Gateway to something spectacular - in Chapel St Leonards

The summer season has officially started with a celebration of the offer along the coast at one of its newest attractions - the North Sea Observatory.

The Observatory at Chapel Point has been open since last July and several guests were a little puzzled as to why the opening was on Wednesday.

Celebrating the start of summer are Lincolnshire County Council's executive member for economy and place Coun Colin Davie; Lisa Collins, manager of the Lincolnshire Coastal Destination BID;  and Coun Steve Kirk, ELDC portfolio holder for coastal economy.

Celebrating the start of summer are Lincolnshire County Council's executive member for economy and place Coun Colin Davie; Lisa Collins, manager of the Lincolnshire Coastal Destination BID; and Coun Steve Kirk, ELDC portfolio holder for coastal economy.

However, Coun Colin Davie, Lincolnshire County Council's executive member for economy and place, who hosted the event said the event was more than just the unveiling of a plaque but an opportunity for representatives of the tourism sector, including East Lindsey District Council and the Lincolnshire Coastal Destination BID, to update businesses and guests on the changing face of the coast and the wealth of opportunities that offers.

"The Observatory has been open since last July and has been so, so successful," said Coun Davie. "It's quite clear that the decision to invest in this site was the right one.- that this, and Gibraltar Point, is a high quality offer.

"We have plans going forward for Huttoft next year and I think with the private sector investment along the coast ,particularly around the natural environment, I think we have a really bright future to look forward to."

Lincolnshire's seaside towns have been among the UK's most popular holiday destinations, bringing in around £1.5bn to the local economy each year.

Lincolnshire County Council's executive member for economy and place Coun Colin Davie unveils a plaque to mark the official opening of the North Sea Observatory.

Lincolnshire County Council's executive member for economy and place Coun Colin Davie unveils a plaque to mark the official opening of the North Sea Observatory.

"Of course, we'd also recommend visitors take the time to go inland and visit some of our lovely village pubs and historic market towns, or add variety to their walks or cycle rides by covering the coastal grazing marshes and the Lincolnshire Wolds," said Coun Davie.

Coun Steve Kirk, ELDC portfolio holder for coastal economy, described the Observatory as the "gateway to something spectacular". He said: "The district council has been keen along with its county colleagues toi tell people what a fantastic coast we have.

"What we need to be saying is this is a fantastic piece of coast that people don't know about - let's get people down here and let's develop it sympathetically so it remains an amazing place for generations to come

"We hope that by showcasing the exciting combination of our traditional seaside towns and the many wonders of our natural coast we'll be able to attract new visitors, boosting the local tourism economy."

Lisa Collins, manager of the Lincolnshire Coastal Destination BID, said the Observatory has had a massive impact. "It's really helped to connect the coast up from Gibraltar Point right through to Donna Nook," she said.

"The wild cost offer is just tremendous and we are seeing people coming all year round."

Chapel St Leonards is also benefiting: Coun Paul Hibbert-Greaves, chair of Chapel St Leonards Parish Council, said: "The season has got off to a very good start. The weather was very kind to us at the beginning of the year. The Observatory has been a shot in the arm to Chapel St Leonards. It's brought more people in and we hope when we get more signage people will interconnect with the village as well - and the coastal path is proving a big hit with people too.".

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