Heritage attraction changes hands

A North Yorkshire heritage railway is under new ownership.

Railway enthusiasts John Kerr and Peter Bryant have taken over the 90-year-old historic Scarborough North Bay Railway.

The duo, who already run the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway, plan to take the popular Yorkshire resort’s attraction – the fourth largest tourist hotspot in the town with 120,000 passengers a year – to its centenary and beyond.

Kerr said: “The railway in Scarborough is an extremely important asset to the town and wider region.

“Before his retirement, David did a fantastic job of revitalising this much loved attraction including the addition of new rolling stock, station buildings and lakeside attractions and we are looking forward to working with his dedicated team to further this.

“We can’t wait to take the railway to its centenary and beyond.

“There is masses of potential to develop with the railway, sky trail and historic water chute. We want to expand its out-of-season trade and the secondary offering, and I am confident we can do that.”

Rebecca Robinson, director in the company commercial team at Sheffield Solicitors Wake Smith, dealt with the acquisition including drafting the share purchase documentation, negotiating terms and liaising with the new and previous owner of the attraction, David Humphreys.

She said: “John and Peter have run the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway in North East Lincolnshire since 2014, and bring their enthusiasm and expertise to the North Bay line, including all the additional attractions.

“They have made a real success of the Cleethorpes’ venture which has driven ambitious plans for Scarborough.

“With UK holiday resorts looking to gain market advantage this summer, we wish them the best of luck for the future.”

Kerr added: “Rebecca at Wake Smith was efficient and professional taking us through the acquisitions with no fuss and we have an exciting future ahead.”

The 90-year-old narrow-gauge system, first opened in 1931, runs for three-quarters of a mile from Peasholm Park Station to Scalby Mills, with views over North Bay.

It is home to a steam locomotive, as well as four diesel locomotives – Neptune, Triton, Poseidon and Robin Hood – all in service since the 1930s.

For many years the town landmark was run by Scarborough Borough Council until privatisation in 2006. The attraction hopes to reopen on April 12.