It’s all ‘Go’ in Grantham
Business owners and managers are urging shoppers and visitors to take a fresh look at the town.
They say that Grantham’s reputation is “lagging behind the reality”, good things are starting to happen and that there is an enthusiasm for a Business Improvement District (BID) to be created, to drive this momentum.
In common with other towns and cities across the country, visitors will notice some empty premises in the town, but there is also plenty of evidence of where new life has been breathed into once-vacant shops and where business owners have splashed out and given outlets a lick of paint.
Grantham has also maintained its lively Saturday markets and a South Kesteven District Council initiative, SKD4 Business, is helping to get a wide range of enterprises off to a great start.
If the town is successful in launching a BID, it would include businesses in a defined area. The BID would raise money by charging those businesses a levy – which would be separate from their business rates – and funds raised would be used in a variety of ways to support businesses and attract more people into the town.
Stuart Pigram, who took over control of the Grantham Business Club in January 2013, is Chairman of Go Grantham Ltd – a business formed to manage the BID process.
“A few years ago it might have been the case that Grantham was a bit ‘tired’, but this is no longer true. Now is the time to shout about our successes, build on them and create many more,” he said.
Grantham has never had a BID before, although the concept has been explored on a previous occasion. But Mr Pigram said, now is the time to look afresh at the BID model and what it would have the power to achieve.
“Great things are starting to happen in Grantham. In April, work started on the Southern Relief Road, which will link the A52 to the A1 – diverting the traffic out of town and making it much more appealing for visitors to come in. Let’s make it fabulous, so that when they get here they want to keep coming back,” he said.
Three thousand new homes are planned for the town’s Southern Quadrant development, which will bring more families to the area. Mr Pigram said it is vital to make the town attractive, so that those people want to stay and work locally.
“Once the road is built, the plans are to start developing the industrial site King 31 – which is expected to bring more than 1,000 new jobs in six years. In order for this inward investment, we need to ensure that Grantham is seen as an ambitious, forward-thinking, vibrant and prosperous town,” he said.
“This year sees work commence on the highly anticipated new Grantham six-screen cinema. The creation of this cultural quarter in the town will potentially attract a new type of visitor. We want to ensure visitors and residents alike enjoy this experience and return again and again.”
Mr Pigram believes that confidence in Grantham is already growing, with the development of Sainsbury’s and Lidl and the return of Marks & Spencer (located at the London Road Retail Park).
The drive to get a BID for Grantham really got going at Grantham Business Club’s AGM in March, when Mr Pigram said members were “extremely clear” that the town would benefit from improvements.
At we went to press, the area which would be covered by a BID had not been finalised. However, it has been suggested it could include in the region of 1,100 businesses.
BIDs have a five-year life before they are subject to a re-ballot by levy-paying businesses. At this point, it is difficult to be precise about how much money might be raised annually through the proposed BID, but it could be in the region of £400,000 a year.
Today, a feasibility study is underway to check businesses’ appetite for a BID, then further research and consultations will take place. A full BID proposal could then be drawn up ahead of a formal ballot in June 2016.
“We are speaking with as many businesses as possible during the feasibility stage. These consultations will continue to allow us to find out what businesses would want to see the money spent on,” said Mr Pigram.
If the Grantham BID becomes a reality, Go Grantham will receive funds from levy payers and its board will agree and be accountable for how this money is spent, ensuring that projects are delivered in line with the proposals which levy-paying businesses have voted on.
The next consultation meeting arranged by Go Grantham takes place on 4th June at the Eden House Hotel in North Parade, Grantham, starting at 4pm. It will focus on the professional services and hospitality sectors, but any business can attend.
BID manager, Amber Kitching said: “I hope as many businesses as possible will come along to learn more and have their say. We really want to hear as many points of view as possible about what businesses would like to see improved about our town.
South Kesteven District Council said its SKDC4Business Scheme, which is attracting independent retailers and a range of micro enterprises, is helping to create the right environment, by supporting businesses from the point of starting up to being fully formed and trading.
