Have Your Say

The current consultation has been concluded but further surveys will be added as the future of the Pavilion develops. Please watch this space.



New Funding Draws Closer

Skegness Town Council is a step closer to securing the funding needed to build a new community and heritage hub in Tower Gardens on the site of the old Pavilion.

Following the feasibility study, funded by the Coastal Revival Fund, which showed that the 1870s building could not be saved, Skegness Town Council made its application to the Coastal Community Fund (CCF) seeking a £3.5 million investment to replace the old building and bring new life back into this end of Tower Gardens.

As previously indicated the project received overwhelming support from the local community and now the Town Council has been invited to the final stage of the application process by the CCF. If successful, this major investment will be announced in Spring 2017 with construction work commencing in the autumn of next year.

Not only will this provide new facilities and an all year round attraction, but will also provide jobs and boost the local economy.

Strong support shown for the New Pavilion scheme

Consultation commissioned by Skegness Town Council with Skegness Partnership has been undertaken by the independent charity Community Lincs and shows a high level of support for the replacement of the existing dilapidated pavilion with a new purpose built community building.

Both Skegness residents and visitors were consulted throughout the month of June to find out their views on replacing the existing building, potential uses for a new community building and their support for the Town Council submitting a funding bid to the Coastal Communities Fund.  

A total of 374 people responded to the survey both online and at consultation events in the community. These events were held in the Tower Gardens, at the Hildreds Shopping Centre and on Skegness’ main promenade.

Overall 87% of respondents supported the development of a new community building on the site of the old pavilion. Typical of the comments made in support included

‘The modern community type building proposed with upgraded gardens and play facilities outside would be a huge asset to the town for visitors and the local community, particularly out of season’.

All the proposed uses of the new building were well supported with the most popular future use being the Café/tearoom closely followed by the community function and meeting spaces.

A total of 95% of respondents supported the Town Council applying to the Coastal Communities fund for a grant to finance the new build.

You can view the full results below.

You can also see some of the concerns raised during the consultation process. There is a summary below. 

Further Reading

In order to help you understand the options and the reasons that they have been selected as the most obvious choices for the future development of the pavilion we have prepared some background reading. There is some general information, a historical perspective on the pavilion and the present position, including a summary of the surveyor’s report on the current status of the building. Use the buttons below to navigate to the different pages. 

The Future

The potential future for the Tower Garden Pavilion has generated a lot of interest and comment from across the Skegness community over a number of years since it closed to the public. Many of these views were captured by the public consultation undertaken in 2009 and contained in the Focus Consultants (UK) Limited report commissioned by East Lindsey District Council. In subsequent years these views have been reaffirmed and added to by media coverage and the views gathered by the Save the Pavilion Group.

Use the links below to find analysis of the different options and scenarios. You might also want to view some images of the current dilapidations on the gallery page.

  • Vision for the Tower Garden Pavilion

    The themes identified from past consultation were that the existing Pavilion building should be saved if possible and if sustainable. It should be used as a public space providing community benefit. The most popular potential uses identified to be included in this public space for community benefit were:

    • A Museum/Heritage Centre to display the history of Skegness
    • A Gallery/Exhibition space to promote and encourage local artistic creativity
    • A Tea room/Café to service the Tower Gardens and surrounding area
    • A community space for meetings, functions and other events.

    In overall terms the building needs to be a flexible space providing multiple uses and should enhance the area in which it is situated providing a facility for both local and tourist benefit.

  • Any future vision for the Tower Garden Pavilion will have to focus on sustainability. This is the ability of the building to earn an income and cover its costs. The base line is that the building should not be a financial drain on public resources and must pay its own way.

    To achieve this there is a need for a regular income stream coming into the building. This can best be achieved through earning rental income from letting parts of the building to one or more ‘anchor tenants’ on a long term lease basis. This can then be supplemented by earning further income from hiring out the community space for meetings, function and other events. These income streams would then help to subsidies the Museum/Heritage and Gallery/Exhibition spaces.

