Pleasures of the county coastline
The east coast of Lincolnshire from the Humber estuary to the marshlands of the Wash has seen a boost in visitor numbers. Glynis Fox looks at how leisure attractions are gearing up for another busy summer season.
Major settlements on the Coast include the seaside resorts of Cleethorpes, Mablethorpe with Sutton on Sea, Ingoldmells and Skegness in the East Lindsey district of the county and the ports of Grimsby and Immingham in the north east.
Tourism has long been associated with this stretch of coastline and is still the mainstay of the area with tens of thousands of holiday-makers and day-trippers visiting each year.
According to the latest STEAM report, figures show that the value of tourism on the Lincolnshire Coast and the Wolds increased to £653 million with the economic impact of tourism having risen by 11% between 2016 and 2017 in the East Lindsey district.
Visitor numbers and days also increased by 3.6% and 6.2% respectively while total employment supported by the industry also went up with 8,534 full-time equivalent, which is an increase of more than 300 from 2016.
Councillor Steve Kirk, East Lindsey District Council’s portfolio holder for coastal economy, said: “It is fantastic to see the value of the visitor economy rise again, continuing the year-on-year increase we’ve seen since 2009.”
Visitor numbers to North East Lincolnshire also continue to rise with latest figures revealing an increase of 1.6%, from 10.04 million in 2016 to 10.20 million in 2017.
The report showed that the value of tourism increased by 4.8% from £562.26 million in 2016 to £589.28 million in 2017.
The shopping and food and drink sectors also generated a total of £263.84 million of direct economic impact in 2017.
Visitors to North East Lincolnshire supported more than 6,950 jobs, increasing by 3.4% from 2016.
Councillor Gaynor Rogers, NE Lincs Council portfolio holder for tourism, said: “It’s great that our figures continue to grow as tourism is hugely important to us.
“North East Lincolnshire has so much to offer, with an array of independent shops, eateries and hotels, alongside our traditional beach offer. It’s fantastic that so many people are coming to enjoy it.
“We are constantly working on improving the area to attract visitors, but also for our residents and businesses too. This report is a great indication that we’re moving forward in terms of attracting people to visit the area.”
However, challenging times still face many of our coastal towns and they have been highlighted in a House of Lords report just published.
It followed a visit to the area last October by the House of Lords Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities when 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 Butlin’s 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 the visit to our coast and to help shape the recommendations identified within.
“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 Lincolnshire’s coastal towns have seen a blend of both national and local investment helping towards significant growth.
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.
Multinational firm Whitbread is opening a new Premier Inn imminently, a new purpose-built marine observatory opened in July 2018 at Chapel St Leonards and a new £1 million 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 Government’s Future High Streets Fund.
“This new investment is bringing about a greater confidence in the economy and employment in the area,” Councillor Cucksey said. “We therefore welcome the report and hope it will help to raise the profile and importance of the need for continued investment and regeneration support for our coastal towns within Whitehall.”
Skegness was one of the country’s first seaside resorts to welcome visitors and is still one of the most popular today.
The resort’s beach has once again been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award, confirming it is amongst the cleanest in the world.
Skegness’s award-winning sandy beach is long and wide with numerous activities including donkey rides and the Fairy Dell paddling pool, which re-opened in 2006 after extensive refurbishment.
Mablethorpe has always been a family favourite. With its two-mile stretch of golden sand it is the perfect place to while away those long summer days.
Cleethorpes is a traditional seaside resort with close ties to the nearby town of Grimsby. It has miles of sandy beaches and a plethora of amenities and activities, including donkey rides, a paddling pool and a boating lake. It also has award-winning gardens on the promenade.
But there is more to the Lincolnshire Coast than just sloping sand dunes and golden sands. Much of it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and offers one of the best places in Britain to see breeding grey seals while each year around a million birds from across the globe migrate along the shoreline.
Much work is being done to put the east coast of Lincolnshire firmly on the destination map and in particular the Lincolnshire Coastal Destination BID continues to work together to improve the area for those who live, invest and work here.
Destination Business Improvement Districts (DBIDs) have proven to be an effective way in which businesses can take control and improve their trading environment.
“The Lincolnshire Coastal Destination BID aims to put our area firmly on the map as a leading UK tourist destination and continues to improve the visitor experience,” explained Lisa Collins, LCDBID manager.
“We have created a Destination website and created a brand identity of Visit Lincs Coast for the area. We have invested heavily in the marketing of the area, with features in publications across the country, radio adverts, attending trade, travel and tourism shows and taking out our promotional trailer across the UK.
“Our latest campaign sees our Visit Lincs Coast branding going out on lorries across the country.
