A £3.5million plan to replace a dilapidated pavilion in Skegness with a community hub is a step closer.
Town clerk Steve Larner has announced that the bid to the Coastal Communities Fund is through to Stage 2.
“I’d like to offer my help. If the town council agrees it could be beneficial to get a consultant to make sure we cross all the Ts and the bid is successful.”Coun Mark Anderson
He announced the good news to members of Skegness Town Council at their meeting on Wednesday with a warning that hard work would be needed to meet the deadline.
After several campaigns to renovate the historic 138-year-old pavilion in Tower Gardens, any hopes were dashed earlier in the year after a survey revealed it had deteriorated beyond repair.
The plans for a new community hub to replace it were announced in June, with support from Tower Gardens Preservation Group campaigners, who accepted renovation was ‘not a viable option’.
They also had the support of the Secret Garden Children’s Day Nursery next door, which had invested much over the years to keep its building fit-for-purpose.
Mr Larner said the application for funding was made in June but changes in the Government cabinet had delayed the decision, which had been expected at the end of August.
He said: “I had hoped the next deadline would be extended but it has to be in by December 5.
“This will mean a number of discussions and extra meetings to make sure we put in a good bid and it is successful.”
Proposals for a community hub follow a £50,000 grant awarded to Skegness Partnership in December last year by the Coastal Revival Fund. Skegness Town Council also raised the precept this year to generate funds to kick-start the project, with £4,000 of the £30,000 now used on planning fees.
The plans include a glass-fronted ground floor area to reflect its natural surroundings and feature a heritage centre, high quality tea room, gallery, multi-function room, community enterprise units for start-up businesses, toilet and changing facilities for the disabled, offices and a tourist information point. It would also become the headquarters of rent-paying Skegness Town Council and be a new home for the Secret Garden Children’s Day Nursery, which would help it become sustainable,
At the council meeting, Coun Mark Anderson was among the councillors who welcomed the news. He said: “I’d like to offer my help. If the town council agrees it could be beneficial to get a consultant to make sure we cross all the Ts and the bid is successful.”