Changing times

By | Category: Travel destinations

What facilities do children want today. Image © Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre

The news that the Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre in the Lincolnshire seaside resort of Mablethorpe is to close bringing an end to a link between the two counties which stretches back 120 years.

Towards the end of Queen Victoria’s reign a charity was formed to send disadvantaged Leicestershire children on holiday. In those days the seaside was where you holidayed, hence the link the Mablethorpe. Since 1989 it has sent around 60,000 children away on holiday.

But the facilities the charity had in the town have barely changed from the heyday of the seaside holiday.  Marea Roberts, from the charity said, “We’ve always prided ourselves on the old-fashioned seaside holiday, but some modern children, especially those aged around nine or 10, are perhaps looking for a little bit more adventure.” Other locations provided more facilities and the charity didn’t have the money – estimated at £100,000 – to bring the buildings up to that standard it thinks it should provide today and even if it did it believed that it could only survive for another five years at the site.

Does this mean the old-fashioned seaside resort doesn’t appeal to today’s youth? As another two generations pass on will the seaside holiday be dead in another fifty years?

What it means is that seaside towns have to change. Many have done so and the grants from the Coastal Communities Fund enable older resorts to bring facilities up to date and to introduce the sort of activities that youth want. There is £90 million of new funding available for the period 2017/18 to 2020/21 so could the charity have made an appeal to that?

Just as Butlins changed the idea of UK holiday breaks and then Center Parcs updated it so new changes are needed.

The charity will continue to send disadvantaged children on holiday fulfilling a useful community role but just not to its own Mablethorpe.

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