Brigg builds on success

Words by:
Melanie Burton
Featured in:
January 2017

Just as 2016 was an exciting time for residents in the North Lincolnshire town, with its participation in the Great British High Street competition, 2017 has plenty in store.
It is officially now a year-round holiday destination with proposed developments at Brigg Marina getting the green light; it is about to get its first bookshop in thirty years and its iconic landmark building, the Buttercross, is in line for a refurbishment as part of its 200th anniversary.

On top of that, both league cricket and league hockey is to return to the town following a £2 million reinvestment of the Recreation Ground.

North Lincolnshire Council granted a planning application to permit year-round holiday use of land at Brigg Marina, off Mill Lane (within Scawby Parish) but initially they were not to be used between 31st January and 1st March.

However, since permission was granted, the land has changed hands and the new owner wanted to complete the scheme and felt it would be more beneficial to tourism in the area to have the cabins occupied throughout the year not just for ten months.

Brigg Marina Ltd said the lodges were now under construction and some will be ready for the start of the 2017 holiday season.

Owner/director Peter Edgar said: “We have already improved the marina with the addition of twenty-six fully-serviced finger pontoons that have electricity and water services.

“We have already started on the lodge construction and we anticipate a full build out for opening in the next eighteen months or sooner.”

Work has also been going on at Brigg Recreation Ground under a £2.3 million improvement project. The scheme will see a new pavilion, full-size floodlit artificial grass pitch and tennis courts being built at this popular sports ground on Wrawby Road.

Councillor Carl Sherwood, ward member for Brigg and Wolds and cabinet member for customer services, sport and leisure, said: “This is great news. This is a key outdoor facility for Brigg and the surrounding areas.

“The provision of first class facilities at the Recreation Ground is important for sport in the Brigg area. The facilities will improve the offer for existing clubs that use the site and act as a springboard to enable cricket, tennis and hockey to once again be played on site.”

The improvements mean that Brigg Cricket Club, which has been forced to play its Lincolnshire League Division 4 home games at the Brocklesby Park ground in recent seasons, can now return to its home base for the 2017 cricket season.

The new blue synthetic sports pitch also means that Brigg Hockey Club, which has had to play its home games on available synthetic council-run pitches in Scunthorpe and Lincoln, can also return to Brigg for its games.

Cycling enthusiasts have also benefited from a new facility over the past year. A bike hub was opened providing cycling facilities, including a safe and secure place to lock bikes, a public tool station and an information point. Basic bike maintenance workshops were also available.

The hub is a cycle-friendly café, the Courtyard Café, within The Angel building in Brigg and provides a meeting point for Breeze and other social rides in a relaxed and friendly environment for cyclists.

Brigg Bike Hub is a partnership between North Lincolnshire Council, Sport England and Welcome to Yorkshire.

Brigg Town Council is justifiably proud of the Angel Suite, which was officially opened in 1995, following the final phase of renovations to the old former seventeenth-century coaching inn, the Angel Hotel.

The Angel building is also home to Brigg’s Heritage Centre which occupies the first floor.

At its centrepiece is the Bronze Age Brigg ‘Raft’, excavated in the 1970s and previously in storage at the National Maritime Museum. This is complemented by displays exploring the history of Brigg and the Ancholme Valley with a unique collection of artefacts found in the local area.

A visit to the Heritage Centre is a voyage of discovery through the ages, from the prehistoric period through to the present day.

There are hands-on activities and younger visitors will love dressing up in historic costumes or completing the games and activities on offer. There is even an interactive quiz.

At the end of November 2013, Phase 2 of the Heritage Centre opened and was funded by WREN and LEADER. It provided a series of rooms telling the story of the role the River Ancholme has played over the centuries and bringing the history of its communities to life.

Extending over the whole of the first floor of the Angel, the Heritage Centre provides the ideal resource for visiting schools and groups, as well as families and anyone interested in the history of the local area.

The economy of Brigg is substantially retail and service based, according with its traditional position as a market town, and acts as a service centre for the surrounding rural area. The main shopping street is Wrawby Street, although retail is present throughout much of the old town. Many of the businesses are independent, retaining the character of the traditional high street, although some chain retailers, namely Tesco, Lidl, Wilkinson and Boyes have large stores in the town.

A general market is held on Thursdays and Saturdays, and a farmers’ market is also held 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.

Well-known shops in the town include Grandad’s Shed, which sells furniture and accessories for every room and which has The Loft restaurant above. Grandad’s Shed in Wrawby Street continues to go from strength to strength.

The business, which is owned by Paul and Beryl Keane, has been established for more than nineteen years and specialises in solid wood furniture together with vintage leathers and country inspired soft furnishings with sofas and armchairs being made to the customer’s own specification from the choice of leathers and fabrics that are available.