Those which have benefited include Aurora House of Fashion in King’s Walk, Indulgence Delivered, in Westgate and L Farrow Estates Ltd, a property development businesses started by Lauren Farrow, who decided to go into business after leaving school.
SHOPPING AND SIGHTSEEING
Grantham’s current mix of shopping includes national and regional businesses and homegrown enterprises. There are also plenty of places of interest to visit in Grantham and within a short drive of the town.
Retailers, such as Boots, WH Smith and Boyes are complemented by local traders, such as the family jeweller Hoppers and The Westgate Gallery. Grantham also boasts plenty of pubs, restaurants and cafes, including the well-established Panini’s and Knightingales.
If you love wandering around traditional markets, you can find Grantham’s on a Saturday in Wide Westgate, Narrow Westgate and Market Place. A Farmers’ Market takes place on the second Saturday of the month, in Welby Lane.
Places worth visiting in the town include the Guildhall Arts Centre, a performing arts centre, where you can get tourism information, book tickets, attend workshops and relax in its coffee shop.
The Grantham Museum, which reopened its doors in February, after a major refit, should also be on your list. It is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 10am and 4pm. Entry is free.
You should also check out St Wulfram’s Church. This unmissable landmark is one of the largest medieval churches in the country, seating about 700 people, and its 282ft spire is one of the highest on a parish church.
If you want to escape to the countryside, fix yourself a tasty meal using a brand new recipe book and then wash it down with a glass of Lincolnshire wine – you can!
Farmer Andrew Ownsworth and his wife Ronnie, from Fulbeck Heath, can provide all the essentials – from a stay in their delightful holiday cottage to a copy of Ronnie’s Rapeseed Oil Recipes book and a bottle of the Ownsworth’s blush or white wine.
Over the years, this busy farming family has diversified in several ways, adding considerably to a farming enterprise which also grows milling wheat for Warburton’s and breeds pedigree Charolais cattle.
Ronnie Ownsworth said: “Our Fulbeck Gardens Cottage is a former head gardener’s cottage. It is within easy walking distance of Fulbeck and a great option for people wanting to explore the many attractions in and around Lincoln, Grantham and Boston.”
The cottage has also been given a Gold Four Star rating by Visit England, for the second year running.
This property sleeps between two and seven people, offering great flexibility for a family or small group of friends who would love a peaceful break. It also has the added bonus of a hot tub!
“The cottage is next to a walled garden where we have our very own vineyard. We have 4,000 vines and grow six different varieties of grape, from which we produce our own wines,” said Ronnie. “Our 2013 harvest has produced rich sparkling white and blush wines, which are now ready to enjoy.”
But one of the things Ownsworth’s are probably best known for is their rapeseed oil – produced from their own crop, which they started growing as an alternative to sugar beet.
“We are very proud to say that our oil led to us scooping two Highly Commended certificates in the Select Lincolnshire 2015 Awards,” said Ronnie.
The oil is sold to farm shops, delis and some bakers and restaurants. Handy 250ml bottles are also now stocked by more than eighty Co-operative stores.
Ronnie added: “The oil can be used for everything from frying and roasting meals and vegetables to making stir fries, tasty dips and even sponge cakes, and I have just published a book, Ronnie’s Rapeseed Oil Recipes cookbook.
“This tells people all about the crop, how it is grown, how we produce the oil and its nutritional benefits. It is also packed with a wide range of my own, tested recipes, which highlight the many different ways in which this oil can be used.”
The book can be purchased direct by calling 01400 273989.
JOHN CUSSELL JEWELLERS
John Cussell’s is the largest Independent Jewellery Retailers in Grantham. It boasts an onsite workshop that is staffed by a time served experienced silver/goldsmith, namely John Cussell (a freeman of the Goldsmiths Company).
The company’s motto is: if John can’t repair or make it, it can’t be done! Mentioning repairs, there is an excellent repair service and John is always happy to give customers a quote beforehand.
There is a consultation area where John can privately discuss a commission, and show a range of stones, for example diamonds, sapphires and emeralds, that he has sourced for the customer. John works in gold, platinum or silver. Being able to talk to the craftsman that is creating a piece of bespoke jewellery is a rare opportunity in this day and age.
