Shock rejection of £3.5m bid to replace Skegness pavilion

The dilapidated Tower Pavilion in Tower Gardens, Skegness. ANL-170424-162704001
The dilapidated Tower Pavilion in Tower Gardens, Skegness. ANL-170424-162704001

But this week the partnership which spent months creating proposals that are estimated to have “cost the town £100,000” was struggling to understand the reason why they had been rejected by the Coastal Communities Fund.

An artists impression of the �3.5m community hub that was to transform Tower Gardens in Skegness. ANL-170424-162953001

An artists impression of the �3.5m community hub that was to transform Tower Gardens in Skegness. ANL-170424-162953001

All had been looking encouraging for the plan to replace the 1870s Tower Pavilion in Tower Gardens at the end of March, when the project successfully got through the initial stages with funders.

East Lindsey District Council had also granted planning approval for the new community hub, which was to include a museum, cafe, office space and a new home for a nursery.

Successful bids – including one from City of Culture Hull – were announced at the beginning of the month. However, when asked, Skegness Town Council confirmed they had been unsuccessful.

Proposals for a community hub followed a £50,000 grant awarded to Skegness Partnership in December last year by the Coastal Revival Fund.

Skegness Town Council also increased the precept for 2016-17 to generate £30,000 to kickstart the project. Now there are only questions as to why the project that seemed to tick all the boxes, including creating sustainable jobs, was rejected - and what will happen to the Tower Pavilion now.

John Chappell, chairman of Skegness Partnership, estimated the project had “cost the town £100,000”. He said: “It’s a real kick in the teeth because the proposals had so much potential. Why we haven’t met the criteria we don’t know as yet - there should be an explanation. When you look at the map of successes there was no money awarded across the East Midlands, which smacks a bit political.”

Town Clerk Steve Larner, said what happens now is uncertain.

“With the County Elections and now a General Election, there is some uncertainty about what sources of funding may be available going forward. I will be looking at this over the coming weeks, but Skegness Town Council has yet to make any decision on how or whether to proceed.”

No doubt this will become clearer during the summer.”