Saddle up for a bumper summer
With staycations now more popular than ever, towns and villages along Lincolnshire’s East Coast are preparing for their busiest season. By Melanie Burton.
Overseas trips being out of reach during the pandemic meant spending on these kinds of holidays surged in 2021 to £2.7bn – nearly 80% more than in 2020 when lockdowns decimated travel plans.
According to market research, the affordability of these types of holidays is traditionally the main attraction but the pandemic saw an influx of more affluent families on campsites, with almost 4 in 10 “Covid campers” having a household income above £50,000 – compared to about a fifth of those who camped or caravanned pre-crisis.
“Many of these customers are likely to have substituted planned holidays abroad for staycations,” said John Worthington, market research agency Mintel’s senior travel analyst.
“The rising ‘cost of living’ crisis has the potential to dampen consumer spending on all holiday types. Camping and caravanning, however, hold the advantage of being seen as an affordable holiday. Our research shows that ‘low cost’ is seen as the leading attraction for consumers.”
Forecasts by Visit Britain anticipate domestic tourism spending across the year to rise again with coastal and rural areas expected to fare better than the more urban environments, as Britons escape the cities for their holidays and staycations.
And with Lincolnshire’s East Coast home to more than 200 caravan sites and approximately 34,000 caravans (the highest concentration in Europe), signs are good that 2022 will be a bumper year for the local holiday industry.
IMPROVING THE VISITOR EXPERIENCE
A redeveloped theatre, a new nature resort, extensive refurbishment of Skegness train station, shopfront transformations and much more are all one step closer to development following approval of the Town Deal projects by the Connected Coast Board and East Lindsey District Councillors.
The focus of one project will be the Embassy Theatre in Skegness, proposed as the home of Cultural Skegness, which will see additional facilities provided there whilst “utilising the existing structure and resources” of the venue.
Aeneas Richardson and James Brindle, executive directors at Magna Vitae, which manages the theatre, said: “The Culture Skegness project is an incredibly exciting project that will seek to redefine the way that a theatre engages with its audiences and its wider community.
“We look forward to delivering this project of national significance, developed from the Scandinavian Culture House concept, resulting in the provision of an exceptional community space that will welcome and support educational opportunity, vocational skills development and improve health and wellbeing.”
Another project will see coastal land adjacent to the beach at Sandilands near Sutton-on-Sea become a nature reserve operated by the National Trust, with accessible walking trails, repurposing of the existing clubhouse to create a new café facility, and additional parking bays including EV parking. This £6.36 million project will transform an area that isn’t currently utilised to its maximum potential.
Kirsty James, project lead at the National Trust, said: “Our project at Sandilands has been developed with nature and people at the heart. We will be developing the former clubhouse to include fully accessible facilities, including a changing place and a new food and beverage offer.
“We will be creating priority habitats like sand dunes, dune scrubland, and wetland reedbeds to support the flyway bird migration route, with accessible routes so people can feel closer to nature.
“Following on from the pandemic, we all know how important outdoor spaces are to people and their health and wellbeing. We also appreciate that we’re currently facing one of the world’s biggest threats, climate change.
“This project, when operational, will be carbon neutral. The newly created habitats will support the storage of carbon along with supporting the connection of nature reserves on the Lincolnshire coast.”
Skegness’ Railway Station will also undergo extensive refurbishment to enable usage as a community facility which will include a café, commercially rentable units, a new ticket office, restrooms and much more, through a partnership with East Midlands Trains.
Shopfronts in Skegness and Mablethorpe will be able to access grant funding to revitalise and enhance their frontages through a project funded in partnership with Heritage Lincolnshire.
The Connected Coast Board has four key themes: Connectivity, Education & Skills, Regeneration and Business, all of which are factored into the selection of the projects to be part funded by Town Deal Funding.
Chair of the Connected Coast Board, Chris Baron, said: “These projects show commitment to development within our area, to offer access to areas of natural beauty, and also further opportunities for our towns and residents.
“The facilities offered at all of these sites are welcomed and will become fantastic assets to our local area.”
Another project which will make a visit to Skegness easier for holidaymakers and daytrippers alike is the major reconstruction works to Roman Bank, the town’s most used road.
