April 2, 2020 12.14 pm This story is over 43 months old

“Confident” tourism businesses continue coastal expansion plans in face of coronavirus

Plans for new leisure and tourism attractions are still moving forward

Tourism businesses continue to show “huge confidence” in the county’s coastal economy despite the coronavirus pandemic, council bosses have said.

East Lindsey District Council has continued to receive applications for holiday and caravan park expansions even in the current lockdown conditions.

The government’s decision has seen tourism businesses forced to close their doors to guests, while authorities up and down the country – including in Lincolnshire – have been asking visitors not to come.

Thousands of people flocking to Skegness despite advice about social distancing sparked warnings to guests at the outbreak of coronavirus. Photo: Cygnet House Dental Studio

Applications examined by the authority this week have included:

  • 15 holiday units, reception, exhibition centre and lakes at Helsey Farm in Hogsthorpe
  • Spa facilities including a swimming pool, snow room, golf simulator and 46 new accommodation units including log cabins and caravans at Heron’s Mead Caravan Park in Skegness
  • The expansion of Poplar Farm Caravan Park and Restaurant in Addlethorpe including new pitches alongside reception, shop, laundry and camp welfare facilities. This one has been approved by officers.

James Gilbert, the Assistant Chief Executive told Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines the applications were “highly unlikely” to be built prior to the end of the lockdown if they were approved.

However, he said they were good news for the area’s growth.

“What it shows is huge confidence in the industry we have got that even during these difficult times businesses are preparing for what comes next and how they’re going to go forward from this and grow,” he said.

He added: “There’s also a really important message that our planning department is still very much open for business.”

He said the authority was continuing to validate and examine plans, with some staff working from home, and invited businesses to continue applying.

Officials from Visit Lincoln, Lincolnshire County Council and accountants Duncan and Toplis, recently said billions of pounds could be “wiped out” as a result of the virus.

But Councillor Colin Davie, executive member for economy and place at Lincolnshire County Council, said there was “no reason” why the county would not return better from the pandemic.

In Greater Lincolnshire, tourism generated an estimated £2.4 billion last year with 2.1 million people visiting the county in the summer and spring.

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