Church Farm in extension plan

MAJOR redevelopment work could be on the cards for a popular Skegness attraction in a bid to expand opportunities for the community.

Ambitious plans have been put forward to improve the layout at Church Farm Village to allow better access for wheelchair users and visitors with mobility needs.

The revamp, subject to planning permission being given the go-ahead, would include modernisation of the shop, changes made to the cafe, a new office, an enlarged storage area and the potential for a lift.

Steve Kirk, chairman of the Village Church Farm Ltd, who has been heavily behind the application process, said: “The plan is to bring the buildings together to improve access for visitors with physical disabilities, as at the moment it can be difficult for them to visit the shop and get upstairs to the gallery.”

Mr Kirk also hopes that the improvements will help build on volunteering opportunities and training at the village.

“The extension will help us engage with volunteers with physical disabilities and by bringing the surrounding buildings together. This will make it an inclusive site.

“The farm house is a listed building so we won’t be altering that,” added Mr Kirk.

Funding for the work, will be sourced from Church Farm Village’s own funds, and applications for additional funding are currently being made.

“If we can’t secure the funding, then we will have to develop the site a bit at a time rather than all at once,” commented Mr Kirk.

And Mr Kirk revealed that final agreements were made last Thursday to partner with Lincolnshire County Council after many months of negotiations.

“This agreement, will release a £35,000 grant which was promised to us over a year ago,

“LCC have taken Church Farm Village very seriously and this is brilliant news,” added Mr Kirk.

The final hurdle for the village, will be to complete the transfer of the lease for the site from East Lindsey District Council before any building work can begin.

Back in October, ELDC offered ownership of the site for just £1 as part of a community assets transfer.

Mr Kirk remained hopeful that building work, if approved, could start around springtime but further discussions and funding avenues will need to be explored over the coming months.

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