Skegnesss ‘economic corridor’ plans win key support

A Vision for Skegness.
A Vision for Skegness.

Ambitious proposals to build an ‘economic corridor’ through the outskirts of Skegness, creating hundreds of jobs and a range of exciting business developments, have gained ‘widespread support’.

Landowner Roy Sanderson’s ‘Vision for Skegness’ develops the long held aspiration to create a congestion-easing relief road with a raft of new investment opportunities.

“The scheme will bring real benefits to the local community, reducing traffic travelling through residential areas, easing congestion on Roman Bank and enabling easier access for those wishing to shop in the town,” he said. “The overall scheme is a great opportunity for Skegness.”

The Western Economic Corridor, as it has been termed, would include sites for a new cinema, leisure centre and hotel, creating an estimated 1,500 jobs.

The proposals, which could also include new offices, a superstore and park and ride facilities, have been endorsed by Lincolnshire County Council’s executive member for the economy Coun Colin Davie, who believes they are the best he has seen put forward to grow the coastal economy.

“This will deliver something new and exciting for Skegness as well as dealing with some of the town’s long standing traffic issues,” he said. “As a private sector led initiative, I will support it fully, in my role, which is to help grow the Lincolnshire economy. This is not just an idea, our senior officers are now evaluating the full proposal to ensure it is viable and stacks up in terms of the funding.”

Fellow county council board member, Coun Richard Davies, the executive member for highways, has added his support to the proposals.

“We are exploring ways of making this plan a reality and I very much hope that working with the private sector we can delver the road,” he said

Lincolnshire’s new strategic transport board has included the scheme as one of four highways projects for the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLLEP) to progress.

GLLEP member Chris Baron believes it is an ‘exciting opportunity’ to improve traffic flow and grow the economy.

Seed funding for the project is available through the GLLEP, which Mr Baron says could also lobby for EU and government grants.

“The LEP will be a key facilitator but what’s important is that the whole area gets behind the project - it’s much easier once there’s a unified voice,” he said.

Skegness Town Council’s Steve Kirk has also been involved with discussions and believes it is ‘one of the biggest and most important’ proposals to have been put forward in his time on the coast.

“As long as people appreciate that this is a long term vision, there are huge opportunities for us to create something pretty major, if the private sector and councils all work together,” he said.