New plans for North Lincolnshire
There is more to the area than just its reputation as the home of the British steel industry, as Melanie Burton discovers.
North Lincolnshire has tranquil countryside, a gentle pace of life, must-see attractions and is steeped in history with traditions that go back hundreds of years.
Described as a place where the quality of life is high and the cost of living is low, it is rich in leisure, recreation, culture, heritage and green space and offers a quirky independent shopping experience, whether for designer products or market produce.
The area has a higher-than-average business survival rate with more than 6,500 local business units, 5,585 active enterprises and 47.1% of established businesses that have been trading for more than 10 years.
It has a higher than the national average number of workers employed in the construction sector and the manufacturing sector and 38% of the workforce are classified as directors, managers, professionals or technical staff with 46% of all working age people qualified to NVQ level 3 or equivalent.
The area supports 70,000 jobs and is home to major companies such as Able UK, British Steel, BAE Systems, the Clugston Group and Eastern Airways, to name but a few.
Made up of a number of historic market towns – Barton upon Humber, Brigg, Crowle, Epworth, Kirton in Lindsey and Winterton – and many desirable larger and smaller villages and hamlets, North Lincolnshire is regarded as one of the country’s key trade gateways to and from Europe and offers easy access to UK and continental markets.
At the centre of the area is Scunthorpe, its biggest town, which is the main focus for education, jobs, retail, services and industry and is home to British Steel, one of the largest steel plants in Europe.
Investment of around £60m has been made to transform Scunthorpe’s town centre with the aim of increasing the number of people and businesses in the town and giving a £1.5m boost to the local economy.
And dozens of new homes are to be created in the heart of the town through a new Government-backed grant scheme which will enable property owners and developers to apply for up to £15,000 per vacant unit to help fund refits, rebuilds and new build homes designed for young professionals and families.
This is the latest part of a new vision for Scunthorpe High Street which adds to recent investment in gigabit broadband, community events space, new gardens and innovation grants for businesses.
The cash comes on top of targeted support through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for retailers to adopt sustainable practices and digital technologies.
Shopkeepers can use the cash to invest in energy infrastructure such as solar panels, biomass boilers, insulation, heat pumps and energy efficient products such as LED lighting, or invest in new digital technologies.
The £1m is targeted to the town centre from a £3.2m pot which will be used to deliver at least 400 new homes across the whole of Scunthorpe.
Property owners can repurpose underused sites, bring back vacant units or derelict sites into residential use or develop new build homes.
MP for Scunthorpe and vice-chair of the Towns Fund Board, Holly Mumby-Croft said: “This latest instalment of developments through the Towns Fund will add further to creating a new, more vibrant and busier town centre.
“Creating new homes for families will have a huge impact in and on the high street and the Government is backing these plans with the money needed to get it off the ground.”
It is the latest part of more than £80m of Government funding which has backed the council plans for creating a new future in North Lincolnshire. This includes cash for roads, new motorway junctions, enabling people to develop their skills and supporting local communities.
North Lincolnshire businesses will also benefit from £141,000 to kick-start a range of projects to create jobs, grow the economy and help the environment.
Money for sustainability projects and digitalisation and marketing schemes will be used to install EV chargers, transition lighting to low-energy LED bulbs and for solar panel installation.
Twenty-eight businesses will receive a total of £141,154 of funding, which will back projects totalling £723,149, creating dozens of new jobs and safeguarding hundreds more.
It will also cut greenhouse gas emissions and support the council’s ambitious A Green Future strategy, which is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the environment while growing the economy.
Plans for a new police station in Scunthorpe have also been announced as part of the moves to further boost the high street by bringing police officers into the heart of the town.
Funding for the project has been supported by the Towns Fund Board as one of a number of schemes designed to transform Scunthorpe using £21m of Government cash. A preferred site has already been identified on Scunthorpe High Street.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Jonathan Evison said: “In recent years there has been considerable investment in modernising the Humberside Police estate.
“Scunthorpe Police Station has served the town well for decades but does not reflect the high standard and working environment required by a police force in the 21st century.”
NEW RETAIL PARK
The town is also going to get a new retail park despite there being 100 objections to the plans from residents and North Lincolnshire Council.
Applicants Almscliffe Dhesi Developments (Scunthorpe) Ltd lodged an appeal when its initial planning application was submitted and the planning inspectorate agreed to overturn the original decision and grant permission.
