Looking to a hi-tech future

Dining Out

Words by:
Melanie Burton
Featured in:
January 2016

Regeneration will be the name of the game in 2016 for the South Lincolnshire market town of Holbeach.
Much-needed infrastructure improvements are on the way, resulting in plans for major housing developments and a new Food Enterprise Zone, which will see an influx of highly skilled workers and allow the area’s agri-food sector to compete on the world market.

South Holland District Councillor and Lincolnshire County Councillor Nick Worth said 2016 looked promising for Holbeach.

“This is a very exciting time for Holbeach with improved road infrastructure, which is not just for the residents of Holbeach in improving traffic flow through the centre of the town, but for the agri-food industry that is so prevalent in the area,” he said.

“This is aimed at attracting higher-skilled businesses to the area as well as more highly skilled jobs, meaning higher salaries and more investment in the town itself.

“This project on its own will bring in investment of more than £7.5m. Further investments from Section 106 planning agreements will secure funding for the regeneration of the town centre.

“2016 promises to see the start of major regeneration in Holbeach, with the building of the much-requested roundabout off the A17 at Peppermint Junction,” he said.

“This will link to a smaller roundabout on the A151 that will have a spur to a major new housing development of around 1,000 houses on one side and one of the Government’s much vaunted Food Enterprise Zones (FEZ) on the other.”

Work on the roundabouts and infrastructure for the FEZ will begin in September 2016.

The aim of the Food Enterprise Zone will be to provide a site for a number of high-tech businesses centred around the agri-food sector, all employing highly-skilled workers that will enable the industry to compete on the world market and lead from the front in terms of technology.

To complement the business sector, The University of Lincoln (Holbeach Campus) is currently exploring the delivery of an agri-food centre of excellence on a prominent position on the FEZ site, to support and further develop the sector.

Lincolnshire County Council is behind the Peppermint Junction scheme which aims to improve road safety and traffic flows and enable the future development of land in this area.

Lincolnshire County Council principal regeneration officer Simon Wright said: “Once completed, the new road scheme will improve traffic flows at this very busy junction and will reduce the amount of people choosing to travel through the centre of Holbeach.”

“This, in turn, is expected to make the centre of Holbeach a more pedestrian-friendly environment and improve conditions for town centre businesses to flourish.

“Importantly, the junction improvements will have the added benefit of providing access to development land suitable for new housing and employment uses. Indeed, a planning application for residential development on land to the east of the A151 is expected and eventually it is expected that approximately 850–900 new homes could be provided on this land.

“Plans and a strategy to provide new employment uses on land to the west of the A151 are also being developed at the moment.”

Work onsite is programmed to begin in Autumn 2016, with the road improvements due to be completed in early Summer 2017.

“In this way the work is being programmed to minimise disruption to holiday season traffic using the A17,” said Simon.

Improvements are also going on in the town itself.

The Lincolnshire Co-op will be changing the layout of its newly-acquired store to incorporate a pharmacy, post office and new volunteer-run library, which will move from its current location in Church Street making a number of community services easily accessible under one roof and next to the bus stop and car park. Work should be ready for the summer.

Deputy clerk to Holbeach Town Council, Teresa Daisley, said there was a feeling of optimism around the town.

“Holbeach is predominantly a little market town but its range of long-established family-run businesses give it a character all of its own,” she said. “There is an optimistic air in the town and we pride ourselves on our independent businesses, many of which have been family-run for a lot of years. They are what makes Holbeach what it is. They are unique businesses rather than your High Street chains.”

Holbeach businesses are represented by the Spalding & District Chamber of Commerce, which continues to lobby widely for better infrastructure in the county and for the government to introduce new measures to accelerate the progress of infrastructure projects that are critical to businesses.

As part of its lobbying efforts, it recently came together for the South Lincolnshire Transport Conference with key local and national transport providers throughout the county to explore avenues to strengthen Lincolnshire’s infrastructure.

It also has a scheme which brings businesses together for the common purpose of tackling retail crime in the area. Shop Watch is primarily achieved through a radio network linked to the police and enables members to pass prompt warnings to each other when they spot known shoplifters heading their way.

The two-way radio is monitored by the local town CCTV and police beat teams who attempt to respond to calls for assistance from the shops. Shop Watch has led to arrests and prosecutions for retail crime, the return of stock, and shop staff feel safer knowing there’s a community of at least thirty retailers watching out and listening in to what’s going on in the shopping areas.

