Further investment for Spalding town centre to continue Council’s improvement plan

Further investment for Spalding town centre to continue Council’s improvement plan

Members of South Holland District Council’s Cabinet have approved new proposals to invest a further £282k into four areas of Spalding town centre, building on the £250k improvement budget approved for the town in November 2019.

Since the original town centre improvement plan was agreed, the Council has worked with a steering group of local representatives, partners and businesses to identify potential uses for the budget, and to use the funds available as the foundations to attract and unlock further investment, national support and funding moving forwards.

Successful projects carried out so far using the budget have included:

• Investment in enhancing existing town events, such as the Pumpkin Festival and Christmas Celebration, and creating new events to encourage footfall

• Support for a successful bid to Arts Council England, bringing a share of £2million into the District

• A £30,000 investment in enhancing the offer at Ayscoughfee Café, alongside Government ‘Changing Places’ funding

• Investment in refurbishment works at public toilet facilities in the town centre and at Spalding bus station

• Work with the business community to explore the potential for more formalised business-led partnership for the town

• Providing high street businesses with free access to professional support and advice on how to maximise their use of social media and promote their online presence.

The steering group has also used the funds to submit a £250,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund bid to help develop better wayfinding and heritage trails in Spalding, and to work with local partners Transported on another £35,000 Arts Council England bid, based around working with residents to brighten up and improve the appearance of the town centre.

Work is also ongoing with private property owners to encourage improvements to the physical appearance of numerous town centre properties, as has recently taken place with the Betfred building in Hall Place.

Special events have also given a notable boost to footfall and local trade, with over 23,000 people attending the Pumpkin Festival, Spring into Spalding and Christmas Celebration events in total. The December event in particular saw an increase in visitors to the town centre of up to 87% compared to the previous week, with several town centre traders praising the positive impact they have seen.

Building on the work so far, the Council’s Cabinet have today approved a report proposing a further investment of just over £280k for Spalding town centre, made up of existing town centre budget, as well as s106 funding from Springfields and Broadgate Homes’ Holland Park development.

These new funds will focus on bringing about improvements to four areas of public realm, planting and seating within the town centre. This would include work to street furniture, planters, trees and public seating in Hall Place, Double Street / Bridge Street, New Road / Swan Street and Red Lion Street.

Councillor Rodney Grocock, portfolio holder for Spalding town improvement said: “I am delighted with the progress that we are continuing to make towards improving Spalding town centre, working with a fraction of the budget that nearby, similar towns have received.

“A huge amount of work and effort has gone into maximising the resources that we have available, and putting plans and foundations in place moving forwards. We are already seeing new funding successes, attracting increased footfall through our events, building important relationships with local businesses and providing improved facilities and amenities for shoppers and workers.

“I hope that, through this additional investment by the Council, we will be able to further improve the visitor experience and visual appearance of our town centre, addressing a key concern regularly raised by residents.”

One of Spalding town centre’s key businesses, Coneys Designer Wear, has welcomed the work so far by the Council and the future plans. Scott Crowson, managing director, said: “As a newer business in Spalding, it has been great to see the Council actively involved in trying to encourage visitors to the town centre and to provide local businesses with support where possible.

“Especially on days when events have taken place we have seen some fantastic footfall and a really great atmosphere throughout the town. We’re really pleased to see further proposals put forward to continue this work and support traders into the future.”

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