Millions in Government Funding Confirmed for Lincolnshire

Transformational multi-million-pound projects for Boston, Mablethorpe, and Skegness have been given the go-ahead by the government.

The confirmations mean that Boston is set to get a bespoke learning centre for adults, whilst Skegness will see a new educational campus and visitor attractions, and the Colonnade at Sutton-on-Sea will soon be redeveloped alongside a new leisure centre for Mablethorpe.

These, and more projects, have been given the green light after the Boston Town Deal Board and the Connected Coast Town Deal Board submitted business cases to the government.

The approval of summary documents and associated business cases is part of the process for accessing the Towns Fund investment, which was announced for the three towns in 2021, with Boston agreeing a Town Deal worth £21.9m, Mablethorpe £23.9m, and Skegness £24.5m.

The confirmation of the business cases means that in Boston:

  • A new bespoke learning centre for adults will be developed that will include higher education in a unique learning environment aimed at being inclusive to the whole community. Led by Boston College, the ‘Mayflower’ will enable business and learners to connect, create, and innovate. Almost £10m has been confirmed for this project;
  • Next to the new Mayflower there will be a redeveloped leisure complex which will provide additional facilities which forms part of a transformational development of this area of the town;
  • In addition, Boston train station will be extensively refurbished by East Midlands Railway. Improvements will include a full refurbishment of the main station building and external areas, reconfiguring the layout to best utilise the space to include new community and start up business facilities.

And in Mablethorpe:

  • The Colonnade at Sutton on Sea will be redeveloped. The new scheme will construct a landmark building that will introduce a new café, restaurant, gallery and exhibition spaces alongside new day let beach huts and seasonal overnight lodges after £4.1m Towns Fund grant award was approved for this project;
  • A new purpose-built leisure centre and digital learning complex is set to be developed on the site of the current Station Sports Centre in Mablethorpe;
  • In addition, Mablethorpe town centre will be transformed through a programme of shopfront and building repairs and improvements, and public realm enhancements;
  • Finally, with the National Trust, a sustainable visitor hub with a range of accessible facilities will be developed to enhance explorations of the Sandilands Nature Reserve and the local area.

 In addition to the above, Mablethorpe are progressing its ‘Campus for Future Living’ project which is focussed on addressing significant health inequalities and will bring improved healthcare facilities and associated training and employment opportunities to the area.

Meanwhile, in Skegness:

  • A new high-quality learning campus is set to be developed offering vocational skills training across a range of much needed subjects. The campus has been described as an ‘economic game changer’ for Skegness. A £14m Towns Fund grant award has been approved for this project;
  • Skegness Foreshore will see underutilised areas of the Skegness Foreshore brought to life and new audiences for activities such as concerts, festivals, and outdoor cinema;
  • The town centre will benefit from a major facelift with improvements to the shop fronts, signage, and public realm;
  • As the gateway to the Lincolnshire coast, Skegness railway station will benefit from transformational improvements including restoration of the redundant Red Star building and reconfiguration of the station layout to best utilise the space;
  • The creation of one of the first culture houses in the country at the Embassy Theatre in Skegness and enhance its support for new arts and cultural activities.

As well as the Towns Funding from government, all of the projects will also benefit from match funding meaning the investment for Boston, Mablethorpe, and Skegness will be even higher.

Neil Kempster, Chair of Boston Town Deal Board commented: “The approval of the remaining business cases by the government is a hugely significant milestone for our town.

 “With the confirmation of all of the funding, we can now move forward with delivering these projects which will be truly transformational for our area. 

“Through these projects, our learning and leisure offer in Boston will be hugely enhanced, and the experience of both residents and visitors at our railway station, a crucial gateway into the town, will be improved. 

“The Town Deal funding and projects present Boston with a once in a generation opportunity to bring sustainable change to our town and I am excited to see these projects develop as we move into delivery.” 

Chris Baron, Chair of Connected Coast commented: “We are thrilled that the projects that we have proposed for Skegness and Mablethorpe can now go ahead. 

“We have much to be proud of in Skegness and Mablethorpe, and this multi-million-pound funding for both our towns will allow us to enhance, develop, and improve what we have to offer for both residents and tourists alike.

 “We have shaped these projects based on what we understand our communities need, including from public engagement, and we are now set to deliver a broad array of interventions that will improve leisure, learning, travel, and the overall experiences in our town centres. 

“With the government confirmations, we can now get started on delivering these improvements which will bring enormous benefits in the coming years.” 

Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness said: “The confirmation that Boston and Skegness have secured almost £50 million in Government funding is a reflection not only of the Government-recognised need for ‘Levelling up’ in places like ours but also the quality of the work carried out by both the Boston Town Deal board and the Connected Coast Board.

 “I am confident that the projects selected, which met strict criteria around driving growth through skills, land use and connectivity, will begin to deliver real, visible improvements to our towns- and are only the start of the continued transformational funding this Government has recognised our area needs and deserves.”

Victoria Atkins, MP for Louth and Horncastle said: “I am delighted that these projects have been given the stamp of approval by the Government. This significant milestone brings us closer to shovels being in the ground. The Mablethorpe Towns Deal will bring landmark investment to Mablethorpe and the surrounding area providing new services and attractions. I will continue to work on progressing these projects and those still being considered by Government. I thank all those involved with delivering these projects.”

 Councillor Paul Skinner, Leader of Boston Borough Council said: “This is an exciting time for Boston, as we look to enhance the offering for our communities by providing newly refurbished facilities within the town centre. This will deliver long lasting positive change for Boston and our residents. 

 “These projects will also help meet our corporate ambitions; providing affordable and accessible leisure opportunities for all and to promote Boston’s economy, industry and opportunities.” 

Councillor Craig Leyland, Leader of East Lindsey District Council said: “I am delighted that we have been given the go-ahead by Government for these projects. These will be incredible investments in our towns, with partnerships formed with other organisations. 

“Exciting things are to come and I am really looking forward to these progressing and come to life for the benefit and enjoyment of our local communities and the millions of visitors we welcome to our district for many years to come.”

 The confirmation of the projects comes after government approval was given earlier this year to Boston for the release of £2m in Town Deal funding for the Centre for Food and Fresh Produce Logistics and almost £4m for investment in town centre buildings. £802K was also confirmed for developing the Blenkin Memorial Hall, and £228k for St Botolph’s library and lighting.

And in Skegness, two previously approved projects under the Towns Fund have been completed. The former magistrates court repurposed into a police training facility which will operate across the east of Lincolnshire for the training and continuing professional development of police personnel. And, a new multi-user trail connecting Chapel St Leonards and Ingoldmells to provide a series of cycling, walking and public transport connections.

In addition, Boston, Mablethorpe, and Skegness all received early funding – called accelerated funding of £750k, £500k, and £750k respectively in 2020 to bring projects forward.