“The re-branding and marketing of the area is crucial to ensure we maximise our potential to visitors and showcase the diversity of the area as an all-year-round destination.”
OUTSTANDING CARE FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES LIVING ON THE COAST
The Lincolnshire Coast has two more “Outstanding” care offerings for people with learning disabilities following inspections by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Linkage Care Services are part of the Linkage Community Trust, a Lincolnshire-based charity which supports people with learning disabilities to develop skills and behaviours to live more independent lives. They offer a range of housing options including: Residential Care, Supported Living, Community Support and Short Breaks and Respite.
During recent inspections, one of their residential properties in Grimsby, and their Community Support Services based in Mablethorpe, received “Outstanding” ratings.
Abbey House in Grimsby offers people a home environment with 24/7 care supervision. The CQC commented: “The genuinely caring and inclusive culture was outstanding. Staff demonstrated extremely caring values and showed a very positive regard for what was important and mattered to people.”
In addition, Linkage Community Support Services help people to live independently in their own home, with a flexible care package built around individual needs. The support on offer can include help with cooking and maintaining a home, accessing opportunities in the community, money management, personal care and medication, socialising etc.
The CQC report stated: “People using the service received exceptional care from a well-led service. There was a truly holistic approach to assessing and delivering care and support.”
For more information on Linkage Care visit www.linkage.org.uk/care
COASTAL WALK PATH OPENS
Visitors to Lincolnshire’s east coast can now explore more of it on foot following the opening of the county’s Coastal Path which also features a world first.
The 16-mile route will take travellers from Skegness to Mablethorpe, enabling them to explore the route’s natural and diverse wildlife and also experience the world’s first official cloud spotting area located at Anderby Creek’s Cloud Bar.
Rural Minister, Lord Gardiner said: “England’s beautiful coastline is a sight to behold, and I am delighted that more people than ever before will be able to enjoy its striking scenery during this year of green action.
“With Lincolnshire home to some of our most precious coastal habitats, the new stretch of path will open up access while boosting valuable tourism for rural communities and businesses.”
The year of green action is a commitment by Natural England outlined in the 25-year environment plan to inspire more people to engage with the natural world.
There is a new boardwalk at popular spot Chapel Point, improving access to the North Sea Observatory and walkers can also take in the views at the popular walking sites of Anderby Marsh, Chapel Pit and Wolla Bank Reedbed.
Interim chief executive of Natural England, Marian Spain, said: “The England coast path plays a key role in helping people connect with and access nature and it is a privilege to open the first Lincolnshire stretch.
“From wild dunes to sandy beaches, the public will now be able to easily enjoy the countless beautiful habitats between Skegness and Mablethorpe.”
Natural England is in the process of establishing a 2,700-mile-path around the English coastline which, once completed, will be the longest continuous coastal walking route in the world.
Work continues to identify the route along the rest of the county’s coast, with the rest due to open by 2020.
WALTHAM PLUMBING SUPPLIES
You want to be confident that investing in a new bathroom will enhance your home and lifestyle, so be sure to talk to the team at Waltham Plumbing Supplies. You will find their belief in working in partnership with their clients makes all the difference to the finished result.
They have many years’ experience of working with private and business clients designing and installing exceptional schemes to suit a wide range of budgets.
Whether you are looking for a fully fitted bathroom, modular bathroom, wet room or shower Waltham Plumbing Supplies have beautiful ranges of basins, WC suites and bidets; collections with European design flair offering styles to suit traditional to contemporary tastes including displays of the Laura Ashley collection.
Visit the showroom where there are bathroom settings showcasing shower enclosures and walk-in screens giving plenty of scope to suit all styles from corner entry to pivot and side panel.
Those finishing touches make all the difference and Waltham Plumbing Supplies have a wide choice of quality brassware from the Tre Mercati and Fantini ranges, as well as mirrors and bathroom accessories.
To experience the very best advice, care and level of service contact Waltham Plumbing Supplies on 01472 824092, www.walthamplumbing.co.uk
CLEETHORPES GETS READY TO ROCK “IN THE SUMMERTIME”
Cleethorpes Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival will be returning to Moon on the Water on Sunday 16th June!
With Mungo Jerry headlining and five other striking bands in the line-up, this is one live music event not to miss in Cleethorpes.
Mungo Jerry’s ‘In The Summertime’, was one of the fastest selling singles of all time. It was recorded early in 1970 and within weeks, the record had become a global hit sending its composer, lead singer and frontman, Ray Dorset aka Mungo Jerry, into a completely different world – from being a semi-pro musician to an overnight international star. It had an astonishing impact on the music world and raced to number one just a fortnight after its release, remained there for an impressive seven weeks and became the year’s best-selling single.
