Gainsborough all set for growth

Words by:
Glynis Fox
Featured in:
September 2023

Glynis Fox looks at how Government Levelling Up funds of £10 million promises to help regenerate Gainsborough town centre – boosting employment and supercharging economic growth.

The money, reported earlier this year, will be used for projects designed to boost employment and kick-start economic growth, so what is the town looking like now, while locals and visitors await further changes?

It is true to say that the town has its fair share of empty units – and its appearance has taken a hit with the closure of major banks, which have historically been housed in some of the town’s most architecturally-interesting buildings, but these could get re-let or sold in the future.

In the meantime, the town centre itself and Marshall’s Yard provide plenty of good reasons to take a closer look and check out newer arrivals, and what the town’s longer-standing businesses are offering.

Wander around and you will find well-known traders, such as family-run Horsleys Ltd and Teasdales the bakers, which are based in Church Street, along with fashion outlet Barron Bou!

This street is also home to service businesses, including a barber’s shop and a dry cleaners/launderette, along with foodie outlets serving everything from Indian and Bangladeshi dishes to takeaway pizza.

If you are doing a “big shop” for the home, Horsleys – which was established in 1902, is likely to be worth a closer look. That’s because it sells carpets, furniture, white goods and more, so you could find most of what you need under one roof.

The team says it takes pride in continuing the legacy of founder Jonathon Fowler Horsley and strives to provide its service “the Horsley way” for generations to come.

If you enjoy tracking down interesting antiques and collectables, take a wander down Lord Street, where you can also enjoy a quick coffee stop.

If you divert and walk down Flag Alley, you will find yourself in the Market Square and notice a large area where the Lindsey Centre once stood. That has now been cleared to make way for the development of a new Savoy Cinema.

Businesses in the Market Place include a High Street chemist, an opticians and the community shop Bread & Roses, which is open seven days a week.

Bread & Roses’ team is determined to do all it can to tackle the cycle of poor health, poverty and social isolation that affect many families, by providing a variety of solutions.

The shop is open to all, sells a variety of goods, and operates a membership scheme. Its community fridge takes donations or sells off perfectly good food, preventing it needlessly going to waste.

In addition, it offers voluntary training or development opportunities, offering hope to people who are looking for work or wanting a way in which they can give back to the community.

Excitingly, summertime has seen another shop open in the Market Place, after the premises were revitalised thanks to West Lindsey District’s Townscape Heritage Scheme and it’s great news for anyone who loves sewing and needlecrafts.

Townscape Heritage grants are financed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Levelling Up Fund.

At the helm of The Fabric Place is Moji Sanni (57), who has been in the haberdashery business for 25 years and has had stores in Market Harborough, Kettering, Corby, Stamford and Oakham. She has made her move with the aim of condensing her five stores into one.

“This was the only property to which I was attracted. The others were not what I was looking for. I knew this place was for me and that I was destined to be here,” she said.

Moji wants her new place to be a one-stop shop where people can pick up patterns, fabric, thread, buttons or zips, as needed. Her enterprise has already been warmly welcomed, but there’s more good news to come!

“I will eventually be offering lessons, such as sewing classes, making fascinators, bags, dresses and much more. We are still in the early stages but we are concentrating on getting it all up and then we will be good to go.”

Councillor Jeanette McGhee expressed her congratulations to the new owner and said how important it is to the regeneration of the Market Place.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see all the hard work that has gone into making the shop beautiful. It’s important that we are restoring the heritage of our town centre that we know our community is incredibly proud of.”

Townscape Heritage Officer Jonathan Lee said: “The grants enabled the reinstatement of architectural
features, such as the traditional wooden shopfront and hand-painted sign, plus repair of brickwork, replacement of damaging cement mortar with lime mortar pointing, replacement of cement damaged stonework, as well as overhauling original wooden sash windows.”

Nearby Silver Street is the ideal place to meet friends for a meal or liquid refreshments. There’s a choice of pubs and those who hanker after mouth-watering dessert will find themselves irresistibly drawn to Sweet Caroline’s – the home of tasty crêpes, delicious ice cream and more inviting treats.

through the Market Place and into Market Street to find the town’s post office and Lindsey Pre-Loved – a bright and cheerful charity shop bursting with colourful clothing, accessories and gifts. Other businesses along this street include The Meat Storr and a school uniforms outlet.

It’s a short walk from here to Marshall’s Yard – which has been a popular destination serving the North Lincolnshire region for more than 16 years.

What has become apparent to the Centre Management team more recently is that the centre has also become a top choice for shoppers from across the East Midlands and beyond.

