Multi-million plan to rejuvenate Skegness

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A MULTI-MILLION pound project to breathe new life into Skegness Foreshore’s most neglected area with a new retail and leisure complex has taken its initial steps.

Private and public sector organisations have announced their shared aspiration to regenerate Scarbrough Esplanade by constructing a covered canopy, linking Skegness Pier and Bottons Pleasure Beach.

Mayor of Skegness Coun Mark Anderson is ‘delighted’ to be involved with the project, which he hopes will bring more jobs and prosperity to the resort, while expanding its tourist offer.

He said: “We are hoping to create a new ambiance through a private and public partnership to revive Scarbrough Esplanade.

“The pipe dream has always been there but nothing has come of it - this time we really hope it can be the catalyst for something big.

“But to make it happen we really need the community to show some enthusiasm, otherwise the funding could fall through.”

By creating a space for retail and leisure developments that is sheltered from the elements, it is hoped to diversify the resort’s visitor appeal and bring more prosperity to an area of the town, currently ranked as one of the most deprived council wards in the UK.

Coun Anderson has called upon the services of Rose Regeneration and its director Ivan Annibal whose 15 year history in regeneration projects has seen him work on successful projects such as the X-site Skatepark and the Heath Road business park.

Mr Annibal shares Coun Anderson’s enthusiasm for the project, for which he hopes to have found sources of European funding to supplement private sector investment.

He said: “This could be the catalyst to a whole range of other investments that could extend the season and Skegness’s tourist offer.”

An estimated £4million is potentially available through the old European Regional Development Fund and yet more money could be secured through the Coastal Communities Fund’s next round of bidding.

Mr Annibal now intends to complete his bid for the funding and complete a feasibility study. If successful, it is hoped a finalised plan of action could be ready as early as late July.

Architects have already been consulted on the project and have begun work on some initial conceptual designs, involving innovative transparent materials such as those used on the Eden Project biodome.

The initial ideas behind the project will be presented at a regeneration conference hosted by Newcastle University in the coming weeks, in the hope to position it positively to the best possible audience.