HIGH ALTITUDE ATTRACTION FOR SKEGNESS
Tourism in Skegness is set to reach new heights this summer with the building of one of Britain’s highest urban high wire attractions.
At approximately 21 metres high, Altitude44 comprises four giant-sized platforms within which sit 44 fun obstacles of all different shapes and sizes, which will have a distinctly seaside theme.
This major new attraction means East Lindsey District Council has invested almost £1 million into leisure facilities in Skegness in the past 12 months.
Working with partners, the Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture, the council has refurbished the town’s Pool & Fitness Suite and supported the new ‘Upstairs at the Embassy’ VIP and entertainment function space at the theatre. All are operated by Magna Vitae.
Meanwhile, in another new development, a separate investment by Magna Vitae will see the complete refurbishment of the current refreshment kiosk next to the Skegness outdoor pool and the site of the new high wire. Accessed from Compass Gardens, the new eatery will serve authentic stone-baked Italian pizza and is partnering with the Costa ‘Proud to Serve’ brand.
Altitude44 is being developed in association with German company KristallTurm. Founded in 2010, the company is fast becoming the market leader in masterminding innovative and unique high wire and rope structures.
Work is currently set to start in late spring with completion in time for the summer season – transforming the seafront’s skyline.
MAKE YOUR DREAM BATHROOM A REALITY
A new bathroom is one of the largest home improvement projects you can undertake. You may well have considered how this can add value to your home and lifestyle but have you taken the time to find the ideal partner to help you make your dream bathroom a reality?
The showrooms at Wilton Studios are laid out over two floors with inspiring displays of suites and tiles for you to browse and their team are on hand to listen to your ideas and preferences, always working with you – part of their service of advice and guidance to ultimately create a bespoke solution for your home.
“After a free home measuring visit, our talented designers will produce your custom design, available in 3D too, for you to virtually experience before our skilled installers begin their work. With experienced craftsman at every stage, professionalism and an exceptional quality of finish is ensured. The first floor of the showroom houses a huge range of wall and floor tiles so whatever your taste or budget, there are plenty of choice for those perfect finishing touches.
“Wilton Studios are the perfect partners to make your bathroom installation a pleasure not a pain.”
Your dream bathroom begins at Wilton Studios.
Tel: 01472 210820, www.wiltonstudios.co.uk
JOLLYES SKEGNESS – EVERYTHING YOUR PETS NEED UNDER ONE, PET FRIENDLY, ROOF
Jollyes Pet Superstores is delighted to announce the opening of a new store in Skegness next month.
Backed by 40 years of expertise, the store at Burgh Road Retail Park PE25 2RT will offer people in Skegness and the surrounding area an unbeatable range of pet products, accessories, support and expert advice – including a new pamper and groom experience, The Spa.
The Spa provides the community with a state-of-the-art facility delivering quality dog grooming in a range of packages to suit every pet’s looks and their owners’ budgets.
And if local customers are looking for a pint-sized furry pal, feathered friend or scaly sidekick, Jollyes Skegness is where a range of small animals, birds and reptiles looking for a new home with a caring new owner can be found.
New pet owners benefit from supportive, friendly and expert advice and guidance on the best way to care for their new friends.
There are exciting customer service offerings underpinning the extensive pet care expertise and product range.
The Jollyes price match, which is available in all stores nationwide, guarantees the most competitive prices in the Skegness area, enhanced by the Jollyes Reward Card.
To reward customers’ loyalty, Reward Card members enjoy special offers and discounts.
Apply for a card online or in-store.
Jollyes also offers a free in-store click and collect service when shopping online and a carry-to-car service.
As a responsible business and stakeholder in the local community, Jollyes is committed to local job generation. It recruits locally and in-store employees undergo rigorous training with exciting career and skills development opportunities, including earning nationally recognised qualifications.
Serving local communities and, more importantly, their pets is always at the heart of the company’s vision, and that’s absolutely true of Jollyes Skegness.
The company is also proud to support several local animal welfare charities in the Skegness area, particularly those focused on pet rehoming.
Look out for more news about the store and the announcement of the official opening date and special offers at www.jollyes.co.uk, in the Skegness Standard and at www.skegnessstandard.co.uk.
For further information, please contact Trevor Lewis at Jollyes Petfood Superstores on 01992 703010 or email email@example.com
GRIMSBY HAS APPETITE FOR THE FUTURE
Glynis Fox finds out how investment is helping to shape the food industry and local infrastructure for the future.
It ran the largest fishing fleet in the world by the mid-20th century, but fishing declined dramatically after the Cod Wars denied UK access to Icelandic fishing grounds, and the European Union parcelled out fishing quotas in waters within a 200-mile limit of the UK coast to other European countries.
But now it is recognised as the main centre of the UK fish-processing industry and is one of the largest in Europe.
