A Hopeful Future for Education in Skegness

Those who have read the Town Investment Plan (TIP) for the Connected Coast will know that education is one of the key tenets of the intention Skegness and Mablethorpe has for the Towns Fund. Adrian Clarke, Group Vice Principal at the TEC Partnership, explains what a Learning Campus might mean for Skegness. 

There’s such an opportunity when it comes to education in Skegness and that is why we Included a Learning Campus for the town in the TIP. 

Part of the wider ‘Skegness Gateway Urban Extension’ masterplan, it is not linked directly and so can be developed independently as an early primary component and catalyst for wider development. 

The Learning Campus is part of a significant development of 136 hectares of site being transformed into a new major sustainable urban extension providing hundreds of jobs and much-needed amenities to Skegness.

Skegness TEC (which is part of a much wider Ofsted Outstanding and TEF Silver Further & Higher Education College Group) is seeking funding as part of the Towns Fund bid (to the Department for Business & Industry) for Skegness and Mablethorpe which is being led by East Lindsey District Council. 

Town Deals have been established to counter the multiple socio-economic challenges experienced by many provincial settlements. The main objective of the fund is to drive sustainable economic growth through investment in connectivity, land use, urban regeneration, economic and cultural assets, skills and enterprise infrastructure.

The vision is to create a new community asset with relevant mixed-use space for people and business, bringing year-round benefits to the area. The TEC Partnership Skegness college campus is at the core of the masterplan scheme and will bring innovative courses for developing skills and training to the area.

This ambitious project will transform the training and educational landscape of the area, sparking major economic regeneration and bringing fresh hope to the aspirations of future generations. 

The multi-million-pound landmark development will be led by TEC Partnership, formerly the Grimsby Institute Group, one of the country’s largest providers of further and higher education. The TEC Partnership is a partner in the wider Lincolnshire Institute of Technology, a collaboration between employers and education providers. Skegness TEC’s ‘tour de force’ is to equip students with the digital and technical skills that are career focussed and needed to thrive in the workforces of today and the future. The absolute intention is to raise ambitions and drive entrepreneurial behaviour to forge a successful future for Skegness, Mablethorpe and the surrounding areas. The scheme will attract high-quality, full-time jobs and help tackle the long-standing problems of low skills and low wages which can blight coastal towns in and around the East Lindsey District area.

The provision of the Skegness TEC project including the associated office and business start-up units presents a fantastic opportunity to create a start of the art new Further and Higher Education College facility for Skegness that will enhance the teaching and learning offer in this locale. The Skegness TEC campus is seen as the catalyst of the development and the intention is that the office and business units (incubator type) can be used by former students to form new SME businesses as start-up enterprises, utilising their vocational skills to serve Lincolnshire and the East Lindsey District.

The aim of this project is to create a state of the art new College – Skegness TEC- on an undeveloped greenfield site on the outskirts of Skegness off the main A52 arterial road that serves the town, just on the edge of the urban conurbation. 

This project is intended to replace the existing buildings that the TEC Partnership currently operates within Skegness and will provide facilities in the provision of further and higher education in the area that will be ‘truly transformational’.

The project provides the following summary provision of teaching and learning accommodation – vocational workshops – motor vehicle and caravan repairs, hair and beauty salons, spaces for the digital and creative industries, care teaching provision including a laboratory, adult/ NET learning environments, a modest hospitality offering and this is further supplemented with general classroom and IT provision. While these subjects may seem traditional, the courses will fully embrace advances in modern smart technology, ensuring that dynamic, digital and contemporary learning is on offer.

There are a variety of break out spaces, personalised learning areas and common room areas that are adjacent to the TEC refectory and LRC situated within the two-storey design.

The design intent is for the local community to have access (out of TEC hours) to the new 4G pitch and new changing facilities and fitness suite which have been carefully situated close by. 

The scheme also delivers an overall phased development which encompasses three phases, with Phase one involving the new TEC building and workshop (the College) along with an office building and a couple of business start up units. Further phases of the incubator units will eventually come on stream once further future funding is sought (outside of the current Towns Fund bid) and future demand is met.

This overall masterplan for the TEC Partnership is knitted together by using the proposed new A52 road and roundabout improvements by the developer and ELDC and our road/footpath network including hard and soft landscaping serving the various building types on the site. 

In summary, some of the key design drivers are:

  • A visible education building and overall development that will attract new students to Skegness TEC.
  • Creation of growth for SMEs to develop and hone their skills in the new incubator facilities serving Skegness and further afield.
  • A sustainable development utilising green technology and biodiverse features that reduce Whole Life Cycle Costs.
  • A flexible and adaptable building that will meet the ever-changing needs of the curriculum and advances in technology.