Completed in April, the reconstruction of the road from Burgh Road/Castleton Boulevard to Elmhirst Avenue included digging up the worn out carriageway and footways and laying more than 7,000 tonnes of new tarmac.
The £4.8m scheme was co-funded by £3.6m from the Department for Transport’s Challenge Fund and £1.2m from Lincolnshire County Council.
Another initiative aimed at marketing the coast and raising its profile to help increase visitor numbers and boost the local business economy is the Lincolnshire Coastal Destination Business Improvement District (DBID) which began back in 2017.
Its primary purpose was to deliver professionally coordinated destination marketing and events for the coast. Its aims were fourfold: to provide a strong and united voice, work hand-in-hand as never before to champion and drive the aspirations and needs of the Lincolnshire coast’s businesses and organisations, develop a distinct and strong identity which raises the profile of the area and its businesses to customers nationally and further afield, to create a vibrant and coordinated year-round marketing campaign promoting what the Lincolnshire coast has to offer, and to work with partners to deliver new headline signature events to attract new visitors and generate new revenues.
The core of its work was driven by a private sector management approach, and the belief that local businesses should influence the decisions made about their area and their local trading environment.
In the introduction to its Business Plan 2022-2027, chair of the Lincolnshire Coastal DBID Ltd, Sid Dennis, said a budget of around £500K pa would give this private sector not for profit organisation the opportunity to make a real difference.
“We shouldn’t forget that this also gave us a vehicle to attract external funding, which has already contributed an additional £105k during the first term.
“The first five years have been more difficult than anyone could ever have imagined back in 2017. That said we have still seen growth in our area prior to Covid-19, with visitor economy spend up by 10% between 2017 and 2019, day visitors up over 7% and resident and guest numbers up by over 3% in what is an incredibly competitive market.
“Whilst the pandemic has meant unprecedented challenges for everyone on the Lincolnshire Coast, we can now all see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. We believe a joint commitment to continue the DBID is vital to our recovery and growth.
“The fact is that the visitor economy is a pivotal part of our economy. The future can be very bright for our coast, starting with the great success of the Town Fund Deal submissions for Mablethorpe and Skegness, which will deliver over £80 million of capital projects over the next few years.”
Mr Dennis said he was sure these will attract further funding but will only happen if it is shown that the area is united in creating a great place to invest and has the funds available to let people know about the exciting changes happening.”
HAVEN EXPANDS HOLIDAY OFFER
One of the largest caravan parks on the east coast is Golden Sands, located close to the beach in Mablethorpe. It is owned by Haven, which following the pandemic has seen an increasing number of families wishing to holiday in the UK as well as enquiries into holiday home ownership.
As a result it has invested in 737 new pitches across 14 holiday parks throughout the UK.
“The demand for both holidays and holiday home ownership has been significantly higher this year,” said chief marketing officer Gerard Tempest.
“There is a growing interest in owning a holiday home here in the UK and we are prepared to be one of the first in accommodating that interest with our new pitches.”
It also acquired its first holiday park in six years earlier this year when it acquired multi-award winning Richmond Holiday Centre in Skegness from its previous family owners, who have provided thousands of families with holidays and holiday home ownership in the area for over 50 years. The acquisition takes the number of Haven holiday parks to 41.
The park has an extensive range of central facilities from pools to restaurants and entertainment venues and is ideally located a short walk from the bustling resort of Skegness.
INNS ON THE EDGE
An exhibition showcasing the rich history of Lincolnshire’s pubs, which has recently been on display at the North Sea Observatory in Chapel St Leonards, is touring community venues and heritage sites on the coast, to give as many people a chance to see it as possible.
The exhibition is part of the county council’s Inns on the Edge project, which aims to record and celebrate the heritage of pubs along the Lincolnshire coast between Boston and Grimsby.
It has been made possible thanks to funding from Historic England.
Marc Knighton, Inns on the Edge project officer, said: “The Lincolnshire coast is a land of shifting sands and changing fortunes. It is a landscape with a rich history just waiting to be discovered.
“The exhibition will explore the stories of some of the area’s inns and taverns and how they were shaped by Lincolnshire’s coastal communities. You will discover tales of smugglers, shipwrecks, ghosts and local legends.
