Skegness’ position near the top of a list of the most deprived areas of Great Britain should come as no surprise, according to a leading voice in the business sector of the resort.
Tony Tye, chairman of the new Skegness and District Area Chamber, has described a report outlining the challenges facing communities like Skegness as ‘damning but true’.
The report, commissioned by the British Hospitality Association, calls for a Seaside Tsar to be appointed to help Britain’s forgotten seaside towns fight back from decades of decay.
It says that people living in seaside towns are more likely to be poorly educated, unemployed, unemployable, lacking in ambition, claiming benefits and living in multiple occupation housing.
Mr Tye said: “It’s no surprise we are near the top of the most deprived areas in Great Britain. This is due to lack of investment and funding from governments for many years.”
However, he said as a tourist destination the resort’s success is growing. He said: “Skegness has moved into third – a move of two places – Best Coastal Destination and eighth best Tourist Destination.
“This is great news for all businesses on the East Coast.
“I agree we need a Tourist Tsar, but we also need the ‘Government of the day’ to hear the needs of our area and start to act on them. A good start would be to reduce VAT to five per cent for all coastal destinations making it better value than travelling abroad.”
Former town centre manager Lisa Collins, who is now Lincolnshire Coastal Destination BID development manager. said: “We need to see our Government take seriously the issues affecting our UK seaside towns.
“Much work is being done locally to highlight the issues and through our newly-established coastal communities, team we have drawn up an economic development plan that sets out a clear vision for improvement.”