Challenges affecting East Lindsey's coastal towns highlighted in national report
April 4, 2019
Challenges affecting East Lindsey's coastal towns have been highlighted in a House of Lords Select Committee report.
East Lindsey District Council welcomed the House of Lords Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities to the District's coast in October 2018. Committee members met with a number of local stakeholders, including councillors and officers from the County, District and Town Councils, as well as key public sector partners and representatives from the local business community.
The visit provided the Lords with the chance to visit Skegness and the surrounding area to get an understanding of the issues and challenges the area faces; discussing a range of local projects, speaking with the public about the challenges of living and working in a coastal community, and visiting Butlins which showcased the local benefits of sustained investment in the visitor economy.
The findings from the Select Committee's trip to East Lindsey, and other coastal areas across the country have now been released in a report titled 'The future of seaside towns'.
The report identifies a number of unique and complex issues that affect coastal towns around the UK and provides a vision for how those towns could look in the future.
Property, Business and Growth Assistant Director for East Lindsey District Council, Neil Cucksey, said: "We were pleased to host a visit from The House of Lords Select Committee in 2018 to our coast to help shape the recommendations identified within the final report.
We clearly recognise that there are challenges for seaside towns throughout the country, and seasonality is just one of them. Whilst there is year round employment on our coast, we recognise the need to increase skilled employment and skills development in our area and help our local communities to address the decline in local services, such as healthcare and banking. We also recognise that our coastal towns and environment need further investment and protection from flood risk, so that residents and visitors can take advantage of new business and leisure opportunities along the coast.
In recent years our coastal towns have seen a blend of both National and local investment helping towards significant growth, much of this facilitated by District Council.
In Skegness, the Council has adopted the Foreshore Master Plan, identifying key projects for growth and investment and secured some initial funding to enhance public open spaces along Tower Esplanade and to renovate the Rockery Gardens. Multi-national firm Whitbread are opening a new Premier Inn imminently, a new purpose built marine observatory opened in July 2018 at Chapel St Leonards and a new £1million visitor centre at Gibraltar Point also opened in May 2016.
In Mablethorpe, a £5m allocation has recently been secured for the Council and Magna Vitae to improve leisure facilities in the town, and the Council has recently submitted a bid for additional town centre investment for Mablethorpe under the Governments' Future High Streets Fund.
This new investment is bringing about a greater confidence in the economy and employment in the area. The latest report shows that the visitor economy in East Lindsey already brings in over £650m to the local economy - an increase of £50m (11%) between 2016 and 2017, with visitor numbers up by 3.6% and day visitors up by 6.2% across the same period. The industry has also seen a rise in total employment of over 300 in 2017 compared to 2016 (8,198). We therefore welcome the Report of the Select Committee and hope that it will help to raise the profile and importance of the need for continued investment and regeneration support for our coastal towns within Whitehall."
The full report, 'The future of seaside towns', is available to view online.