22 May 2024

Tributes to Malcolm Scott – ‘a great son of Hornsea’

Tributes have been pouring in from across the region after the death of businessman Malcolm Scott.

The founder of Scotts Property, who was originally from Hornsea, was also a passionate patron of the arts and even launched a campaign to buy the Humber Bridge.

He was a keen sportsman and sports fan, playing cricket for Aldbrough CC, supporting Hull City all his life and being part of a consortium that bought Hull KR.

Mally, as he was known, was one of the first people to chair the Hull City Centre Task Force company, which led to the creation of HullBID in 2006. His projects included the creation of Fruit Trade music recording studio in Humber Street with his son Mikey, and the development of 94 Alfred Gelder Street – with Kardomah94 as an arts venue, and space for businesses and community groups.

After winning the HullBID Lifetime Contribution Award in 2016, he said: “We can’t always celebrate success, but we can celebrate effort. The harder you work, the luckier you get and there are some tremendously hard-working people doing great things in the city centre.”

It was in 2011 that he launched his campaign to set up a social enterprise company and buy the Humber Bridge for £100 million, which would see the debt wiped off. It was a scheme that his business partner called “crazy” and, while it never came off, the publicity was enough to prompt the government to reduce the tolls to £1.50, which delivered a huge boost to the economy on both sides of the river.

But it was perhaps his support of grassroots arts in Hull that was his greatest legacy, as there were few creatives in the city and wider region who had not been touched in some way by his philanthropy. Kardomah94 was a much-loved venue that hosted everything from art exhibitions and business gatherings to music and poetry gigs, bringing the often unheard voices of the city’s cultural scene to the fore.

He was also one of the original directors of Hull Kingston Radio, now known as 107FM. Pete Mills, who runs the community station, said Mally “turned his life around” when he first met him in 2013.

He added: “The station I was on at the time thought I was insane for playing local music on a primetime show, but I got a phone call from this chap called Mally Scott, who was helping his lad, Mikey, set up a recording studio, and he wanted to bring bands in to play live.

“This went on for good eight or nine months, and was successful, with a vast array of local talent given exposure and airtime for the first time. I had no idea who Mally was in terms of the weight of influence and standing he had in the city as a key player – I just saw a dad helping his lad get on in the world and that was enough for me.”

Pete had long wanted to start a community radio station, and his wife Fiona, now a Radio Humberside presenter, told him to get in touch with Mally.

“The rest, as they say, is history,” says Pete. “Never has one single person had such a profound influence on me. I hope I’ve done him proud.”

The news of Mally’s passing was announced on 107FM’s social media feeds on Tuesday, and scores of people paid tribute. Leading folk singer-songwriter Reg Meuross, whose 12 Silk Handkerchiefs show debuted at Kardomah94, said: “The Kardomah was responsible for bringing together our show about the triple trawler disaster. Mal was so supportive and made sure we had a venue and an audience. He was an inspiring and generous man and I’m sure his absence will be felt strongly.”

Writer Nick Quantrill said: “His Kardomah venue was such a game-changer as an arts venue. I’m definitely not the only one who benefited from his willingness to say ‘yes’ when presenting him with ideas he probably should have laughed out of the door. A top, top man.”

Jan Brumby, chief executive of Hull-based For Entrepreneurs Only, said: “Mal as an FEO member from the outset mentored many entrepreneurs and helped so many self-employed creatives in the city through his Kardomah94 venue.

“FEO held its Christmas party there, we filmed episodes of FEO Friday videos and also held some of our NxGen Masterclass events there with Hull College students. FEO also sponsored the Kardomah Gongs – awards for those who were doing great things in culture and the arts.

“Malcolm was kind, generous and always enjoyed seeing other people reach their potential in life. He created the opportunity for many to do just that and will be sadly missed by so many.”

Julian Wild, a leading solicitor for Rollits, said: “He was a true visionary. His campaign to buy the Humber Bridge undoubtedly led to tolls being halved. Kardomah was a glorious concept. Malcolm was a great son of Hornsea.”