Following months of community consultation, project planning and analysis, work on Boston, Skegness and Mablethorpe’s submissions for the Government’s Towns Deal investment grant has been completed.
As part of the Towns Deal, more than 100 towns across the UK have been identified and asked to bid for up to £25 million each. The three towns have put together their own bids, worth a combined £75 million, for a linked series of projects in the towns that bring together the visitor economy, leisure, heritage, health and education.
Sarah Louise Fairburn, Chair of the Connected Coast Board, which is Skegness and Mablethorpe’s bid combined, said: “We are really excited to be able to deliver the Town Investment Plan for Skegness and Mablethorpe and to get started on the innovative and wide-ranging projects we’ve consulted on over the past year.
“We estimate the overall benefit in Gross Value Added (GVA)to Skegness will be £157,981,461 will mean 9,761 jobs. This is an amazing rate of return of £6 for every £1 we have asked for. It’s a similar story in Mablethorpe, where the GVA is expected to be £79,830,117 as well as a possible 4,920 jobs. This is also a great GVA ratio of 3:1.
“Both towns have a proud tourism offer and heritage that needs to be built upon to ensure their future. This year has been incredibly tough for the whole country, but with this funding, we can see a hopeful and bright future for residents, stakeholders, businesses and visitors in both towns. We have brought together some of the most passionate individuals in the private sector to work alongside our local authorities to make sure we are serving as many people as possible. We can’t wait to see where the next few years take us.”
Projects in the region include an extension and pedestrianisation of the Skegness Foreshore, giving the area a year-round use, a replacement for the Colonnade at Sutton-on-Sea and a Campus for Future Living at Mablethorpe, which will see health, education and leisure all combined in a multi-use building.
Improvements will also be made to the train station to ensure it matches tourism destination expectations as well as creating adequate space for businesses, providing incubation space for young entrepreneurs.
Neil Kempster, Chair of the Boston Town Deal Board, said: “We are really excited to be able to put forward the Town Investment Plan for Boston, a town which has so much potential and a rich and proud heritage. The government funding of £25 million will attract virtually the same amount of match funding and create over £130 million of much needed economic activity in the town helping to create an estimated 6,500 jobs in the local area over the 5 years of the Town Deal Programme.
“The Boston Town Deal board was established in early 2020 with key stakeholders from both the public and private sectors within the area and has provided a forum for new partnerships to be forged and existing ones to be enhanced as everyone has worked together for the benefit of the area as a whole. A comprehensive consultation exercise formed the basis of the initial ideas for projects as we sought to fully engage with the local community and ensure that we maximised the potential that could be realised from the funding opportunity that has been made available
“Despite the onset of the Global pandemic, the board and its officers have work during these challenging times to refine the initial ideas into a firm programme of interconnected projects that we believe align with the Governments Town Deal priorities, building on the massive potential in the area and helping to address some of the key issues restricting the local economy.
“Improving skills and raising aspiration levels in the town have been the driver for the flagship Mayflower Centre which will provide outstanding learning opportunities in an innovative new hub for learning, business, health and leisure. Other community based projects will supplement this skills agenda whilst also ensuring inclusivity of the plan through many sectors of the community.
“Regeneration projects to kickstart economic growth include the refurbishment of the train station together with the commencement of the PE21 development with a new NHS Health Hub.
“The importance of the food industry to the area and the potential of the Port are recognised with the creation of a new centre for skills related to logistics and food, as well as bringing these industries up to date with digital skills in collaboration with the University of Lincoln and Boston College
“Boston’s rich heritage has been targeted with funding for the towns historic marketplace as well as a number of the key iconic buildings in the town including the Stump and Shodfriars.
“I do believe that the Town Deal provides a fantastic opportunity for the Boston to attract multi million pounds worth of grant and match funding to help deliver a number of key projects to enable the town to kickstart economic growth and act as a catalyst for future inward investment to help Boston realise its undeniable potential.”