Shopper analysis has indicated that regular shoppers hail from Lincoln, Newark and Grimsby, and the centre has been praised for its appearance, choice of shops, welcoming ambience and cheap parking.

Gainsborough’s Levelling Up funds of £10 million are destined to supercharge the town centre.

The money will be put to use in various ways to boost employment and kick-start economic growth through projects including:
• A new four-screen cinema and retail space
• The transformation of the town hall into a new enterprise hub
The funding will also upgrade the town centre by:
• Improving historic shopfronts
• Creating quality residential flats

Green spaces developed from the funding also promise to bring health benefits for residents. Improvements include:
• New trees planted to reduce the carbon footprint
• More green space on the Baltic Mill site
• Regeneration of the existing park

Linked walkways to the river will improve accessibility and connectivity through the town.

Make a note in your diary to ensure you don’t miss two special events taking place in the Market Place in September.

Look out for the Literature Village market, which is taking place on 9th September (at the usual Farmers’ and Crafts Market, which will also have its Vegan Corner). It’s unmissable for booklovers and is being brought to the town by the Newark Book Festival.

The area will host a Literature Village with market stalls dedicated to all things book-related. Expect to see and hear authors and poets promoting their work, with readings and storytelling.

There will also be publishers, booksellers, book illustrators, craft makers and book-themed products.
Earthbound Misfits’ fantastical Crab and Crum will also be appearing along with the market traders and the Literature Village, to trade their weird and wonderful wares. Watch out for their amazing bicycle-machine!

On Saturday 16th September, from 9am to 3pm, a huge outdoor fair will appear in the Market Place. People will be able to see demonstrations by those working in traditional crafts, conservation and decorative arts and learn about their processes. (This will be followed by a week of bookable workshops.)

West Lindsey District Council is also keen to hear from people who are working in the field of traditional building crafts, makers of traditional items, experts in decorative arts, restoration and conservation, and is offering them the chance to demonstrate their skills at this event.

A spokesperson said: “We offer a covered market stall with a 9ft x 5ft footprint for their display.

Alternatively, they may pitch their own tent/marquee or request an open-air space for their display.

“Joining us at the Heritage Skills Festival is FREE of charge! What we ask from people is a willingness to demonstrate their skills and/or allow visitors to try it themselves. They are welcome to sell items they have made themselves too.”

Walters Opticians is a family run business which opened its doors in the heart of Gainsborough 24 years ago.

Keeping up with regular eye exams is extremely important and Walters offers many services at both practices including:
• Private and NHS eye examinations
• Contact lens clinics with access to the best contact lenses available, which suit all individual lives and budgets
• Tear clinics specialising in Dry Eye
• Colorimetry/Visual stress tests
• A huge selection of designer brands for both ophthalmic and sunglass frames such as Gucci, Tom Ford and Dior.

“In our Gainsborough Practice we have invested in a Heidelberg OCT retinal scanning machine, used for all examinations. The machine takes detailed scans of the back of the eye – we also use the machine for private extended scans for a more in-depth investigation. And as an independent optician we make sure that we offer the very top-quality lenses on the market. We proudly offer Essilor lenses, the world’s leading brand for varifocals. We can offer a Varilux lens which is a bespoke lens made uniquely for you.”

34-36 Market Place, Gainsborough DN21 2BY, Tel: 01427 616505 or contact

Don’t miss your chance to be part of a new exclusive rural park life community.

SITUATED in a tranquil private setting on the edge of the rural village of Blyton, Blyton Ponds is an exclusive new over 50s pet-friendly development of eight luxury residential park homes.
Set in four acres of beautiful parkland, complete with private fishing ponds, here you can be part of an exclusive community and enjoy meeting new friends and making the most of relaxing in the peaceful surroundings.
Three homes have already been completed and sold, while the fourth, a stunning show home is now also for sale and available for viewing, with four further plots for the modular homes planned.
Each of the eight beautifully designed residential park homes come fully furnished in a contemporary and modern style with eco-friendly boilers in line with the government’s new building regulations to be introduced in 2025.
Priced from £245,000, each “bungalow style” home features two bedrooms and two bathrooms with spacious lounge area and kitchen diner complete with essential “white goods” appliances providing the ultimate stress-free turnkey property.
Customers buying off plan can also choose the colour of their kitchen cabinets, worktops, curtains, carpets and sofas. This is included in the cost quoted to you when buying, although there may be an extra charge for certain changes.
Residents also have exclusive use of a communal outdoor kitchen area complete with BBQ, pizza oven and smoker. Enjoy dining al fresco, or spend leisurely evenings with friends under the covered outdoor seating area and gazebo.
Each home has a small private garden, which is laid to lawn with fencing on both sides and there is a parking space for two vehicles and room for a small shed in the rear garden.
All new park homes are built to BS3632 (2015) and have a 10-year structural and chassis guarantee, in line with any new build home. Blyton Ponds offer a part exchange service where you could be in before Christmas.