“There will also be exhibits to help bring back memories from more recent history, with features on the games, drinks and people that make Lincolnshire’s pubs special. You can be part of the story too by visiting and sharing your memories with us.”
Like pubs across the country, many of these much-loved buildings now face an uncertain future.
Visitors can also pick up one of the new pub walk leaflets and then go for a wander to explore the nature and history of the nearby Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park.
The exhibition is already planned to be on display at the Tower Gardens Pavilion in Skegness in August and the University of Lincoln in June.
MILLIE & RALPH’S BEAUTIFUL BABIES
If you’re looking for your dream pram and nursery furniture for your little one, look no further than Millie & Ralph, which offers a hand-picked collection of luxury brands for babies at their new Baby and Nursery store at Peacefield Business Park, Holton Le Clay near Grimsby.
In this spacious and well set out family run retail unit of more than 4000 sq ft, you will find leading brands of pushchairs and nursery furniture, including Egg, Oyster, Cybex, Venicci, iCandy, Joolz and more, with 12 dressed nursery room sets in store, as well as a selection of clothing and gifts.
Launched by parents Charlotte Wright and Ben Arscott as an online baby clothing boutique in 2018, the aptly named Millie & Ralph (after the couple’s five-year-old daughter Millie and her first hamster Ralph), has seen continued growth leading to the decision to fill a gap in the market locally with the launch of their new baby and nursery store.
The store is designed as a one-stop shop for parents, family and friends in search of their perfect pram, car seat and nursery furniture, plus many other all-important baby essentials.
“We strive to offer every customer the best shopping experience with one-to-one personal advisors, price match promise, 0% interest payment plans and on-site parking with car seat fitting,” explains Ben. “The store is open seven days a week while our website features a huge collection of baby clothing from birth to two years from leading brands, as well as our own exclusive Millie & Ralph collection along with a large personalised collection.”
For more information visit Millie & Ralph’s Nursery & Baby Store just off the A16 at Holton Le Clay DN36 5HS, or shop online at www.millieandralph.co.uk
PROPERTY SALES WITH A PERSONAL TOUCH
If you’re looking for a trusted, experienced, independent estate agent team who pride themselves on impeccable, honest service and putting their clients’ needs first, Beam Estate Agents in Skegness offer the full package.
Launched in 2008, from their frustration at the lack of transparency and ethics within the industry, the Beam team set out to make things right!
Founder and managing director Geoff Short, who says he is “an honest guy who leads an honest life”, explains that “the underhand dealing and mis-selling in the industry didn’t sit well with me”.
It turned out that Geoff wasn’t the only agent disappointed with industry standards, and BEAM grew.
They’re now a passionate team of four, who love, live and breathe property. Together they work hard to change the perception of estate agents, and sell with absolute integrity.
The BEAM mission is:
1) Consistently honest property sales (it’s what gets them out of bed in the morning)
2) Putting their clients at the heart of everything they do
3) To reduce the stress of moving for everyone!
Having been established on the Lincolnshire coast for over 14 years and with more than 60 years’ combined experience, BEAM has become many people’s first choice when it comes to selling their home anywhere in the Skegness area.
“What makes us different is simply our integrity, openness and always friendly faces. We work hard to transform our industry and the public perception of it one sale at a time,” says Geoff.
“We’re consistently honest and reliable. We’re not just talk, we walk the talk and we believe we’re the only estate agent with the confidence to offer actual guarantees of what we do, or you can hold us to account.
“I believe that’s why we have become known as the estate agents that people can trust.”
Why not put them to the test yourself – BEAM would love to hear from you!
Get in touch on 01754 768877, drop them an email: email@example.com or visit their website at www.beamestateagents.co.uk
PORT HAS A VITAL PART TO PLAY
Once the largest and busiest fishing port in the world, the north Lincolnshire town of Grimsby on the south bank of the Humber estuary still plays an important part in the UK’s seafood industry.
It is home to Seafish, the non-departmental public body which supports the seafood sector in the UK to help it thrive and is also recognised as the main centre of the UK fish processing industry, with 70 per cent of the fish processing industry located in the area. The town still has the largest fish market in the UK too.
automotive ports, importing around 500,000 vehicles each year, and a major hub for the offshore wind industry.
