Levelling Up Fund £18.4m cash for phase one of the Cleethorpes Masterplan has officially been accepted by North East Lincolnshire Council.
The three elements of phase one will be developed through the summer as a result. They include the redevelopment of Pier Gardens, the transformation of Market Square and a landmark tourism building at Sea Road.
“We are expecting they provide an incentive for further private sector investment,” council leader Cllr Philip Jackson told the Cabinet.
It voted unanimously to accept the Levelling Up Fund money to take the projects to the next stage. He said it was “exciting times” for the resort.
“Cleethorpes is already a thriving resort and these key projects in the heart of the resort will help to diversify the offer and extend the season, something we all want for Cleethorpes, both to support the local economy and local people.
“In terms of the other areas identified in the Masterplan, like North Prom and the Southern end of the resort, we will be looking for opportunities to bring these forward where we can, but more work needs to be done on these with landowners and other parties before we can put forward funding bids.”
The masterplan was developed in 2022 by Hemingway Design after extensive public consultation. There were more than 2,600 responses from people on what they wanted to see in Cleethorpes. This was noted by Cllr Stan Shreeve, deputy leader and portfolio holder for health, wellbeing and adult social care, including its importance to getting the Levelling Up Funds.
“It has to be said, it’s well overdue in Cleethorpes, it’s a good start,” said Cllr Hayden Dawkins, portfolio holder for culture, heritage and the visitor economy, at cabinet. Below is a lowdown of what we know so far about the phase one parts of the masterplan.
All three of these will be developed further through the summer. There will be local engagement for the Pier Gardens and Market Square schemes in particular, while commercial operators are sought for the Sea Road scheme.
A landmark, architecturally significant modern building will be built opposite the Pier. It will provide a new tourism destination, including state-of-the-art public amenities and changing facilities, and commercially lettable space across all building floors.
Sound familiar? This scheme was delayed due to the pandemic. Planning permission was granted for the removal of the former Waves bar and the construction of the new building in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Only part one, the demolition of the former Waves bar, has been done so far. The council has said Sea Road will provide multifunctional retail and gathering spaces for residents and visitors. This will diversify the economy away from concentrating on the tourist trade and create year-round resilience.
Its ground floor will have a tourist information centre, public toilets and beach safety services, and a small commercial venture, like a food kiosk. Larger scale commercial space will be available on the upper floors of the three storey build.
Piers Gardens will be redeveloped and various new activities introduced that will make it more family orientated. There will be quiet areas for reflection too and its historic nature will be kept.
Overall, the aspiration is to make it more accessible, with activities for residents and visitors, and increase the resort’s biodiversity.
In the council’s words, this will see a rejuvenation of the historic square. Space will be added for “social interaction, reconnecting our busy seafront and town centre, creating jobs, and boosting the economy”.
What will this mean in practice? While precise details for this and Pier Gardens are less set out than Sea Road, the masterplan gives vision detail. That called for the square’s pedestrianisation and space made available for outdoor dining, the idea being it becomes an entrance to the town centre from beachside.