The retail park is to be built on the former Kingsway House site which has been vacant since 2010. It will include Scunthorpe’s first Starbucks drive-thru and there will also be a convenience store, a retail unit and car parking space.
Holly Mumby-Croft wrote to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) expressing concern on behalf of residents saying that as an MP she has no formal role in the planning process, but she wrote on behalf of residents about local roads and infrastructure and surrounding environment concerns.
“I know this is disappointing for the residents concerned about this development,” she said. “I’ve written to people who live nearby to reassure them that I will continue to support their views, and I will ensure that no development takes place without considering the appropriate impact on residential amenity and the highway.”
TACKLING ENERGY COSTS
Another proposed new scheme will see hundreds of businesses, including British Steel, benefitting from reductions in energy costs in a move designed to support competitiveness and decarbonisation of energy intensive industries.
The British Industry Supercharger will target measures to ensure energy costs for key UK industries are in line with other major economies around the world, levelling the playing field for British companies across Europe. In total, 300 businesses across the UK will benefit from the scheme.
The Government announced that the support will be made available to sectors particularly exposed to the cost of electricity, such as steel, metals, chemicals and paper.
Director general of UK Steel, Gareth Stace said the UK industrial electricity prices have been uncompetitive for many years but the Government had taken a great step towards levelling the playing field for the steel industry.
“It is essential we can compete on an equal footing, in the short term, within the fiercely competitive steel market, both in Europe and globally.”
News of the scheme came two days after British Steel announced plans to close its coke ovens as part of its drive to overcome global economic challenges and build a green and sustainable future.
The company, which saw its bills for energy and carbon increase by £190 million last year, said decisive action is required because of the unprecedented rise in operating costs, surging inflation and the need to improve environmental performance.
British Steel CEO, Xifeng Han said: “Steel is vital to modern economies and with demand expected to grow over the coming decades, British Steel has a crucial role to play in ensuring the UK has its own supply of high-quality steel. To make sure we can deliver the steel Britain requires, we are undergoing the biggest transformation in our 130-year history.
“To build a secure future for British Steel and protect skilled and well-paid careers for thousands of employees and many more in our supply chain, we are – like many other businesses – proposing to streamline our business. We are disappointed at having to make such proposals but are confident they will support a successful transformation.”
The company has offered alternative roles to the 250 workers affected by the closure.
SHOPPING AND STREET MARKETS
North Lincolnshire is made up of a number of towns of varying sizes offering a mix of old and new and many are historic market towns with a wide choice of independent shopping and street markets. Take Brigg for instance. Its wealth of independent shops and popular farmers’ markets makes it one of the most desirable places to live in the county.
The economy of Brigg is substantially retail and service based and the main shopping street is Wrawby Street, although retail is present throughout much of the old town which is centred on the marketplace and the adjoining streets of Bridge Street, Wrawby Street and Bigby Street.
Many of the businesses are independent, retaining the character of the traditional high street, although there are some chain retailers in the town such as Tesco, Aldi, Wilko and Boyes.
A general market is held on Thursdays and Saturdays, and a farmers’ market takes place on the fourth Saturday of each month, selling local produce from pork and organic vegetables to ostrich meat and locally produced condiments.
Artisan breads baked in a nearby mill using traditional French bread making techniques are also available, as is local cheese including the very tasty Lincolnshire Poacher vintage.
Light industry is present on the Island Carr and Atherton Way industrial estates and a gas-fired power station owned by Centrica sits to the south-west of the town.
Then there is Kirton-in-Lindsey, which straddles the Lincoln Cliff between Scunthorpe and Lincoln and boasts a historic royal connection with Catherine Parr (sixth wife to King Henry VIII and Queen of England and Ireland from 1543 to 1547), having lived in the town with her first husband, Sir Edward Burgh before he died in 1533.
Today, local shops and businesses surround Kirton’s Market Place and run along its High Street with the likes of SPAR, Lincolnshire Co-op, Morrisons and the Lincolnshire Kitchen Co sharing the street scene with family run businesses like No 12 Chocolatier, an artisan chocolate shop specialising in handmade chocolate and fudge.
Winterton is another town in North Lincolnshire with much to offer, particularly on the first weekend of July every year when its agricultural show takes place.
It is organised by the Winterton Agricultural Society, which was formed in 1872 to further the interests of a rapidly modernising agricultural community. The show attracted competitors from throughout Lincolnshire and the surrounding counties, building up an excellent reputation over the years.