It also continues to handle a wide range of other cargoes, whilst retaining strong links to the fishing and food industries. Together with ABP’s other ports, it provides an unparalleled gateway for the trade connecting businesses across the UK, Europe and beyond.
The Port of Grimsby is at the forefront in serving the developing offshore wind energy industry.
Grimsby is an established centre of excellence for operations and maintenance activities for Round 1 and 2 wind farms in the North Sea and the port offers a number of sites suitable for the development of the O&M industry, as well as other offshore wind-associated activities.
Grimsby was once host to the largest fishing fleet with 400 trawlers based at the port during its peak.
No wonder then that the town can boast a Fishing Heritage Centre, which will transport you back in time to the 1950s heyday of this famous port. A multi-award winning attraction, the heritage centre is home to the earliest diesel engine side trawler preserved in the UK, the MFV Ross Tiger.
The ship is preserved in a permanent mooring outside of the centre and tours offer a unique opportunity to see first-hand what it was like to be aboard a trawler in what is often described as Britain’s most dangerous job.
TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and a member of the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame.
It is also a winner of the Sandford Award for Heritage Education and holds the Visit England Quality Rose Marque.
MORE TO EXPLORE
Though Grimsby houses some 500 food-related companies and is one of the largest concentrations of such firms in Europe, it also has lots of other things on offer for visitors.
The Time Trap Museum is a surprising attraction within the former police cells of Grimsby Town Hall. It will take you on a time travel journey to uncover the town’s colourful past.
through dark, twisting corridors you will be able to explore mysterious nooks and crannies and make your way up and down winding stairs discovering the town’s treasures which reveal how Grimsby developed.
Grimsby Auditorium is one of North East Lincolnshire’s leading entertainments venue, showcasing musical theatre, comedy, pantomimes, and a variety of events all year round.
The town is also home to big-brands and independent boutiques.
Freshney Place is home to more than 70 stores all under one roof ranging from high street brands to unique local independent retailers as well as a number of eateries.
he AbbeyGate Shopping Centre, an independent shopping destination which has been open since 1985. Developed on the site of old brewery buildings, it is home to a range of clothing stores.
MAKE IT A DAY TO REMEMBER
Set in beautiful gardens in the heart of Lincolnshire, Stallingborough Grange Hotel has earned an enviable reputation for holding wedding receptions, civil ceremonies and vow renewals over many years. Highly praised for their genuine service, comfortable surroundings and a relaxing home-from-home atmosphere, Stallingborough Grange will help you create the day you have always dreamed of.
The Buttercross Suite is a beautiful room, decorated in neutral tones so you can add your own personal touch making it your individual day.
Visit www.stallingboroughgrange.co.uk or call 01469 561302 to talk to one of the wedding advisors, or to book a viewing.
BEGIN YOUR FRANKLIN COLLEGE JOURNEY
Franklin Sixth Form College has some very exciting events planned this summer including its amazing Taster Day and highly-anticipated Frank Fest!
Students will kick-start their Franklin journey on Monday 11th July, when they will spend a day at Franklin for their Taster Day. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to experience life as a Franklin student, receive a great insight into their chosen courses, discover Franklin College’s incredible enrichment offer, as well as much, much more!
On Friday 2nd September, Franklin will host its annual Frank Fest event, a huge festival full of fun and laughter for all Franklin applicants.
Once again the day is a perfect chance for students to settle into college life, meet their new best friends, and chat with Franklin staff!
“We can’t wait to welcome you to Franklin as a student in September 2022! We are all really looking forward to the amazing upcoming events and we can’t wait to see everyone soon!”
We provide cremations and bespoke funeral services for pets. Losing a pet can be an incredibly distressing time for families, so we want to make things as straightforward as possible. To do this, we make our clients a promise:
• Our staff will always treat your pets with dignity and respect.
• We will listen to your needs and do our best to accommodate your requests.
• Families will always be provided with the right information so they can make informed decisions.
Call our friendly team on 01472 324869.
Photographs: Mick Fox