£4 million European funding for Skegness?

Four million pounds of untapped European funding could be secured for a number of highly prized projects in Skegness previously shelved due to budget constraints.

The Skegness Partnership has applied for European Regional Development Funding to bring the Tower Gardens Pavilion back into use, create a heritage hub at St Matthew’s Church and improve the foreshore and Lumley Road.

Founding partnership member and town manger Stefan Krause is optimistic the application will be granted as it has been put together by a diverse range of private and public organisations, which demonstrates its community value.

Speaking at the Skegness Business Breakfast meeting at the Grosvenor House Hotel recently, he said: “By working together and not in isolation we have a far stronger investment strategy than ever before.”

If the application is successful it will mean a number of projects the town has been crying out for over recent months and years, but could not fund, may finally proceed.

A number of charities and groups had shown interest in returning the Tower Gardens Pavilion to use but could not have afforded the substantial costs alone.

The Reverend Malcolm France had also been struggling to raise the necessary finances to carry out essential repairs to St Matthew’s Church and enhance its role in the community by building a new stage, an exhibition area and other improvements to create a heritage hub.

The £4 million funding grant would enable both these projects to take place with money left over for enhancements to Lumley Road and the foreshore.

If the funding has not been allocated to a project in East Lindsey by the end of this year it will be lost, which Mr Krause also believes will encourage its administrators to approve the partnership’s application.

He said: “If the money comes back to Brussels, then officers will have a problem because politicians will be asking why they are paying for European membership if the money is not being used.”

Although the funding must be matched with at least 32 per cent of other investment, Mr Krause said the value of the assets in question could count as towards that.