It's a 'Yes' from Skegness Town Council for Visit Lincs Coast BID

Skegness Town Council have voted in favour of Visit Lincs Coast Destination Bid's campaign to continue marketing the coast for a further five years.

Skegness Reggae and Ska Weekender is back on the Visit Lincs Coast BID diary for 2022. Photo: Barry Robinson.
Skegness Reggae and Ska Weekender is back on the Visit Lincs Coast BID diary for 2022. Photo: Barry Robinson.

Ballot papers are due to drop through the letter boxes of businesses from Donna Nook down to Friskney next week and levy payers have a month to lodge how they wish to vote.

Levy payers who have a rateable value of more than £7,500 pay 1.5% into the BID, which is collected by East Lindsey District Council (ELDC).

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What they get for their money over a five-year period is outlined in the Visit Lincs Coast Destination BID Business Plan 2022 - 2027.

The glossy brochure which can also be accessed online outlines how the BID intends to invest a further £3miluion in marketing and promoting the coast - details of which were presented to councillors as part of the agenda at their April meeting.

In addition, Business Plan outlines environmental improvements, business support and features the 26 events it is supporting and delivering, beginning with street artists and performers along the coast over Easter and Vintage on Sea in Sutton-on-Sea on June 11-12.

Chris Baron FCMA - a member of the Board and chairman of Connected Coast which is investing millions along the coast - gave an impromptu account of why councillors should vote 'yes' for the BID to continue for another five-year term.

Since the formation of the BID, he said growth was 4% higher than the average for the rest of Greater Lincolnshire, which equates to an additional £16 million per year growth above the average.

"While it is always difficult to pinpoint the cause for this increase one of the main differences is the 500k per year invested by levy payers in Visit Lincs CoastI'm not saying that is all due to the BID because there has been some excellent private investment but it is a factor," he said.

"When you look at our main competitors - whether it's Lincoln or Bournmouth - they all have BIDs.

"Without it the marketing would stop - how else would you get £3million on marketing and promoting the coast?

"It's important to have a BID just for that.."

A lively debate amongst councillors followed, with business owners amongst the councillors doubting whether they were getting value for what they paid into it.

Deputy Mayor Billy Brookes urged the councillors 'caution' when deciding how to vote.

"You can't blame the BID for jumping on the growth figures but a lot of businesses question whether they have benefited," he said.

Coun Mark Dannatt, who owns the Seaview Pub and kiosks, questioned whether there would be no marketing by Lincolnshire County Council or ELDC would stop if the BID ceased

"Our rateable value is worked out on barrelage and if we didn't sell anything they wouldn't get any money so they would have to do something to promote the coast," he said.

"Personally I don't agree with it because I haven't benefited by it."

Coun Carl Macey also said he was against the BID. "East Lindsey dropped the organising of events but I have seen no benefit from the ones the BID have organised, such as the last kite festival.," he said. "In fact they took business away from me."

Coun Ady Findley, who does not own a business, said he was uncomfortable voting on something that "had a direct impact on people's livelihoods".

However, Coun George Saxon pointed out the council vote should be based on how the BID had served them. "The figures show we pay £300 and the return to the council in grants is £3,100..

"To me that shows a good return for our money and that we have been spending taxpayers' money, which is it, well."

The council voted eight in favour and four against. .There was one abstention.