Today, the two-day show occupies more than 20 acres, which the society now owns to accommodate the growing demand for trade stands, sideshows and entertainment.
The town can also look forward to enjoying a range of sports this summer following the announcement that its multi-sport community sports pitch is set for a £250,000 major overhaul to create a new playing surface.
Plans have been developed by North Lincolnshire Council and the community for a new pitch that supports the widest array of sports including football, tennis and hockey.
While the pitch is already used by Winterton Community Academy, Barton Hockey Club and a range of other community sports groups, the investment in an improved surface will open up the pitch to attract new users.
The refurbishment will be completed through the Football Federation Framework, fast-tracking the development and ensuring the highest standards.
The council has a bold community investment programme which has already seen new community hubs developed in Barton, Brigg, Crowle and Scunthorpe. Each has been tailored to better meet the needs of individual communities, improving accessibility and functionality.
Now building work is set to begin on a new community hub in the Isle of Axholme, providing families with convenient access to essential services in the heart of their town.
Located at Epworth Leisure Centre on Burnham Road, residents will have access to a range of facilities within the hub, including a library, digital technology, lifelong learning opportunities and community kitchens, building on recent investments in the Isle of Axholme.
SPOTLIGHT ON BARTON UPON HUMBER
Nestled on the south bank of the Humber Estuary and the southern end of the Humber Bridge, the town of Barton upon Humber has much to offer. There is the easy access to Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire via the Humber Bridge, which held the record for being the world’s longest suspension bridge when it was completed in 1981.
Then there is the peaceful, tranquil atmosphere of the nature reserve which is now a great place for spotting migrating birds but was once an area of clay pits used by the tile and cement industry until the industrial sites were abandoned. As the clay workings filled with water, they became colonised by species of reeds and the reserve was acquired by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust in 1983, who opened it as Far Ings National Nature Reserve in the same year. The Water’s Edge visitor centre meanwhile offers 110 acres of country park with animals, outdoor children’s play areas and a café for visitors to explore.
The town is also now the location of Wren Kitchens’ head office, ‘The Nest’, which initially employed 429 people but then saw an additional 600 jobs created when the company extended the site in 2016.
The leading UK kitchen retailer has also just bought another 15-acre site from North Lincolnshire Council as part of its continued expansion plans. The site, which was made accessible with £1m of Government cash, is the latest acquisition from Wren to further strengthen its product development and manufacturing base. The company will add further jobs to its ranks in North Lincolnshire on top of the more than 8,500 people currently employed. The site was made accessible with a new road and associated infrastructure initially developed thanks to almost £1m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund via the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Stephen Parnaby, business development director at Wren Kitchens, said: “As the largest employer in the region, with more than 8,500 staff, our roots are in North Lincolnshire.
“We are always looking to expand our products and this acquisition gives us the opportunity and certainty of being able to plan ahead for the future. We have an excellent working relationship with North Lincolnshire Council and will be progressing plans to develop this land to complement our headquarters in Barton upon Humber and our two factories in Scunthorpe.”
thanks to Levelling-up funding which will see a new link road built, almost 10 miles of new cycle lanes created and major improvements to the railway station including new cycle parking, an extension to the car park and bus shelter upgrades. The town will also benefit from new bus routes connecting residents to Brigg and across the Isle of Axholme.
DELIVERING THE MORGAN DREAM
Situated in Winterton, near Scunthorpe, Ledgerwood Morgan is a highly respected official Morgan dealer covering Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, South, East and North Yorkshire.
Established in 1977, this renowned family owned business is now run by the second generation of Ledgerwoods and the same dedicated team, who share the same high standards of personal service and mechanical preparation synonymous with the Morgan Motor Company.
Begin your Morgan journey by contacting the helpful expert team’s vehicle sales department, or if you’re looking for reliable skilled servicing, their friendly and professional Morgan Factory trained technicians will provide the highest quality workmanship and ensure that your vehicle receives the care and consideration that it deserves.
Ledgerwood Morgan also supplies genuine Morgan parts and accessories so that your vehicle can remain as original as the day that it left the Morgan Factory.
For more information visit www.ledgerwoodmorgan.co.uk
ENJOY FAMILY FUN AT WINTERTON SHOW
The 151st Winterton Agricultural Show returns on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of July at Winterton Showground, near Scunthorpe.
To mark this year’s event, the show committee is organising a variety of entertainments for the whole family to enjoy.
The weekend features popular displays in the craft, enterprise and floral marquees, together with numerous trade stands and charity stalls.