Brands are very much in vogue and you’ll find Claudia Bradby (pearl jewellery) Coeur de Lion, Kit Heath, Banyan, Jools, and Nomination.
Choosing a gift can be a minefield but John Cussell’s have a friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you decide, and if you have little children with you, there is a table and chairs with books to read. It all helps customers’ shopping experience to be a fun one.
THE TRICKLING TAP
The Trickling Tap was founded in 2013 by family members Paul, Karen and Luke Adams, to offer a range of liquid products that are often only found in exclusive retailers. Their aim is to match quality merchandise with old fashioned service standards by trained and passionate staff in a pleasing retail environment, with the chance to taste many of the goods before purchasing.
The Trickling Tap sources products locally in Lincolnshire as well as from all over the world to bring its customers a large choice of spirits, wines, oils, vinegars, beers and coffees including some, like our caramel vodka, exclusive to The Trickling Tap.
With over 100 single malt whiskies, over 50 vodkas and a range of on tap liqueurs, together with many other products including a growing collection of antique spirits, The Trickling Tap know that browsing will be a pleasant experience.
The on tap balsamic vinegars range from a beautifully tasting aged balsamic vinegar from Modena to flavoured balsamics such as fig and date, blueberry, mango and many others. Together with on tap rapeseed and olive oils, refilling saves money and keeps the business’s carbon footprint low.
Visit the store or go along to one of their many tasting events.
PROMOTION AT DUNCAN & TOPLIS
Graeme Hills of the Grantham office of chartered accountants Duncan & Toplis has recently been promoted to director at the firm. This new appointment will strengthen the firm’s senior management team and confirm Duncan & Toplis’ position as the East Midlands’ leading medium accountancy practice.
“I am delighted with the appointment and I’m looking forward to the challenges and changes the new role will bring,” said Graeme.
“I have always been enthusiastic about what I do, so I see the new position as an opportunity to help even more clients with their businesses.”
Andy Severn, senior director of Duncan & Toplis, said: “I’d like to congratulate Graeme on his recent promotion. His new role is a recognition of his hard work and ability which has not gone unnoticed.
“I look forward to seeing him succeed in his new position, strengthening our senior management team in the Grantham office.”
Graeme joined the firm in 2004 in the firm’s Skegness office before moving to the Grantham office in 2013. Graeme specialises in taxation and deals with a variety of tax advice and planning projects for clients. He can be contacted on 01476 591200 or email@example.com
Located in the Market Place of Grantham, Liberty Rose’s is well established now as the only local vintage tea room and emporium. Housed within a three-storey period property, find yourself immersed in array of vintage china and homemade delights in the tea room while in the first floor emporium you will find an assortment of delights to buy.
Over the Rainbow Vintage who have a lifelong passion for vintage clothes and accessories will give 10% off any purchase on displaying this article.
Sparkhouse Designs offers handmade ceramic gifts using stoneware clays and a variety of glazes and oxides to create unique pieces.
Angela Rose has a wonderful selection of household linens, Durham quilts, handmade lace collars and christening gowns. Find her on ebay: oooptafagv.
Vintage on a Plate by Alison Lewis Interiors will suit lovers of vintage tableware, textiles and home accessories, all things that make life more rosy and lovely!
Venture further up to the top floor where you may find yourself involved in an art class, craft club or music class for the children! The hall space is available for hire.
THE EDEN HOUSE HOTEL
The Eden House Hotel, formerly the Kings Hotel, 130 North Parade, Grantham has undergone a significant refurbishment since October 2014 and is now one of the best venues around to host that special occasion. The hotel, part of the Eden Group, is considered the place to be for elegant dining, conferences, weddings and special occasions. Carrying on the tradition of its sister venue, the Eden Wine Bar & Restaurant, the hotel offers high quality food and beverages, superb refurbished accommodation and a perfect venue for weddings complete with its own wedding licence. The hotel can cater for up to 100 seated guests or 125 buffet style and also boasts two additional dining rooms and two additional bars, complementing the main function room.
