The green light has finally been given for a redeveloped theatre, nature resort, refurbishment of the train station, shop front transformations and much more following approval of the Town Deal projects by the Connected Coast board and at recent meeting of East Lindsey district councillors.
Part-funded by the Connected Coast Town Deal Funding, Cultural Skegness, cited within the Embassy Theatre will provide additional facilities, whilst utilising the existing structure and resources of the Skegness’ popular theatre.
Coastal land adjacent to the beach at Sandilands near Sutton-on-Sea, will become a nature reserve operated by the National Trust, with accessible walking trails, repurposing of the existing club house to create a new cafe facility, and additional parking bays including EV parking. This £6.36million project will transform an area that isn’t currently utilised to its maximum potential.
Skegness’ Railway Station will undergo extensive refurbishment to enable usage as a community facility which will include a cafe, commercially rentable units, a new ticket office, restrooms and much more, through a partnership with East Midlands Trains.
Shop fronts within Skegness and Mablethorpe will be able to access grant funding to revitalise and enhance their frontages through a project funded in partnership with Heritage Lincolnshire.
A learning campus in partnership with Grimsby TEC is part of a wider Skegness Gateway development, including 1,000 new homes and tourism schemes.
The planned urban extension on 136-hectares to the west of the town, also includes specialist accommodation for older people, a crematorium, employment and commercial land as well as significant green spaces and amenities for local people.
Successful proposals have been the result of months of planning and negotiating by the Connected Coast Board, formed in January 2020 to realise the opportunity for the Lincolnshire coastal towns of Mablethorpe and Skegness presented by the Towns Fund.
Mablethorpe and Skegness were awarded a landmark £48.4million in funding from the government.
The funding was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to go towards funding vital regeneration projects along the coast.
Since then the Connected Coast board has attracted further investment to deliver the projects.
They have four key themes - Connectivity, Education & Skills, Regeneration and Business - all of which are factored into the selection of projects which are proposed to be part funded by Town Deal Funding.
Chris Baron, Chair of the Connected Coast board said: “These projects, recently given the green light at a meeting of East Lindsey District Council, show commitment to development within our area, to offer access to areas of natural beauty, and also further opportunities for our towns and residents.
“It is fantastic news to see this projection moving forward following so closely on the heels on the announcement of the £80 million of investment brought to our coast by the Town Deals for Skegness and Mablethorpe.
"One of most important Town Funds projects in Skegness is the Learning Campus in partnership with Grimsby TEC and this will form part of the Country Park. This is another great example of why pubic/ private sector partnerships are so important to our future success.
"The facilities offered at all of these sites are welcomed and will become fantastic assets to our local area.”
Kirsty James, project lead at the National Trust said: “Our project at Sandilands has been developed with nature and people at the heart.
"We will be developing the former clubhouse to include fully accessible facilities, including a Changing Place and a new food and beverage offer.
"We will be creating priority habitats like sand dunes, dune scrub land, and wetland reedbeds to support the flyway bird migration route, with accessible routes so people can feel closer to nature.
"Following on from the pandemic, we all know how important outdoor spaces are
to people and their health and wellbeing.
"We also appreciate that we’re currently facing one of the world’s biggest threats, Climate Change.
"This project, when operational, will be carbon neutral.
"The newly created habitats will support the storage of carbon along with supporting the connection of nature reserves on the Lincolnshire Coast. We are incredibly thankful that the
Connected Coast board has signed of our project at this stage to support us with
funding from DLUHC.”
Aeneas Richardson & James Brindle, Executive Directors at Magna Vitae, said “The Culture Skegness project, is an incredibly exciting project that will seek to redefine the way that a Theatre engages with its audiences and its wider community.
"We look forward to delivering this project of National significance, developed from the Scandinavian Culture House concept, resulting in the provision of an exceptional community space that will welcome & support educational opportunity, vocational skills development and improved health &
wellbeing. Magna Vitae will seek to work with existing and new partners and friends to take a full and active role within this project.“
Councillor Craig Leyland, leader of East Lindsey District Council said: “I’m delighted to that we have given these projects the go ahead for submission to DLUHC.
"These will be incredible investments in our towns, with partnerships formed with other organisations.”