Construction work on the long-awaited Tower Gardens Pavilion is now complete, bringing new inclusive community facilities to Skegness. Midlands contractor G F Tomlinson delivered the design and construction of the building via the Scape Regional Construction framework, for Skegness Town Council.
Works to transform the disused site began in May 2019 following the demolition of the existing Tower Gardens Pavilion, most recently occupied as the Inn on the Park public house – which closed in 2007. The original pavilion dates back to 1879, and historically provided the town’s largest dance, party and concert accommodation.
Now a mixed-use community building, the development features a multi-purpose function room and event space, a changing places hygiene suite, Council offices and a café. The new facilities will be enjoyed by the local community and tourists alike – as part of the Council’s ambition to transform Skegness into an inclusive environment and workplace, as well as a vibrant place to visit.
The £1.6m project led by Skegness Town Council has been supported by the community who have been involved throughout the project. This included the design and naming process, which was chosen by a local resident thanks to a competition organised by the Council. A 100-year time capsule containing modern-day items also lies at the site, provided by G F Tomlinson and buried by local school children during the build.
The Council offices will open in the Tower Gardens Pavilion in April, following the setup of the community café – Café Dansant, which is expected to open to the general public in May. The name ‘Café Dansant’ dates back to the 1920s and has a known history in Skegness, having originally been a café on Tower Esplanade. The name was chosen following a suggestion by a member of the public who presented an interest in its historic origins.
Skegness Town Council is currently looking to recruit a café manager and over the coming months will be working to deliver the Council’s Café Business Plan, develop menus, build the café team and develop community engagement. The café will be an intrinsic part of the new Pavilion and gardens, with revenue helping to offset the costs of the new building and maintain the gardens for all to enjoy.
Craig Stopper, framework construction manager at G F Tomlinson, said: “We’re thrilled that works on the Tower Gardens Pavilion are now complete, giving a once neglected space in the heart of Skegness a revival.
“Throughout the project, we have seen a positive response from the community who have played a huge part in bringing the site back to life. Now complete, we hope it will provide an enjoyable and inclusive space for both local residents and visitors to the seaside town.”
Town clerk Steve Larner said: “It is so exciting to actually have the building and know the Council’s plans are coming to life. For us though, it is where the hard work begins as we have to turn plans and visions into reality. This building is simply a fantastic resource for the community, with the café and hall looking amazing. Everyone here is thrilled to be taking this forward and can’t wait to get the building open later this year.”
Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: “The way we use public spaces has significantly changed in the recent past. By replacing the derelict Tower Gardens Pavilion, Skegness Town Council is creating a community space that will meet the needs of many and bring investment to the local area. By procuring through the Scape framework the project was effectively delivered with speed, efficiency and socio-economics at its heart.”
G F Tomlinson delivered the Tower Gardens Pavilion project alongside Gleeds and Core Architects.