Improvements to Skegness Esplanade put forward by the Connected Coast Board have been started with accelerated funding from the Government.
As part of the Towns Deal, 100 towns across the UK were identified and asked to bid for up to £25 million each. Mablethorpe and Skegness combined their efforts under the banner of the Connected Coast and plans were submitted for each town at the end of October.
Sarah Louise Fairburn, Chair of the Connected Coast Board, said: “We’re so pleased to see this project starting thanks to an Accelerated Fund Grant of £750,000 for Skegness, which has enabled us to fast-track one of Towns’ Fund projects.
“Significant progress has been made with work to pedestrianise part of Tower Esplanade and improve the alternative car park entrance to Princes Parade.”
The works at Skegness, backed by the accelerated fund grant and additional funding from East Lindsey District Council, form part of the Skegness Foreshore Masterplan to enhance and develop the range of leisure facilities available for both residents and visitors. The Skegness Foreshore Masterplan was adopted in December 2018 following 10 months of local stakeholder consultation; at its heart is an expansion and diversification of a thriving visitor economy.
The Towns Fund Foreshore project improvements will improve connectivity with the town centre and open up new areas for cycling and walking, encouraging people to move around the Foreshore, boosting passing trade for businesses. Improvements to the public realm will improve the sense of safety in the area and reflect the historic importance of the Foreshore as recognised through its designation as a historic park.
Centre Manager at Hildreds Shopping Centre in Skegness, Steve Andrews commented: “This is fantastic news and we welcome the improvements to the Esplanade. Any investment in the town always results in more visitors as we have seen from the installation of lights along the seafront. Anything that brings more people to the resort is to be commended as we have so much to offer.
“At Hildreds, we are also looking forward to the further planned investment through the Towns Fund. Skegness has performed slightly ahead of the national average for footfall in terms of retail, which was better than expected. We therefore hope that as the global pandemic abates, we will be able to welcome even more people to Skegness in a safe and secure way.”
Work should be completed before Good Friday 2021 in the hope of welcoming visitors back to the resort, subject to all ongoing Covid measures to protect the public.
As part of a wider programme of planned development of the Skegness Foreshore the Council has recently submitted a planning application to develop a new high-quality holiday lodge scheme. This project will also extend and diversify the visitor season by generating new and repeat visitors to an enhanced provision of high quality overnight accommodation, providing exemplar design for visitor accommodation.