The Eden House Hotel offers a bespoke wedding planning service and prides itself on going the extra mile to make your day absolutely special. They offer a superb range of packages, all tailored to making your day special.
The hotel is situated closed to the historical market town centre of Grantham and comes complete with forty-five car parking spaces.
Visit the website www.edenhh.co.uk, Facebook or contact the hotel direct on 01476 590800. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
THE WELBY ARMS
The Welby Arms, Allington is a popular country pub providing good food, a well managed bar and overnight accommodation. It is a favourite stop for travellers on the A1 and also an excellent base for a short break for those wanting to explore the delights of South Lincolnshire.
Belton House and Woolsthorpe Manor, birthplace and family home of Sir Isaac Newton, (both National Trust properties) and Belvoir Castle, home of the Duke of Rutland, are all close by. Burghley House and Grimsthorpe Castle are half an hour away by car, as are the cities of Lincoln, Nottingham and Peterborough. The historic towns of Grantham and Newark are only fifteen minutes’ drive and the countryside around Allington is a delight for walkers and cyclists.
Food at The Welby Arms is homemade and home cooked. Ingredients are locally sourced and seasonal produce is used wherever possible. The restaurant has a specials board with regularly changing starters and main courses. It is hung over the fireplace in the bar. The bar at The Welby Arms has three permanent real ales, three guest real ales, two lagers, a stout and a cider on draught.
The pub’s accommodation – The Byre – comprises three en-suite rooms graded four stars by the AA. Each room features original exposed beams and is equipped with a flat screen TV, a DVD player and tea and coffee making facilities.
ROBERT HOLLAND FUNERAL DIRECTOR
Get impeccable funeral services from Robert Holland Funeral Director in Grantham. The professional team understand what you’re going through and will therefore treat your needs with the utmost care.
“In Grantham, we can provide you with a personalised and customised service. Trust us to help you get an affordable price for your budget.
“We are an independent family run company, a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors, and can provide the following services:
• 24-hour Service
• Funeral Plans, Caring Service
• Chapel Of Rest
• DSS Advice
• Floral Tributes
• Horse Drawn Carriage
“When you require our services, do give us a call on 01476 594422 for more information.”
Fiona Hedworth is an established practitioner of traditional Chinese acupuncture in Grantham, and was one of the first practitioners in Lincolnshire.
She says: “Traditional Acupuncture can treat a wide variety of conditions. Personally, I treat a lot of arthritis, sciatica, back problems, headaches, strokes, MS, fertility and stress.
“The needles, which are more like tiny flexible wires, are powerful tools in the hands of a traditionally qualified acupuncturist. They are placed into carefully selected points on the body, to give a precise and directed treatment.
“The choice of points and the needle technique is vital in the treatment. Fortunately, we are able to monitor its effectiveness through the intricate method of Chinese pulse reading and the treatment may be adjusted several times to suit the patient’s response and constitution. My original treatment plan is often changed two or three times in a session, so every treatment is unique and as effective as possible.
“Each acupuncture point can have many different uses and can be used in different combinations, so there are endless possibilities. In the case of sciatica, some points are chosen to strengthen the back, some to calm inflammation and settle the nerve and some to relax the muscles. The treatment is so strong that even with long standing problems a positive change is usually seen within three to five sessions.
“I have been in practice in Grantham since 1985. During this time there have been huge changes in the field of Traditional Acupuncture. We now have large-scale, statistically viable research and we have evidence from sophisticated MRI scanners, showing that areas of the brain associated with pain are ‘de-activated’ with acupuncture. Also, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has now acknowledged the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic lower back pain, chronic tension-type headaches and migraines.
“One of the beauties about being an Acupuncturist, is that there is always more to learn, as it developed over a large part of the East for over 5,000 years. I have studied Chinese and Japanese Acupuncture and I am presently studying a Korean system that was kept secret within one family until 1975. For me these different systems are like having different toolboxes, they all work in the same way but the diagnostics and techniques vary.