A photograph gallery of “banned” individuals, which is updated monthly, is also circulated to all Shop Watch members.

Lincolnshire Chamber’s business development manager Marie Pritchett said: “Members of Shop Watch have joined to help stamp out crime in their local town, as well as protect their business and give support to their staff working on the ground.

“Our role at the Lincolnshire Chamber is giving the right support to our members and through Shop Watch we are helping to generate a safer working environment for employees, as well as offering a better shopping experience for the public.”

Planned new developments and an increase in demand for properties in the Holbeach area has led award-winning estate agent Pygott & Crone to open a new branch in the town.

Located in Boston Road South, the newly-refurbished office is managed by Lewis Brooks, who has been with the company for a number of years.

“Holbeach is a nice sized market town with a lot of villages in the surrounding area. The reason for us opening was that we always covered the area from our Spalding office but we noticed there was a lot of business coming from out this way,” said Lewis.

“We have been open in Holbeach for about five months and there has been a big increase in business and a big increase in new properties coming onto the market.

“We always felt that most of the market towns are growing areas. They offer good schools and are very popular with out-of-area buyers. There is more development going on locally which increases the population and will keep things thriving. We feel the population is growing.”

Pygott & Crone has eleven offices throughout Lincolnshire and has a relocation agent network with 650 agencies around the UK.

“We deal with a lot of out-of-area buyers due to the network. Holbeach is not as built-up as southern towns and cities. The out-of-area buyers are looking for this quieter, rural community life,” said Lewis.

The estate agent has just won another prestigious award, having been voted the best estate agent amongst the 650 agents involved in the Relocation Agent Network.

“It is a big achievement for the company. We won it last year as well. Opening in Holbeach is part of a long-term growth as a business. The market has grown over the last few years and we think it will continue to grow.

“We are bringing a different approach to the market town. We are committed to providing a high level of service, through the old school traditions of speaking to, and dealing directly with, clients but tying it in with modern technology when it comes to marketing.”

Hill & Clark are delighted to have received the Silver Award for the East Midlands Agency of the Year at the prestigious Negotiator Awards 2015, held at The London Hilton Park Lane on Tuesday 3rd November.

Following recent success and expansion, Hill & Clark were acknowledged for their performance across their operational area. This year The Negotiator Awards had over 360 entries – the most in its history – and it was a year of outstanding quality. Entries included Estate Agents, Lettings Agents, Property Managers, Auctioneers and industry suppliers from every part of the UK, all hoping to be a winner at the Oscars of residential property. Paul Clark, Managing Director of Hill & Clark said “We are really pleased to win this award which acknowledges the efforts put in by all our staff to offer the very best property service to our clients and customers.”

The Negotiator is the UK’s long established trade magazine for residential sales and letting agents being distributed monthly to 10,000 estate and letting agents across the UK.

Gallery Tiles is a new addition to the Holbeach business scene. The showroom has been open just over a year in its location on the A17 Holbeach roundabout. Its high profile position and eye-catching signs have already brought in many customers and word of mouth is spreading too.

Gallery Tiles showcases many styles and brands of quality tiles. Most tiles are available within a few days and there are also stock lines. The warehouse also carries floor and wall adhesive, many grout colours and several styles of trim. These products all give you that professional finished look. Samples of small tiles and mosaics are loose so that customers can mix and match their choices.

Owner Lesley Barnard said: “My years of experience in the industry, alongside my husband who has been a full-time tiler for thirty years, really help with customer service. Our aim is to make our customers see that we care and that we want them to make the right choice. Any tiling choice should not be taken lightly as once they are installed they are there to stay.”

Mossop & Bowser has a long history in Holbeach and the surrounding area. In 1826 Mossop & Bowser was established as a firm of solicitors in Long Sutton by Robert Mossop. Following two of Mr Mossop’s sons and a nephew joining the partnership, in 1916, Mr C M Bowser joined and the firm was renamed Mossop & Bowser.

The Holbeach branch was opened in 1872. Agriculture was the main business in the area. Consequently the firm has a history of expertise in this area of law with a number of lawyers and staff still coming from a farming background.

In December 1993 the Holbeach office relocated to its current offices at Abbots Manor, Spalding Road where it remains today. Abbots Manor was built in the 1820s and retains several of its original features, not the least of which are two decorative fireplaces and stuccoed ceilings.

The firm currently has four partners and undertakes a wide variety of legal work of all complexities. Mossop & Bowser pride themselves on their friendly and efficient service, allied with modern technology. For more information visit www.mossops.co.uk

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