scarborough’s commercial town centre grew up on the north side around the coach and rail stations. Today, residential areas dot the surrounding hillside and the centre offer lots of choice for avid shoppers and diners. The north side also features several unusual attractions – a miniature railway; the re-enactment of a maritime battle on the boating lake, using large model boats and a fireworks display; the Japanese-themed Peasholm Park; and the local seafood market where fresh-caught fish are sold every day. There are a Sea Life Sanctuary, an abundance of water sports, many walking paths, cricket and a motorsport circuit.
The south side is still one of the largest beach resorts in the UK, although with a different clientele consisting of summer vacationers, weekend visitors and year-round conference participants. The Georgian Spa Complex is an imposing set of structures on the side of the cliff, with Georgian and Victorian terrace housing and many historical buildings sitting above it, and the golden sandy beaches below. Museums, art galleries, numerous parks and gardens, nightlife venues and several game and entertainment centres can be found on both sides of the town, which are linked by a recently-upgraded Victorian promenade.
Live theatre is popular in Scarborough. A small theatre-in-the-round – the first of its kind in Britain – opened in 1955 in temporary quarters. In 1996 it moved to the Stephen Joseph Theatre, a renovated cinema hall with two venues for live theatre and modern backstage technology. There is also a well-regarded YMCA amateur theatre, and the town hosts a National Student Drama Festival annually. Large shows and events are staged year-round at the Spa Conference and Exhibition Centre on the south side and the Scarborough Open-Air Theatre with seating for 6,500 re-opened on the north side in 2010. The Spa Complex is also home to the Scarborough Spa Orchestra and the annual Scarborough Jazz Festival.
There is a drive to regenerate the town, but without changing its tranquil seaside character or 1960s look. Scarborough General Hospital is the largest local employer, the hospitality industry offers plenty of jobs during the high season, and there is a small manufacturing sector. In 1998 Create Arts Development, Ltd. was formed to help Scarborough take economic advantage of its thriving creative scene. To that end, it formed a network of artists, designers, writers and other creative people called ‘Creative Coast’ in 2006. Also in that year, a non-profit corporation (Creative Industries Centre, Ltd.) opened Woodend in a historic complex owned by the town council. Woodend provides workspace for artists plus an exhibition hall and is proving to be a commercial success for exhibitors and the local economy.
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