The vision to make Cleethorpes a year-round resort is definitely achievable, the leader of North East Lincolnshire Council has said.
Four in five people said they didn’t think the masterplan proposals would become a reality in a recent online survey. Councillor Philip Jackson says he understands the doubts, but is confident change will come.
Of the 229 survey participants, 75 per cent said they backed the plans to transform Cleethorpes and make it the top resort on the Lincolnshire coast. However, only 20 per cent were confident that would happen.
Councillor Jackson also welcomed calls for a skatepark, a live entertainment venue and a pedestrianised market place, which are already in the masterplan. The document was put together after consultation with more than 2,600 local people and is set to direct investment for the next few decades.
“I understand the scepticism that it won’t happen. There have been a lot of masterplans in North East Lincolnshire over the years that haven’t come to much,” he said.
“This plan was focused on producing ideas that are relatively deliverable though. There are discreet projects that can be used to apply for grant funding or attract private investment. It is not going to happen over night, but they are achievable.
“We are looking at putting in a bid for Levelling Up funding to move some of the projects forward next year. This is a strong, holistic view for the resort which will hopefully attract government funding.”
The council leader also responded to suggestions from survey participants that the resort only needed some ‘TLC’ rather than major changes.
“I agree with the assessment that the North Promenade is most in need of regeneration and major changes. Other areas, like the Central Prom and the South Beach, are pretty good as they are and need less changes. It is a case of making smaller improvements there,” he said.
“I am glad to see support for a skate park on the North Promenade as that is one of the ideas for that location, particularly now it’s an Olympic sport. There’s also support for pedestrianising the Market Place and avoiding it from being a car park.
“People also said they wanted to see more small niche shops – that is one of Cleethorpes’ strengths and we will certainly encourage. Similarly, there are plans from private investors in the works for the former Pleasure Island site, so hopefully something will happen there.”
Wayne Hemingway MBE, the award-winning designer who has put together the masterplan, believes the town has got “more opportunity than any other place I have worked before.” He added at the plan’s unveiling: “The positivity from the suggestions has been a designer’s dream.”