Economic development experts at Focus Consultants and architects Guy Taylor Associates have been appointed to draw up ideas to improve the foreshore of one of the UK’s popular seaside towns.
Skegness has a long tradition as a holiday resort, not least as the first location for the Butlins chain, built in 1936. Now the seafront is looking forward to improvements which aim to boost Skegness’s appeal as an all year-round visitor destination, thanks to concepts being drawn up by economic development consultants Focus Consultants and heritage architects, Guy Taylor Associates.
In late 2017, areas of Skegness foreshore were awarded ‘Registered Park and Garden Status’ and the area is now classed as Grade II listed.
The listing opened the potential to attract grant funding to support schemes that can improve the appearance of the area and East Lindsey District Council has appointed Focus Consultants in partnership with Guy Taylor Associates to refresh the Foreshore Masterplan with a series of investment ideas and to develop a detailed Design Manual for the foreshore to help attract grants.
The Design Manual will provide detailed guidelines on both the appearance and permitted materials for everything from the kerbs to street lighting, ensuring that future development builds on Skegness’s natural assets and stands the test of time.
It will identify improvements that can be made to street furniture, signage, colour schemes and paths, as well as considering opportunities to improve layout to benefit traffic and pedestrians.
Partner at Nottingham-based Focus Consultants, Heather Frecklington, said: “Skegness is such a well-known seaside town, which has been popular with generations of holidaymakers and day trippers, and we are very pleased to be involved in the plans to improve the foreshore area.
“Experts at Focus Consultants have worked with many councils and organisations to breathe new life into areas and create inspiring, attractive schemes, and we are looking forward to sharing the ideas that ourselves and Guy Taylor Associates are developing.”
Paul Stanton, Director, Guy Taylor Associates, Derby said: “We are taking into account all the existing natural and built heritage in the area, as well as how people use the area – for recreation, shopping and traditional seaside activities, such as donkey rides – as well as considering practical elements like seating and cycle parks.
“We hope that the refreshed Masterplan and new Design Manual will ensure that the resort continues to offer a memorable experience, as well as being accessible to everyone long into the future.”
Portfolio Holder for the Coastal Economy, Councillor Steve Kirk, said: “I think it’s fair to say that Skegness foreshore is in need of investment. By undertaking this work now, the Council is positioning the resort to be able to make funding applications when grant schemes open. We all know Skegness is one of the UK’s leading resorts, with visitor numbers to the area increasing year on year. We must ensure that continues.”
Organisations involved in running Skegness as a successful seaside resort will be invited to have their input in the project once the initial ideas have been drawn up. The suggestions from Focus Consultants and Guy Taylor Associates are expected to be handed to the Council in the coming weeks.
Focus, which has branches in London, Leicester, Newark and Boston, has secured for clients more than £1 billion of grants for projects and businesses across the UK and delivered more than £1.9 billion worth of projects and programmes since it was founded in 1994 – making it one of the most successful businesses of its kind in the country.
The company also offers a range of services to the property and construction industry, including building surveying, project management and sustainable development support.
Guy Taylor Associates provides architecture, master planning, visualisation, planning, heritage and landscape consultancy services to clients across the commercial, retail, public, leisure, tourism, hospitality and charity sectors, as well as to private individuals.
Founded in 1969 by Newark-based architect, Guy Taylor, the company now employs 15 staff across its four regional offices in Sheffield, Manchester, Derby and Manchester.