Plans to save the pavilion too costly

PROPOSALS to save an historic building, left derelict for years in the heart of Skegness have proved financially infeasible.

Skegness Town Council investigated the possibility of relocating its offices to the Tower Gardens Pavilion as a means to revive the iconic landmark, while making the council more accessible to the community it serves.

Despite winning unanimous support for the initial proposal, the Mayor of Skegness Coun Steve Kirk was ‘gutted’ to announce that the costs of refurbishing the building along with annual maintenance costs were unaffordable.

Announcing the findings at the council’s latest meeting on Wednesday, he said: “We’ve looked at many options and it’s with the deepest sadness that we have found that the figures don’t stack up without requiring quite a large precept year-on-year.”

Anticipating a potential expansion of the council’s roles and responsibilities in light of the government’s ongoing localism agenda, Coun Kirk also felt the building may be too small for its intended purposes in a matter of years.

Coun Kirk had hoped to transform the dilapidated old building, also known as the Inn on the Park into a community hub, with a tea room and possible scope for the creation of a seaside museum.

With that aspiration failing to be realised under the council’s own initiative, he now hopes other organisations can take up the mantle and restore it as a community asset with support from the town council.

“It’s with the heaviest of hearts but we should throw down the gauntlet and get another organisation in the town to come forward,” he said.

Coun Mark Anderson acknowledged the ‘passion and drive’ that had gone into the proposal and shared the Mayor’s sadness that it could not be realised.

Fearing that East Lindsey District Council plans to evict the town council from its current offices on North Parade, he had hoped they could have ‘made the decision ourselves rather than being pushed.’

Coun Steve O’Dare said he was not aware that ELDC was ‘trying to kick us out’ and that without the Tower Gardens Pavilion option, councillors should ‘fight’ to maintain their current home.