Skegness hosts Coastal Conference

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SENIOR politicians, government agencies and local organisations attended a conference highlighting issues of local importance for the East Coast and methods of addressing its main problems.

Lincolnshire Coastal Conference took place last Monday at the North Shore Hotel, Skegness, to discuss the future of the region’s coastal heritage.

The event was hosted by East Midlands Conservative MEP Emma McClarkin, who said: “I was very pleased that so many people turned up to the conference.

“It was a great opportunity to discuss coastal issues with many of the people involved in making decisions for the future of our coastline here in Lincolnshire.

“I hope this conference will open further dialogue between all the interested parties and improve the social and economic success of Skegness and the Lincolnshire coast.

“In particular we need to ensure we have access to any grants and other funding that is available.”

Key issues discussed at the conference centred on the region’s reliance on tourism and what could be done to expand upon that into other sectors of economic prosperity.

Executive member for economic development at Lincolnshire County Council, Coun Eddy Poll, raised the matter during the conference. He said: “At the moment, the coastal economy is heavily reliant on seasonal tourism.

“That needs to change if we’re to ensure the area’s long-term future.

“One way to do that is to develop other forms of tourism, extending the season. That’s why the county council is working on projects like the Coastal Country Park and Anderby Creek Cloud Bar.

“At the Same time we’re also developing non-tourism related projects like the new industrial units in Alford that will attract new businesses to the area.

“It’s a combination of these kids of projects that’s needed to protect our coastal heritage.”

Flood risks and defences were another subject that received the attention of the key figures present at the meeting.

MP for Boston and Skegness Mark Simmonds said: “I am pleased that Emma McClarkin was able to bring together so many people with a lively interest in the challenges ahead. The more closely we can work together, the better we will all be able to protect the Lincolnshire Coast via flood defences and drive its economic performance for future generations.

“I was also pleased to be able to raise awareness about the government’s new Coastal Communities Fund, which will enable improvements to be made to the economic, social and cultural fabric of Skegness and the East Lincolnshire Coast.”