Town Centre Improvement Plan Update
The Forum will receive a
presentation from the Town Centre Improvement Plan Co-ordinator to
update on the Town Centre Improvement Plan.
The Town Centre Improvement
Plan Co-ordinator presented an update on the Town Centre
Improvement Plan, highlighting the following points:
- Lots of work was
taking place within the 5 sub-groups of the steering
- The Business, Markets
and Independent Retail Group were exploring the potential of a
Business Improvement District and appointing a retail advisor to
assist independent retailers across the district. They had also
overseen the running of Shop Local prize draws in November and
December and were also seeking investors who may be interested in
the vacant buildings in the town centre. The Recovery and Growth
Grant had supported businesses across the District, and the Council
was currently rolling out an Omicron grant for leisure and
hospitality businesses. They were also working on providing
independent business promotion videos which allowed businesses to
showcase their offer.
- The Environment,
Public Realm and Heritage Group had instigated a district wide deep
clean by the Environmental Services Team, working with the
Procurement Team. They were looking at
specialist pest control companies to help with the pigeon problem
in the town centre, an improvement scheme for the public toilets
around the district, and were exploring further funding
opportunities for town centre improvements.
- The Events, Culture,
Promotion and Awareness Group had overseen the Pumpkin Festival and
Christmas celebration events. They were also working with
Transported who had recently received an £800k grant from the
Arts Council to provide Spalding Super Saturday events in the town
centre and they had sent a list of attractions to Visit
Lincolnshire to add onto their website.
- The Travel, Transport
and Accessibility Group had consulted with the County Council on
how to make the town centre more accessible for cyclists and
pedestrians and lobbied LCC to influence their bus service
- The Economy and
Skills Group were working on improving Boston College’s offer
at their Spalding Campus to help improve footfall in the town
centre. It was proposed that further business start-up space be
provided in the Campus building on the digital skills hub which had
opened in May 2021, and they were also looking to offer a range of
- Lots of important
work was taking place simultaneously to improve both Spalding and
Holbeach town centres.
The following points were
raised by Members of the Forum:
- Concern was raised
about M&Co closing down as the
management had been open to staying in Spalding but couldn’t
find any premises. Had the Council given them any advice?
- Officers confirmed
that the Economic Development Team were working closely with the
M&Co manager to identify vacant
premises that may be suitable.
- What were the chances
of M&Co remaining in
- Officers responded
that they were keen to ensure that the business stayed within the
- There had been an
article in The Voice which suggested that the Johnson Water
Fountain would be placed in Ayscoughfee
Gardens - was this true?
Grocock, Portfolio Holder for Assets
and Planning, responded that the relocation of the fountain was an
issue that he had been aware of for a number of years. It had originally been taken down to allow the new
WW2 memorial to stand next to the WW1 memorial in Ayscoughfee Gardens. Officers had looked into
several options for the relocation of the Johnson Water Fountain,
and Ayscoughfee had been picked due to
the Johnson sisters having lived at Ayscoughfee Hall. A space had been identified for
the fountain in a prominent place within the gardens and a heritage
sign would be placed in front of it to explain its history., but a
planning application would first have to be submitted..
Grocock had been made aware that the
Civic Society had started a petition to have the fountain placed
back in the town centre but stated that the fountain could not be
relocated there due to its original lead piping which could cause
health and safety problems, and there were safety concerns with
placing it back in the town centre.
- Some members
commented that other towns and cities had brought back old water
fountains, so it was disappointing that Spalding wasn’t able
to do the same.
- Concern was raised
that there had been no public engagement around the issue and no
discussion with the Civic Society.
- The Chairman advised
that it would be wise to wait and see the public reaction to the
- It was suggested that
shops could open later on a Sunday in the summertime - was this
something that could be trialled?
- Officers responded
that they would look into this issue.
- There had recently
been an article in a local newspaper which had stated that the cost
to the Council to keep the markets running was £200k per
annum - how was this possible?
- Officers did not have
the information available during the meeting but would circulate
further information after the meeting.