'Just what Skegness needs' - reaction as first event for showground is revealed

News: ‘Just what Skegness needs’ – reaction as first event for showground is revealed

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

A hotelier behind plans to bring a new showground to Skegness has promised it will attract big stars, create dozens of new jobs and extend the holiday season.

The new venue will host a variety of events and shows when it launches next year after the major development was granted a five-year trial by East Lindsey District Council on Thursday, September 5.

Russ Sparkes, who is behind the plan, said the showground will take the town to the next level and draw in performers from across the country.

“We’re already looking at bringing some big names to the showground,” the owner of Grosvenor Casinos said.

“It will very much be a mixed bag – we’ll have different events on there all the time.

“The feedback I have got has been 100 per cent positive.”

Russ Sparkes has had plans for a 16-acre showground on the coast approved by East Lindsey District Council
(Image: Lincs Echo)

He added: “It’s given us a good chance to try everything out and work with the neighbours, and the council, on bringing new business to Skegness.

“It’s a new tourist attraction and it will extend the season.

“I think that is very important. People will come into the town for specific events and hopefully they are going to spend time at the showground but also go to the beach and spend a bit of money at the ice cream parlours and the cafes.

“It can only be good for the area.”

The development will create four full-time and 40 part-time jobs, according to Mr Sparkes.

An aerial view of the proposed showground site just off the A158 Burgh Road
(Image: East Lindsey District Council)

The first event will be a celebration for the 75th anniversary of VE day and it will be held from May 8 through May 10 next year.

Mr Sparkes says he is hoping to get the Red Arrows to perform a flyover at the inaugural show.

Officials say the development will give the Lincolnshire coast a massive boost.

Councillor Steve Kirk from East Lindsey District Council said: “The proposed showground will be a huge asset, not just for Skegness but for the whole of the coast.”

Kent Showground
(Image: Kent Live)

Councillor Danny Brookes, of the Skegness Urban District Society party, said: “I think this is just what Skegness needs.

“Obviously the more attractions the better for the town and I am hopeful that big events will bring people into Skegness.

“Extending the season is obviously very important and has got to be a priority. A lot of our residents are in the tourism industry and I am hopeful that it will continue to grow after five years. It will take time to get it to where it can be.

“If it works, it will be as big and successful as the one in Lincoln – that’s the plan.”

Councillors initially proposed a two-year trial for the 16-acre showground over concerns about traffic and neighbouring properties.

A permanent marquee will be erected under the plans, as well as car parking for more than 900 vehicles and a campsite.

Located just off the A158, temporary traffic lights will be installed just outside the showground.

More details on specific attractions and news on the showground, including a full list of events for next year, will be announced by Mr Sparkes at a later date.

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