Skegness risks becoming a ‘hollowed out’ ‘doughnut’ town unless investment is targeted towards regenerating its centre, experts have warned.
Economic development consultant Ivan Annibal fears there it a ‘real danger’ the town could lose its ‘dynamism’ without a change in approach.
Speaking at the Mayor of Skegness’s ‘Legacy Lecture’ on Tuesday, he said: “A significant proportion of the investment over recent years has happened outside of the town centre.
“There’s a real danger that unless we do something about the urban core of Skegness it will become hollowed out and lose its dynamism - anyone who looks at Lumley Road can see that.”
Skegness town manager Stefan Krause echoed Mr Annibal’s concerns and called for changes to planning regulations which he sees as a hindrance to prospective developers.
“Skegness is on the edge of creating a doughnut effect, with people always looking outside of the town centre,” he said.
“The buildings are not fit for purpose and the planning process causes many delays, which are off-putting to developers.”
Mr Annibal highlighted the Scarbrough Esplanade covered canopy project, linking Botton’s Pleasure Beach and Skegness Pier with an all-year-round attraction, as an example of an appropriately located development.
He said an application for the ambitious project had been submitted on Friday and felt the European funding to support the private sector investment ‘should be forthcoming’.