The main arena plays host to a number of displays over the two days, including the Red Imps motorbike stunt team and the Stannage International stunt team, as well as scurry racing, a chainsaw demonstration, 10-mile road race, fun run and junior football. Other events include show jumping, driving turnouts and agricultural horses on display, as well as cattle and sheep. The Dowses Funfair will be on site, as well as displays of classic motor cars, vintage tractors and farm machinery.
There will also be a decorated float parade with the theme ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ travelling through the town to the showground. Music will be provided by The Moggies, the local 1960s band, on Saturday while Sunday features music from The Cover Puppets.
For more information visit www.wintertonshow.co.uk
IS ADOPTION RIGHT FOR YOU?
In North Lincolnshire we know that children waiting for their adoptive families have a variety of needs and backgrounds. This means that we need adopters who also come from different walks of life and who have different skills and experiences to offer.
Among those we want to talk to are:
Our single adopters are ready to become parents without being in a relationship, and, with a strong support network, are often well placed to provide a high level of attention for a child of any age.
Couples or single adopters who have brought up their own children and can use their experience to care for a child through adoption. Your children may have left home or still be with you. Adoption is a positive way to add to your family and provide stability for a vulnerable child.
Two mums? Two dads?
We value all our adoptive families in North Lincolnshire and embrace the diversity and individuality they bring.
If you are thinking about adoption as a first-time parent, it may be that you have needed to take time to accept that you will not be able to have a child by birth, or you may have chosen adoption as your first choice to build a family. While we will encourage you to get as much experience as possible in looking after children, we welcome first-time mums or dads and provide lots of training and support.
Whoever you are, if you are thinking about adoption our outstanding team want to hear from you.
Get in touch with our friendly duty social workers by contacting tel: 01724 297024 today, or visit www.familyadoptionlinks.org.uk
AWARD-WINNING MEDITERRANEAN MENUS
San Pietro is a fine dining Mediterranean restaurant in the heart of Scunthorpe, featuring a stunning Grade II-listed windmill and 14 boutique-style hotel rooms. It holds four AA Gold Stars for its guest accommodation and has also won the award for ‘Best Lincolnshire Restaurant 2022’.
“When you join us at San Pietro, you are not just coming out for dinner; you are coming to enjoy an experience.
“Our chef director Pietro Catalano and wife Michelle have been the driving force of the business for 20 years. Their passion flows throughout their restaurant, food and staff members who ensure you have an incredible experience.
“San Pietro also holds a licence for wedding ceremonies; we have the gorgeous function room the “Mulino Suite” suitable for weddings, parties, christenings and funeral wakes for guest numbers up to 100.
“We boast a range of different menus such as our Menu del Giorno, À La Carte and Taste of Sicily menus which change seasonally with only the best, most in season ingredients – we also open for Sunday lunch.
“The team has just celebrated at the North Lincolnshire Business Awards by receiving an award for runner-up in the Business Investment Category and our events manager, Jenna Shelby Bird won the award for Employee of the Year.
“This year marks San Pietro’s 20th birthday, we have lots of exciting things planned and we look forward to celebrating this fantastic occasion with all of our customers.”
For more information visit www.sanpietro.uk.com
PROVIDING EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE
John Leggott College in Scunthorpe is a unique provision with more than 50 years’ experience supporting students to achieve their goals, dreams and aspirations.
As a sixth form provider, we are passionate about delivering educational excellence that empowers our students to achieve their highest potential. We accomplish this by focusing on the individual, ensuring a bespoke experience for each student.
With a long-standing reputation for exceptional academic achievement, we strive to deliver the highest standards of teaching and learning. Our experienced and dedicated team of teachers are experts in their fields, passionate about their subjects, and committed to helping students succeed. They always go the extra mile to provide engaging, challenging and interactive lessons that foster critical thinking, creativity and independent learning.
Our teachers also provide regular feedback, guidance and support to help students progress and excel in their studies.
We take pride in being the best provider of further education in the region! We have a proven track record of producing high-achieving students year after year. This has been demonstrated through consistently supporting students to progress onto top performing universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.
Our campus has recently seen a £4 million pound investment, providing students with state-of-the-art facilities and a modern space in which to learn. This will be complemented by the addition of a 4G pitch, due to commence development this summer.
We are looking forward to welcoming the next generation of John Leggott College students in September. Applications are still open – it’s not too late!
For more information visit www.leggott.ac.uk
Photographs: Mick Fox