Skegness is ‘always missing out on funds’

Skegness's failed bid for cash to regenerate the town's shopping core in the Mary Portas review was one of the bids mentioned at the meeting.
Skegness's failed bid for cash to regenerate the town's shopping core in the Mary Portas review was one of the bids mentioned at the meeting.
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SKEGNESS always misses out on funding opportunities, business representatives have told their MP.

Chairman of Skegness and District Chamber of Commerce, Glenis Brown, highlighted her concerns with Mark Simmonds when he attended a recent meeting at the North Shore Hotel.

“We miss out on all the bids, even when they are minister led, and what concerns us is that the money available for deprived areas goes to London and not us,” she said.

“Could you get involved and push our quarter?”

Mrs Brown’s comments were echoed by others at the meeting who were disappointed that Skegness had missed out on funding to revive its high street as part of the Mary Portas Review and had also failed in its bid for the first round of the Coastal Communities Fund, specifically allocated to aid seaside towns.

Jill Caine said: “Lincolnshire is emblematic of forgotten places.”

Mr Simmonds agreed that Skegness should be prioritised above London in its Coastal Communities Fund application but explained that the ‘relatively minor’ pot of money had received far more bids for it than was available, meaning that proportionately very few applications had been successful.

He also felt that Skegness’s success as a resort tended to persuade government ministers to favour more deprived regions in their funding applications.

“The fantaatic success of Skegness is its own downfall,” he said.

Butlins resort director Chris Baron, however, strongly disagreed with the impression portrayed by Mr Simmonds.

He said: “The government is saying Skegness is a successful resort - without being rude about civil servants - they never come to Skegness.

“All the stats should be showing Skegness as an area the government wants to push funding to, because we are a fairly disparate area and are therefore not so organised at getting hold of funding ourselves because our voice is not being heard.”