Calls to extend tourist season to boost Skegness

MP Matt Warman
MP Matt Warman

An extended tourist season for the coast – hoped to double the value of the economy – is being championed by Skegness MP Matt Warman.

His ideas include seeing more caravan parks opening for longer to allow owners to enjoy the Christmas season.

Considering a longer season was an East Lindsey District Council Conservative manifesto commitment, and coastal economic growth is central to Lincolnshire County Council’s future plans.

It is also argued businesses would also see the economic benefits of extending the season, which would provide a boost to both the local economy and jobs.

Mr Warman said: “Extending the season in Skegness and the surrounding area is a crucial part of our shared ambition to double the value of the coastal economy over the coming years.

“In the past few weeks I’ve had very productive meetings with council leaders, the Environment Agency and others, and it is clear that there is real willingness to work together to achieve this shared aim.”

“I am, of course, acutely aware of the need to ensure the safety of those using the parks over Christmas, particularly from more severe weather conditions, so it is vital that we ensure that evacuation plans and other safety measures are at the centre of our plans.

“In the coming months I am committed to working together with agencies and local authorities to do all I can to see improvements and improved consistency in when sites are able to open.”

Mr Warman’s comments have been endorsed by Coun Steve Kirk, portfolio holder for the Coastal Economy at East Lindsey District Council, who said allowing parks to open longer would have a ‘significant boost’ to the economy.

He added: “The Christmas holiday is one of the busiest of the year and one that we should take full advantage of.

“Having already had meetings myself with site owners, planners and the Environment Agency, I appreciate the many concerns around safety that must be addressed, however I also get a feeling that there is a strong desire by many to see this type of season extension happen.”

Mayor of Skegness Carl Macey said the threat of flooding is ‘something for us all to be concerned with, but we cannot allow this to affect the growth of our area’.

Chairman of the Skegness Partnership John Chappell said the business community ‘fully supports any measures that will help us to extend the current tourist season’.

He added: “Extending the season will help improve business viability, profitability, employment and pay levels and is one of our biggest challenges.”

A meeting due to take place in mid-December between Mr Warman, local councils, Environment Agency and businesses has been postponed to the new year due to the flooding in Cumbria, as 
personnel from Lincolnshire were called to help with the relief.