I was very pleased to read Alison Robson’s article on St Catherine’s and Shirley Croft.
I am not in favour of demolishing old, beautiful and historic properties, but if we must, we need to make sure what we replace it with is of a high standard and truly benefits the community.
The four-storey apartment building is massive and out of character for the area. The development would only support one long-term employee as a building manager. It provides only 1 per cent affordable housing (should be up to 35 per cent), and with high fees, simply lines the pockets of a property developer.
My idea for St Catherine’s House may not be favoured by all in Grantham, but I do think it would bring in visitors who would spend time and money exploring the town.
This is what businesses need: multiple reasons for visitors.
Due to the current quality of shops in the town centre, we are unable to compete with Newark and other towns for local visitors.
A Margaret Thatcher museum would attract more visitors from outside the area, and maybe even foreign visitors.
Couple that with the Sir Isaac Newton museum in Woolsthorpe, the re-opening of Grantham Museum, local stately homes, a walking tour to Living Health and St Wulframs, and easy access via rail and road, I think this idea is viable.
I am told that St Catherine’s House was used during WWII by Camden High School girls evacuating from London, and temporarily attending KGGs when Margaret Thatcher was there.
So there is a connection with her. St Catherine’s House has enough land for parking and maybe even a small modern extension. It is close to the town centre and the rail station. The Living Health store I think is too small for a museum, has no parking and is already a viable business at the moment.
I have read the debate in the Journal about whether or not to commemorate Lady Thatcher. I know that most either love or hate her, but we need to take every opportunity to promote Grantham and its history and assets.
There is no Thatcher museum in the UK. Grantham is a logical choice and should take advantage of what it could do.
Please contact me. I am trying to build support for this idea. Talking to local councillors and MP Nick Boles for advice. I am willing to start this process.