A new era is dawning in Skegness - and it’s changing the horizon in every direction.
In the past year landmarks that have been enjoyed for generations have gone - with plans to replace them underway.
The most notable is the new Premier Inn on Pier Field, which is almost nearing completion. Developers were given the green light for the 80-bed hotel on Pier Field in September 2016. The project also includes a KFC drive-thru and 190-cover Cookhouse and pub restaurant.
Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn, has confirmed it is investing approximately £8 million in the development. On opening, it is expected to create more than 40 all-year-round jobs, with recruitment to be focused in Skegness and the surrounding area.
A VIP launch was originally planned for Wednesday, April 24, but as the KFC drive-thru will not be completed by then, this has been delayed until “early summer”.
Visitors to the Tower Gardens will see a completely different horizon, with demolition of the historic Tower Pavilion now complete.
Skegness Town Council, who have been negotiating with East Lindsey District Council for the asset transfer of the public amenity, agreed the final building costs at their meeting last month.
The council has applied for a £1.46m loan towards the construction cost and should hear this week if it has been successful.
They are also in the final stages of detailed negotiation over the asset transfers, including Tower Gardens, and hope to be able to sign it off within the next few days.
Tower Gardens will transfer immediately the transfer agreement is in place. The other assets will come over on October 31. The remaining lease on the Sunshine Play Area will be relinquished to ELDC on the transfer of Tower Gardens.
Once the borrowing approval and asset transfer is sorted, then as council has already agreed the construction contracts, they can simply be signed and start work on the new community building, with completion in January 2020.
Another landmark which is disappearing is the gas holder, which has been on the horizon for visitors since 1932.
At the time it was built, the Skegness Standard reported: “A new landmark has come into being at Skegness in the shape of an immense gasholder, the construction of which has now been completed. Incidentally, the structure affords further evidence of the unceasing growth of the resort and the steps which are being taken to ensure keeping abreast of the demand for gas which, in recent years, has been an outstanding feature of the public services, controlled by the local authority.”
The National Grid, who own the gas holder, told us specialist contractors, Erith, has undertaken work to extract the water and debris in the gasholder and is now dismantling the structures, section by section.
This work will be done within, and in the areas immediately around, the gasholder and is expected to be completed next month. Gareth Taylor, Land Regeneration Manager for National Grid Property, said: “The dismantling of the gasholder on our site in Skegness is part of a national programme to bring unused sites back into beneficial use. Whilst this work has been taking place we have been supporting the local community where we can. This has included engaging with local schools to highlight the opportunities available in the engineering and construction industries and share our experiences.”