Council could save Inn on the Park

AN HISTORIC building in the heart of Skegness that has been left dilapidated and unused for four years could be rejuvenated as a valuable community asset.

Skegness Town Council has expressed an interest in moving its operations from the Town Hall to Tower Gardens Pavilion, or the Inn on the Park, as it is also known.

Mayor of Skegness Coun Steve Kirk, who raised the motion, felt the move could make the council more accessible to the local community and revive an iconic Skegness landmark at the same time.

Speaking at a Skegness Town Council meeting on Wednesday he said: “I’m proposing through this that we put it back into community use. I would argue that we are the community champions for Skegnerss and I would also argue that we don’t necessarily serve the public best from this building.

“This is not just about the council moving, it is also about saving an important building that might otherwise be lost and it is about sharing that with our community.”

Coun Kirk expressed his aspirations for the building to be used as a tea room and a space for local groups and organisations to meet.

Following a recent heritage weekend during which members of the public showed a keen interest in a collection of iconic Skegness memorabilia displayed in the Town Hall, Coun Kirk also felt the site could be an ideal location to host a seaside museum, exhibiting similar items.

Councillors at the meeting were highly supportive of the suggestion, though some expressed concerns over the current condition of the building and the costs involved in making it fit for purpose.

The pavilion was constructed in 1879 and predates many of the town’s most iconic landmarks including Skegness Pier, St Matthew’s Church, and the Clock Tower.

Since its closure in 2007 it has fallen into a state of disrepair and now requires a new roof, new floors and numerous internal repairs, estimated to cost in excess of £100,000.

Currently the building is owned by East Lindsey District Council, which had said in April it was ‘exploring’ costs for refurbishing it for other groups to take on.

Coun Tina Mellors had been looking into the possibility of members of her charity Alive and Kicking operating a tea room from the premises and is hopeful that could occur if the town council take it over.

She said: “There are lots of courses for adults with learning disabilities but few places where they can get hands on experience of the work place.

“This could be an ideal space to achieve that purpose.”