    This anchor tenancy could in part be the existing Nursey which has indicated it would like to continue at the premises. To this could be added a tenant for the Tea room/Café but these two anchors alone would be insufficient to produce a sustainable income. The best option for further income would be to offer office accommodation and in particular this could include the Town Council who have indicated a potential need to relocate from their present premises.

    On the cost side the building would need to minimise running costs with particular emphasis on energy and maintenance costs.

  • The big issue and one that many people have focused on is can the existing building be saved and if so can it be made to work to provide the facilities that will make it sustainable into the future?

    The qualified answer to this is it could be saved, at a very high renovation cost, but it wouldn’t have the flexible facilities to generate sufficient income to make it sustainable. The recently completed building survey, commissioned by the Skegness Partnership, has produced disturbing findings. There has been a major deterioration in the fabric of the building to the point that renovation costs would be at least equal to new build costs and this is before any hidden problems have been unearthed. Additionally to generate the levels of income required to aid sustainability there would be a need to build additional office space at the rear which would take costs above those of a new build.

    On top of this the renovated building would not provide the flexible space or the range of facilities needed to generate the income levels required and the running costs of the renovated building would still be too high to make it sustainable. The sad conclusion is that the existing building is not viable.

    In summary the problems with the existing building include:

    • High renovations costs estimated at least £1.4m
    • Anticipated additional hidden renovation issues leading to risk of cost creep
    • Additional new build required at rear to accommodate income generating offices
    • Lack of flexible layout to accommodate the ‘vision’ use for the building
    • Running cost would remain comparatively high
    • Building maintenance would be ongoing and expensive
    • Council requirements would be compromised and therefore would not consider being an “Anchor Occupier”
  • There are some sustainability attractions to creating a new building and in summary these would include:

    • A building designed for the purpose intended, able to accommodate the needs identified in the visioning for the Pavilion.
    • A building designed with the facilities to generate a potential sustainable income in mind
    • Anticipated lower new build costs which would be easier to quantify and predict
    • Anticipated lower running costs which would aid sustainability
    • Anticipated lower maintenance costs which would again aid sustainability
    • The potential for a new building suitable for the next 100 years
    • The potential for a building to provide an architectural statement which could enhance the Tower Gardens and attract locals and visitors alike
  • Option 1 – Take it no further

    The existing building can only be retained if a sustainable development and operational plan can be identified. Skegness Partnership and the Town Council have undertaken a feasibility study on the Pavilion and the results indicate there is no viable option for creating a sustainable operation from the existing building. On this basis neither of these organisations can commit to the risk of developing the existing building. With no viable option to save the building available, East Lindsey District Council, the owners of the building, will have to decide on the future of the site. This could include leaving the site as it currently is, but this would lead to an increasing health and safety risk as the existing building continues to deteriorate. Or they could demolish the building and leave the site vacant or sell the site for development.

    Option 2 – Develop a new build for the community

    The feasibility work indicates that a new build could be designed to incorporate many of the usage requirements that the community have identified for the building over the past 7 years, together with those income generating elements that would be required to sustain the running of the building in the future. The new build would include Community space, together with a Heritage Centre and Exhibition areas all supported by the income generating activities including a Nursery, Tea Room, Community Enterprise Units and Office Lets, forming anchor tenants.

    It is believe that such a building could have a transformational impact on the long neglected site in Tower Gardens and also increase the future vitality of the public open space. There is considerable potential benefit to Skegness. New jobs and a boost to the local economy, particularly at either side of the main season by increasing footfall are all expected outcomes.

    The District Council have indicated their willingness to consider an asset transfer of the Pavilion to the Town Council on the basis of a new build option with a sustainable development and operational plan.

    For its part the Town Council would be prepared, under this option, to take on responsibility and management of the new building.

    At this stage it is proposed that Grant Funding will be sought to cover the Capital costs. If this is to be successful, it is important that there is support from the community and therefore you are urged to show your support if you want this to go ahead.

  • An architect has been commissioned to produce some indicative drawings and images of how a new build could look. 



The current consultation has been concluded but further surveys will be added as the future of the Pavilion develops. Please watch this space.