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South Cliff Gardens Restoration

  • Client: Scarborough Borough Council
  • Locations: South Cliff Gardens, Scarborough
  • Value: £5m
  • Period: April 2021 – April 2023


The restoration of the South Cliff Gardens located in Scarborough’s South Bay. The project was jointly funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the National Lottery Community Fund, Scarborough Borough Council and fundraising from the local community.


  • The restoration of 14 historical shelters, including the preservation of the recently listed Tugwell shelter
  • The design and installation of an innovative new play area which uses natural materials to blend into the landscape and reflect the gardens’ history. The staggered design of the play tower reflects the original design of the Paxton Observation Tower, which was demolished in 1920. The play area is a part of the Clock Café family hub, which includes a chalet repurposed as accessible public toilets and changing facilities, and a wildflower meadow for nature play. This space will host a series of sculptures due to be commissioned in 2023.
  • Construction and resurfacing of an accessible route through the gardens, from north to south, including the reopening of the access tunnel underneath the Spa cliff lift
  • Construction of a new operational depot, Beeforth’s Hive, to provide a base for the dedicated gardening team, facilities for volunteer gardeners and to act as a unique community space for local groups
  • Restoration of the listed Holbeck Clock Tower, one of the trickiest parts of the restoration. Once the lead roofing was removed, a series of structural issues were uncovered within the stonework, which required additional internal steel work, external pinning, strapping and additional listed building applications
  • Restoration of the Italian Gardens, including the restoration of an ornate Pergola
  • Restoration of railings and Egyptian gates
  • New information and wayfinding signage to make the site more accessible and easier to navigate  
  • Restoration of both sets of Italianate Steps so that they once again provide a grand transition between the gardens and the promenade and Spa buildings
  • Planting, biodiversity enhancements and work to open up historical views
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