Major plans welcomed for derelict site on Skegness seafront

The empty Grand Central Complex in Skegness. ANL-160823-111506001

The empty Grand Central Complex in Skegness. ANL-160823-111506001

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Major plans for Skegness have been welcomed – one which could see an empty prime site attraction on the seafront demolished and rebuilt and another which includes the return to the resort of M&S with a foodhall.

Grand Central Complex shut its doors along Grand Parade after the New Year celebrations and has remained unused throughout the season.

Plans have now been submitted by Empire Skegness Ltd (Bell Leisure) to demolish the building and rebuild a new facility.

Owner Brian Bell is a major investor along the coast and owns the Lucky Strike Complex and Waterfront Restaurant next door and plans include a bridge linking them.

On the first floor there would be 10-pin bowling lanes with bar and glazed sliding doors to permit coastal views. The former Rhinos Nightclub is to be a restaurant with bar area, also with sea views. A single entertainment venue will be on the upper level of the former Parade Cinema.

East Lindsey District Council’s portfolio holder for the coastal economy Coun Steve Kirk said: “We welcome the proposed investment which would undoubtedly have a positive impact on local jobs and the economy of the wider area.

“This is yet another example of businesses, both locally and nationally, realising the value of Skegness and wanting to invest substantial amounts of money in the resort.

“With the number of companies showing an interest in the town dramatically increasing it would appear our message ‘we are open for business’ is being heard loud and clear.”

The news comes with the announcement M&S is looking to have a foodhall alongside a new Aldi supermarket on the outskirts of town.

Mayor of Skegness Coun Dick Edginton is delighted about this and the project to bring a major new family complex to Grand Parade.

He described this area off the seafront as the ‘showcase of Skegness’.

He added: “M&S is such an iconic part of the High Street and had been in Skegness since after the Second World War, so it was a blow to many people when it closed.

“I am sure residents and visitors will welcome the return of the M&S foodhall.”

See Wednesday’s paper for more.