A vision for the future of Skegness is being discussed by town councillors.
The council’s business plan ‘Taking Control, Taking Responsibility’ will be outlined tonight at a Direction and Strategy Committee meeting.
It is an action plan for the next five years and also sets out ambitions over a longer period that address the changing needs of the community and pressures from other strategic plans and government legislation.
In the council’s vision is ‘a forward thinking, vibrant town that is known for its welcome and customer service and being a good place to live and raise a family. An attractive coastal town that has traditional values, but which has diversified to become a premier resort with year round tourist attractions, emerging and mixed commercial interest, job opportunities, excellent further education colleges and that builds on its own distinctive identity acting as the hub for surrounding towns and villages.’
The report, which will be delivered by town clerk Steve Larner, outlines a number of challenges.
It states: “A significant proportion of the Skegness employment market is low wage and seasonal through a relatively short tourist season.
“The town and surrounding area has also become an attractive retirement area, with relatively low house prices and owned static caravans being used as comparatively cheap accommodation almost year round.
“This puts pressure on local service provision and funding.
“Climate change and in particular the impact on sea levels pose a risk of major flooding if the sea defences are overcome.
“As in many towns, the number of town centre shoppers has declined following
loss of major stores and as people turn to internet shopping. Often businesses have not yet adapted to the changing demands and this has resulted in some vacant units or change from retail to financial services and charity shops.
“Access to the town is relatively difficult with a poor-quality road network with access to the Country’s core road network more than an hour away. This
presents a barrier to new industries that require easy distribution of raw
materials and products.”
However, it identifies “a large untapped working population that if activated could drive growth in the local economy forward”.
“Skegness’ location also presents unique potential for new attractions and experiences with the potential to increase the Skegness season and attract a new sector of tourists.
“There is also the potential for the town to become a centre for conferences, conventions and corporate activities.
“Skegness is also part of the Coastal Business Improvement District project
which will raise £2.5m over five years for local investment in the coastal strip.”
The meeting at Skegness Town Hall starts at 7pm.