A Lincolnshire MP has joined forces with local authorities and business owners to call for the season to be extended in Skegness to cover the Christmas period.
Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness, has led Lincolnshire County Council, East Lindsey District Council and local businesses in saying they want to see more caravan parks opening for longer to allow caravan owners to enjoy the Christmas season at the resort.
The idea of a longer season in the coastal town was a Conservative party manifesto commitment at ELDC and Mr Warman says that as coastal economic growth is central to Lincolnshire County Council’s future plans, there is plenty of political will behind the idea.
Extending the season in Skegness and the surrounding area is a crucial part of our shared ambition to double the value of the coastal economy over the coming years.Matt Warman MP, Boston and Skegness
He said businesses would also see the economic benefits of extending the season, which would provide a boost to the local economy and local jobs.
Mr Warman said: “Extending the season in Skegness and the surrounding area is a crucial part of our shared ambition to double the value of the coastal economy over the coming years.
“In the past few weeks I’ve had very productive meetings with council leaders, the Environment Agency and others, and it is clear that there is real willingness to work together to achieve this shared aim.
“I am, of course, acutely aware of the need to ensure the safety of those using the parks over Christmas, particularly from more severe weather conditions, so it is vital that we ensure that evacuation plans and other safety measures are at the centre of our plans.
“In the coming months I am committed to working together with agencies and local authorities to do all I can to see improvements and improved consistency in when sites are able to open.”
The Christmas holiday is one of the busiest of the year and one that we should take full advantage of.Councillor Steve Kirk, East Lindsey District Council
Councillor Steve Kirk, portfolio holder for the coastal economy at East Lindsey District Council backed the idea.
He said: “I wholeheartedly support the announcements made by Matt Warman, the MP for Boston and Skegness. I, like Matt, firmly believe that allowing caravan parks to open longer would offer a significant boost to our local economy.
“The Christmas holiday is one of the busiest of the year and one that we should take full advantage of. Having already had meetings myself with site owners, planners and the Environment Agency I appreciate the many concerns around safety that must be addressed however, I also get a feeling that there is a strong desire by many to see this type of season extension happen.”
The Environment Agency said it would continue to work and advise the planning authority on flood risk in the area.
Councillor Colin Davie, executive councillor for economic development, environment, strategic planning and tourism at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “On behalf of the County Council I welcome this initiative from Matt Warman and he will have our full support in bringing together all interested parties who wish to increase the economic vibrancy of our coastline, so that it can play its full part in growing the Lincolnshire economy for future generations.
“Whilst there are many challenges for all coastal communities caused by climate change, we must strive harder so these communities can grow and economically contribute to their future success.”
A meeting will take place between Mr Warman, the councils, the Environment Agency and businesses in the new year to discuss the next steps in the plan.