Ambitious plans – including improved leisure facilities, investment in Grantham Market and gateway improvements – were revealed at an economic summit held by South Kesteven District Council yesterday evening (Monday).
Attended by more than 180 people at Stoke Rochford Hall, the event was an oportunity for the council’s leadership – which swept into power in April – to lay out its district-wide proposals.
Leader of SKDC Councillor Matthew Lee announced a string of plans to boost the economy by £1.2bn to £3.9 billion by 2040, as part of a new strategy called InvestSK.
Coun Lee told the audience that it was “time to stop talking about change and start delivering it” but said it could not be achieved without the support of businesses, adding: “We shouldn’t be passive and wish you good luck. We can partner with you.”
He added that £40 million would be invested by the district council in making the plans a reality – with the hope of having them all completed or under way by 2020.
Among the plans for Grantham was: a heritage quarter stretching from St Wulfram’s Church to “the railway arches in Westgate”; improvements to leisure facilities including the Guildhall Arts Centre; work to the appearance of key gateways to the town including the approach from the railway station and A1 north; investment in Grantham Market; and work to improve the tourism offer.
Mention was made of the southern relief road which is under way, with Coun Lee highlighting its importance to secure the building of the 3,500-home ‘garden village’ off Spittlegate Level.
Also taking to the podium were InvestSK economic development lead Steve Bowyer, chairman of the Greater Lincolnshire Learning and Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Ursula Lidbetter and chairman of the Great Cambridge and Greater Peterborough LEP Mark Reeve.
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** For more details and a full reaction, see Friday’s paper.