Transformational multi-million-pound projects for Mablethorpe and Skegness have been given the go-ahead by the government.
The confirmations mean that in Mablethorpe, the Colonnade at Sutton on Sea will be redeveloped, and the town will get a new leisure centre and digital learning complex. And, the town centre will benefit from improvements, whilst a new visitor hub at Sandilands will be created.
Meanwhile, Skegness is set to get a new high quality learning campus, and Skegness Foreshore will benefit from investment. In addition, the town centre and Skegness Railway station will see improvements, and, one of the first culture houses is set to be created at the Embassy Theatre.
The projects have been given the green light after the Connected Coast Town Deal Board submitted business cases to the government.
The approval of summary documents and associated business cases is part of the process for accessing the Towns Fund investment, which was announced for the two towns in 2021, with Mablethorpe agreeing a town deal worth £23.9m, and Skegness £24.5m.
Mablethorpe and Skegness’s confirmations come as projects for Boston have also been given the go-ahead after a town deal of £21.9m was agreed for the town.
Chris Baron, chair of Connected Coast, said: “We are thrilled that the projects that we have proposed for Skegness and Mablethorpe can now go ahead.
“We have much to be proud of in Skegness and Mablethorpe, and this multi-million-pound funding for both our towns will allow us to enhance, develop, and improve what we have to offer for both residents and tourists alike.
“We have shaped these projects based on what we understand our communities need, including from public engagement, and we are now set to deliver a broad array of interventions that will improve leisure, learning, travel, and the overall experiences in our town centres.
“With the government confirmations, we can now get started on delivering these improvements which will bring enormous benefits in the coming years.”
Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness, said: “The confirmation that Boston and Skegness have secured almost £50 million in Government funding is a reflection not only of the Government-recognised need for ‘Levelling up’ in places like ours but also the quality of the work carried out by both the Boston Town Deal board and the Connected Coast Board.
“I am confident that the projects selected, which met strict criteria around driving growth through skills, land use and connectivity, will begin to deliver real, visible improvements to our towns – and are only the start of the continued transformational funding this Government has recognised our area needs and deserves.”
Victoria Atkins, MP for Louth and Horncastle, said: “I am delighted that these projects have been given the stamp of approval by the Government. This significant milestone brings us closer to shovels being in the ground. The Mablethorpe Towns Deal will bring landmark investment to Mablethorpe and the surrounding area providing new services and attractions. I will continue to work on progressing these projects and those still being considered by Government. I thank all those involved with delivering these projects.”
Councillor Craig Leyland, leader of East Lindsey District Council, said: “I am delighted that we have been given the go-ahead by Government for these projects. These will be incredible investments in our towns, with partnerships formed with other organisations.
“Exciting things are to come and I am really looking forward to these progressing and come to life for the benefit and enjoyment of our local communities and the millions of visitors we welcome to our district for many years to come.”
With the confirmations, in Mablethorpe, the Colonnade at Sutton on Sea will be redeveloped. The new scheme will construct a landmark building that will introduce a new café, restaurant, gallery and exhibition spaces alongside new day let beach huts and seasonal overnight lodges after £4.1m Towns Fund grant award was approved for this project.
And, a new purpose-built leisure centre and digital learning complex is set to be developed on the site of the current Station Sports Centre in Mablethorpe.
In addition, Mablethorpe town centre will be transformed through a programme of shopfront and building repairs and improvements, and public realm enhancements.
Greg Pickup, Chief Executive of Heritage Lincolnshire, said: “This unparalleled investment in Mablethorpe’s heritage demonstrates that Lincolnshire’s rich history can and should be at the forefront of future growth in our county. I am delighted to see that the Town Deal proposal for Mablethorpe recognises the need to support our struggling town centres and high streets, which are crucial to the country’s recovery from Covid and its future growth.
“I am enormously proud of the hard work of my team, whose efforts alongside that of a broad partnership, including East Lindsey District Council have helped secure a frankly staggering sum for heritage in Mablethorpe. This once-in-a-generation investment truly will transform the town centre and ensure that Mablethorpe’s heritage assets are fit for the future and available to all.”
Finally, with the National Trust, a sustainable visitor hub with a range of accessible facilities will be developed to enhance explorations of the Sandilands Nature Reserve and the local area.
Kirsty James, general manager for Sandilands, said: “We are thankful that Towns Fund funding has been secured with support from the Connected Coast board. We are putting connections between nature and people at the very heart of the reserve. With this funding, carbon-neutral developments can take place on the former clubhouse. This will include a changing place and a new food and beverage offer.”
In addition to the above, Mablethorpe are progressing its ‘Campus for Future Living’ project which is focussed on addressing significant health inequalities and will bring improved healthcare facilities and associated training and employment opportunities to the area.
In Skegness, a new high-quality learning campus is set to be developed offering vocational skills training across a range of much needed subjects. The campus has been described as an ‘economic game changer’ for Skegness. A £14m Towns Fund grant award has been approved for this project.
And, Skegness Foreshore will see underutilised areas of the Skegness Foreshore brought to life and new audiences for activities such as concerts, festivals, and outdoor cinema.
In addition, Skegness town centre will benefit from a major facelift with improvements to the shop fronts, signage, and public realm, led by Heritage Lincolnshire. Greg Pickup, Chief Executive of Heritage Lincolnshire, said: “Skegness has an enduring appeal as one of the country’s most popular seaside towns where generations of families made memories. It is not generally known for its history, however evidence of its 20th century prosperity is everywhere, from the canopies adorning Lumley Road buildings to beautiful 1930s bronze-framed shopfronts that our grandparents would have promenaded past.
“So much of Skegness’s heritage from its 20th century heyday survives but has since been obscured or neglected and it is long overdue to bring this to light. We’re excited to be working with the Town Deal board and business owners to help showcase the town’s proud seaside heritage and uncover the underappreciated beauty and history of Skegness. Watch this space!”
As the gateway to the Lincolnshire coast, Skegness railway station will benefit from transformational improvements including restoration of the redundant Red Star building and reconfiguration of the station layout to best utilise the space.
Lisa Angus, transition and projects director for EMR, said: “We’re delighted the investment at Boston and Skegness Railway Stations has been approved. As gateways to both towns, the enhancements at the Railway Stations will be transformative to the surrounding communities, offering an improved customer experience to all station visitors. We’re looking forward to start work on the extensive refurbishments, which include community spaces, cafés, customer waiting facilities, retail units, accessible toilets and much more.”
Finally, one of the first culture houses in the country will be created at the Embassy Theatre in Skegness and enhance its support for new arts and cultural activities.
As well as the Towns Funding from government, all of the projects will also benefit from match funding meaning the investment for Mablethorpe and Skegness will be even higher.
In Skegness, two previously approved projects under the Towns Fund have been completed. The former magistrates court repurposed into a police training facility which will operate across the east of Lincolnshire for the training and continuing professional development of police personnel. And, a new multi-user trail connecting Chapel St Leonards and Ingoldmells to provide a series of cycling, walking and public transport connections.
In addition, Mablethorpe and Skegness received early funding – called accelerated funding – of £500k and £750k respectively in 2020 to bring projects forward.