PLANS for an £18 million water park in a North Yorkshire seaside town have been given the go-ahead by authorities.

The new development would see the park built in Scarborough's North Bay, and could attract up to half a million visitors a year, but the council also hope it will kick-start wider development of the area.

Councillor Tom Fox, leader of Scarborough Council, this week used delegated powers to approve the scheme - by developer Benchmark Properties - and the authority is expected to provide a loan of up to £9m of the £18m cost of the attraction, which will be built on Burniston Road car park.

Coun Fox said: "While there is an element of risk, it shows the confidence we have in the scheme and demonstrates the council's strong commitment to economic growth, regeneration and jobs."

Roland Duce from Benchmark said: "Scarborough’s place in history as the first seaside resort is assured, but it’s important the town continues to evolve in order to attract new generations of visitors.

"The water park will be a world-class attraction of the very highest calibre and I look forward to delivering it for the people of Scarborough and the Yorkshire coast."