AMBITIOUS projects to rejuvenate Skegness, previously discounted as pipe dreams, could be a reality with European funding and a strong action plan, the town manager believes.
Stefan Krause hopes major aspirations, such as redeveloping Skegness Pier and introducing a casino to the town, could be achieved with the correct strategy.
He said: “The public purse has no money, we live in an area with high deprivation and low wages, so the place to go is Europe.
“The UK pays a lot into Europe but it doesn’t claim enough back, so we need to build a relationship with Brussels and start applying for more grants.”
By fostering closer links with European nations through the Transnational Network, Mr Krause believes Skegness can identify itself as an engaging town, worthy of funding support.
A recent event which brought dozens of young Hungarians and Italians to Skegness is exactly what Mr Krause believes is necessary to create this identity.
Already that project has yielded €20,000 Euros for each of the participating nations to spend on further developing youth links, but Mr Krause believes that is just the start.
With a strong town plan developed between businesses and the community, he believes the town’s most firmly held aspirations can be clearly stated for stakeholders and investors to act upon with European match funding.
Skegness Town Council has led the way on previous attempts to create a town plan but nothing substantial has yet resulted from its efforts.
The Skegness Partnership recently formed a town regeneration committee, led by Skegness and District Chamber of Commerce chairman Glenis Brown, with the intention of creating its own plan.
Mr Krause and Mrs Brown believe this attempt will succeed where others have failed and will create a comprehensive picture of where the people and businesses of this town want to be in the next five, 10 and 20 years, which they will then distribute to the relevant authorities.
Mrs Brown said: “Skegness’s earlier attempts have just been piecemeal but if we can get them all down on paper with lots of detail they can be more than just a wish list and can make a real difference.”
Once this detailed vision of Skegness’s future is formulated, Mr Krause believes it will make the town more attractive for private investors, who will be confident a market exists for their proposals to be profitable and with European match funding, far more ambitious projects could become a reality.