Seventy per cent of the fish processing industry is located there and in recent years this has led to diversification into all forms of frozen and chilled foods with more than 100 local companies involved in fresh and frozen fish production.
The focal point of the local fishing industry is Grimsby Fish Market and its importance is recognised by the UK and EU fishing industries.
It is considered to be one of the most important fish markets, not just in the UK, but also in Europe. The dominant supply of fresh fish is from Iceland and Norway but it also attracts fish supplies from local, UK and foreign vessels as well as overland fish from the Faroe Islands, Scotland, Ireland and other British Ports.
Originally opened in 1996 at a cost of £15 million, Grimsby Fish Market completed in early 2012 a £1.2 million upgrade. Partially funded by the European Fisheries Fund, the development was seen as a show of confidence in the future of the fishing industry in Grimsby.
The strength of Grimsby Fish Market and its daily auction is its long-established buying power, which is organised through the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association Ltd.
Grimsby is also home to the £5.6 million Humber Seafood Institute, the first of its kind in the UK, which opened in 2008.
Backed by Yorkshire Forward, North East Lincolnshire Council, and the European Regional Development Fund, the HSI is managed by the local council.
Tenants include the Seafish Industry Authority and Grimsby Institute and University Centre. Greater Grimsby is a European centre of excellence in the production of chilled prepared meals, and the area has the largest concentration of cold-storage facilities in Europe.
Grimsby is also beginning to develop as a renewable energy centre, and generates more electricity from solar, wind, biomass and landfill gas than anywhere else in England.
The town makes 28 per cent of the electricity it uses from green sources and its proximity to the biggest cluster of offshore wind farms in Europe has brought around 1,500 jobs to the area, mostly in turbine maintenance.
But Grimsby is not just about fishing and the food-processing industry and much work is being done to improve the town for its residents, businesses and visitors alike.
A £2.6m scheme is underway to improve two vital access routes to key employment sites in the town.
The scheme will have a number of benefits for those working in these areas: local travel to work times will be improved; and options for safe, sustainable travel by cycling and walking will be increased. Work started on site at the beginning of March and is expected to take ten months to complete.
The project has been supported with £2.6m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the Humber LEP and part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse, with the council and Network Rail jointly contributing £0.5m.
Cabinet member for regeneration at North East Lincolnshire Council, Cllr Peter Wheatley, said: “This is an important scheme for Grimsby to make sure that the network can deal with the projected traffic growth in that area.
“We’re doing all we can to make sure that this industrial area is able to grow and support our key logistics industries, whilst at the same time supporting more sustainable transport options.”
Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber LEP said: “High quality transport links are crucial to the further economic development of this area and particularly relevant to the many logistics companies based around the port as well as other port related industries like the off-shore wind sector.
“It is critical to this industrial area to enable future investment and growth and ensure the roads are fit for purpose for the increased traffic and commercial development expected once the new Humber link road system is operational.”
Grimsby has also been awarded more than £3 million for a programme of culture works and is one of few in the UK to receive funding for cultural related activities.
It will go towards building a programme of new international events to be hosted in the area, attracting new visitors and investment.
The money, which will be matched by further public and private sector funding from the Humber LEP and other partners, will also go towards projects helping to regenerate historic parts of the town.
Support will be on offer to local businesses in the cultural sector and for individuals with a business idea wanting to start their own venture, ensuring that no creative industry initiative is left out.
It is hoped that the funding will boost the town over coming years, generating new jobs, new businesses and increasing town centre footfall.
St James Square and Grimsby Minster are key features in the town centre and part of the town’s rich heritage. Together with the surrounding buildings, they create a tranquil and enclosed green space which is ideal for hosting open air and cultural events.
A new project has been launched to improve this area and create a vibrant community area that complements Grimsby Minster’s role as a heritage and arts centre.
The project has been supported with £1.3m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the Humber LEP.
It will see the creation of a multi-activity space that will cater for both daily users and visitors as well as large events. Features will include a tiered seating area, improved pathways and a labyrinth.
St James Square will also become the starting point of the Heritage Trail, linking the town centre to the Kasbah.
Cllr Wheatley said: “St James Square is a focal point in Grimsby for a lot of arts-based activities. We have talked with people about what they wanted to see there, and the new plans for the area are very exciting. Once this is created, there will be a lovely space for cultural activities in the town – all part of our long-term plans for Grimsby town centre.”
Lord Haskins said: “This scheme is an exciting opportunity to make the most of Grimsby’s Heritage Action Zone and create a valued public space that can be enjoyed by all. By making these improvements to St James Square, the area will be given an increased vibrancy, which will encourage further investment.”
Work will start on the project in the autumn.