Enjoy the quiet of the countryside as well as the excitement of exploring the local area, with lots to see and do around our beautiful park.

From countryside walks and gardens, to wildlife and shopping, an hourly bus service takes you to Gainsborough or Scunthorpe where there are transport links to Lincoln train station.

The village of Blyton has a general store, post office, a take-away and two pubs, as well as an ice cream parlour with daytime café.

Look out for news about Blyton Ponds’ Open Day this month (September).

To arrange a viewing with no obligation, tel: 01427 628240.

For more information visit

Situated on Ropery Road, Spokes is a luxurious independent coffee shop with a reputation for serving outstanding quality coffee and home-made dishes using the freshest ingredients, many from their very own vegetable garden. The welcoming team at this relaxing family and dog-friendly coffee shop – which is popular with cyclists too – pride themselves on delivering first-class service with a smile.

Here you can enjoy a delicious selection of sandwiches, wraps, cakes, scones, teacakes and traybakes, plus a fabulous lunch menu, with vegan and vegetarian options. Among some of the favourite cake choices are Biscoff and fudge, vegan blueberry and lemon and GF St Clement’s cake. Don’t miss the selection of beverages including bespoke coffees, tea, milkshakes, soft drinks and alcoholic refreshments.

If you’re tight on time, make the most of Spokes’ speedy and efficient takeaway service, available from their front window. Spokes is open Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am to 3.30pm.

For more information tel: 01427 671024 or find Spokes on Facebook/spokescoffeeshop2a/

Equine welfare charity Bransby Horses has partnered with Bequeathed to make it as easy as possible, to make or update a will – and it’s completely free, regardless of whether you leave a donation.

In order to be able to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome all of the horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that need help, Bransby Horses rely entirely on donations from the public.

In fact legacies – also known as gifts in wills – represent 69 per cent of their yearly income and provide funding for three in four horses in their care; without them, they would cease to exist.

Bransby Horses executive director of Equine Welfare said: “From our field officers investigating reports of neglect and abandonment, to our rehoming team placing our rehabilitated and healthy equines in their loving homes – legacies provide the essential funds for our daily activities.”

The service is available to anyone, for more information visit

Quickline ushers in broadband revolution for rural communities with groundbreaking 90-day offer to shake up the digital divide.

Broadband provider Quickline is leading the charge in empowering rural communities with a new zero cost, zero contract broadband offer.

In a bold move to challenge the status quo, the cutting-edge broadband provider is flying the flag for residents and businesses in rural locations, by offering all new customers three months’ service for free, with no requirement to sign up to a contract.

The revolutionary “try before you buy” model is a powerful statement of intent from Quickline, which stands against many broadband providers who exploit customers in rural areas by forcing them into lengthy contracts while delivering poor speeds, frequent buffering and infuriating dropouts.

Rural communities are increasingly being left behind in what has been described as a growing “digital divide” between rural and urban areas.

While many profit-hungry providers saturate urban areas with excessive fibre networks, creating an overcrowded marketplace, rural communities are often neglected and left behind.

Quickline, however, champions these communities and is now taking a leap to catapult rural users into the broadband fast lane by offering new customers the opportunity to enjoy its service for 90 days without any commitment.

Quickline is investing significantly in a hybrid network of fibre and 5G fixed wireless broadband serving rural areas of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire – their cutting-edge infrastructure promising to revolutionise the digital lives of people even in the most remote communities.

The broadband provider is now offering new customers 90 days of free broadband, without any conditions or catches. If customers love the service, they can sign up for a contract. If they’re not happy, they can leave with no charge or penalty.

If customers want more time to decide, they can move onto a rolling contract, so they’re not committed to a long-term deal.Both residential and business customers can benefit from the offer, which is available on all technologies and packages.

Fibre broadband customers can receive speeds of up to 900Mbps, with fixed wireless customers benefiting from speeds of up to 200Mbps.

To test what speeds you’re getting now compared to what Quickline can offer, you can test your current provider’s speeds with a simple speed test.

To take up the zero cost, zero conditions offer, call Quickline’s sales team on 01482 230393. For more information on Quickline and the provider’s broadband packages, visit

Photographs: Mick Fox

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