Give Skegness new landmark, says councillor

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Lincolnshire residents and visitors recognise iconic landmarks such as St James Church, Lincoln Cathedral and Boston Stump as they approach the county’s towns and cities – so why should Skegness not get one too?

The idea has been put forward to install an “iconic, landmark structure” on Skegness Foreshore as part of a master plan East Lindsey District Council leaders agreed to adopt and spend an initial £300,000 on at their executive meeting on Wednesday night.

The “design code” looks to set a consistent vision for councillors, residents and investors in the town to create more commercial opportunities.

The “landmark visitor hub and Tower-based attraction” is not confirmed at this stage, and no plans have been put forward, however, Councillor Adam Grist told fellow members he was “rather taken” by the idea.

He said: “The Foreshore is arguably the most important part of Skegness.

”For most visitors who arrive at the resort it’s where they get out the car.

“It needs to have that ‘wow’ factor, it needs to have all the things talked about.

He pointed to an example given in the document of the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, in Portsmouth.

“That’s made a massive difference to Portsmouth, an iconic area on the historic dockyard.

“People go to that now because it offers a different view and if we had something like that in Skegness it would be a real crowd pleaser.”

“If you only go up a few metres in height in Skegness it really changes your perspective,” he said.

Councillor Steve Kirk, portfolio holder for coastal economy, said he didn’t think the structure was a “major thing” on the plan.

“The open air theatre where people can sit and watch a band is more exciting,” he said.

He reiterated the structure was “nothing more than an idea” adding it “would be nice to have a focus so as you were driving into Skegness you  knew you were near when you could see the tower.

“It would include things like restaurants, food, bar maybe tourist information.

“As you climbed up and got a bit taller you’d get some amazing views, not just of Skegness but also over the sea to the Wash as well.

“Everywhere needs somewhere where the sat nav is going to say ‘you’ve reached your destination’ and when you got to that tower, however it may look, you’d know you’ve done that.”

Initial works are now set to take place to begin pedestrianising Tower Esplanade, new LED lighting columns, granite seating, granite planters and the removal of redundant existing structures, to create a cleaner, more vibrant setting.

Longer-term plans will include mobile events spaces, a boating event, pedestrianisation and general enhancements, plus a suite of beach chalets with barbecue and picnic area.

In the future, the car park is planned to be accessed via South Parade instead.

The work will also see the repainting of street furniture in a historic “moss green” and cream colour, rather than the blue and white scheme it is now.

Daniel Jaines , Local Democracy Reporting Service