The company also specialises in quality handmade bespoke furniture, enabling you to have a piece of furniture made exactly to your requirements, and they also undertake re-upholstery and furniture restoration.

“Now we are in 2017, Grandad’s Shed will continue to provide everything needed to give your home that new look,” said manager David Carrick.

“Above Grandad’s Shed you will find The Loft Restaurant, which serves anything from a speciality coffee to a daily home cooked special using the finest in local ingredients.

“For lighter meals, there is also Cafe Courtyard owned by Paul and Beryl which can found within The Angel in Brigg Market Place.”

Then there is Wallhead’s – a town and country clothing shop – which has been trading for more than 117 years; The Bed Shop, which stocks all manner of beds and bedroom furniture, and the sewing shop Jaylaurs.

The village green on Station Road in Brigg has been named Holland Park after well-known local Geoff Holland, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

As chair of the Friends of Brigg Village Green, Geoff was instrumental in having the area designated as a village green and securing a grant to plant more trees on the site.

The green is now well used by the local community and has recently had its paths cleared again to make it even more inviting to residents and dog walkers.

After Geoff’s sad passing in May 2016, the council decided to name the park in his memory. Geoff’s wife, Gill Holland, and Brigg MP Andrew Percy, unveiled a memorial stone at Holland Park back in October.

Brigg ward member, Councillor Carl Sherwood, said: “It is only fitting that the park is named after a man who was such a dedicated campaigner for the village green. It is thanks to Geoff and the Friends of Brigg Village Green that we have been able to provide this fantastic community asset.”

Councillor Rob Waltham, Brigg ward member and Deputy Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The improvements to Holland Park form the start of the regeneration of the Station Road area in Brigg.

“The project will see a number of homes built for older people in the area. These new residents will have Holland Park on their doorstep to enjoy for many years to come.”

Exciting times lie ahead for Brigg following the Marina’s plans to open all year round.

During the course of 2016, the marina was updated and now has twenty-six huge pontoons fully serviced with water and electricity and there are shower and toilet facilities for the boat owning community to attract boats and people that want to moor all the year round.

Brigg Marina Ltd director Peter Edgar said: “We have also started developing twenty-seven holiday lodges of varying sizes, from three to five beds, which the holiday companies have been focusing on.

“This is because of where it is located – close to the motorways and near the Wolds. It has a very high requirement for that area all year round.

“Brigg is one of the prettier towns in North Lincolnshire and there are lots of different and exciting places to visit. Some of the lodges will be ready for April and the project should take about eighteen months to two years to complete.”

The marina is located on the bottom of Island Carr, surrounded by the old River Ancholme and the new River Ancholme.

“It is a nice river, unlike some of the canals, it is nineteen miles of lock free water. Not everyone wants to be out overnight to cruise round industrial areas. This is all open countryside.

“Work started round about October 2016 and within a few weeks there were five bases in. The lodges are not caravan lodges, they are house cladded wood and have all been built by NHBC builders and independent inspectors.

“It is good for Brigg and North Lincolnshire and offers employer opportunities.”

2017 is a special year for Brigg’s iconic landmark The Buttercross in more ways than one. Not only is it the building’s 200th anniversary but it could become home to Brigg’s first bookshop in thirty years.

The Buttercross was first opened as a Tourist Information Centre in February 1991 by Princess Diana but building of the Buttercross was started in 1817 and it finally opened in 1819.

North Lincolnshire Council has announced plans that could see a much-needed bookshop open in Brigg early in the new year.

Under proposals being developed by North Lincolnshire Council, Brigg Tourist Information Centre could host a new bookshop as part of its range of services. The award-winning centre would see a £25,000 refurbishment, enabling it to stock a range of books and allowing customers to order in new titles.

The Tourist Information Centre would still offer all its current services and showcase the very best that North Lincolnshire has to offer. However, expanding the range of services on offer will bring even more visitors to the iconic Buttercross.

Councillor Rob Waltham, Deputy Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Since WHSmith left the town thirty years ago, Brigg has been missing a full-time bookshop so these plans will be really exciting for local residents.

“The Buttercross is in an ideal location and it makes sense to use such prominent retail space in the centre of the town.

“The Tourist Information Centre’s new bookshop could also be used for events and we’re looking forward to bringing authors to the town for book signings or literary evenings.”

Formed in 1976 Cobweb Crafts, based in North Lincolnshire, is a family run company owned by Kevin Burks, specialising in fine handcrafted traditional and contemporary furniture.

After moving to their current premises in 1986, Kevin has redeveloped the site to include modern workshops and equipment including an assembly room, office, machine shop and showroom.

With a team of three, the company can produce furniture for the whole house including kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, doors and much more.

New to their portfolio are fully working plantation shutters, perfect for decorating windows.

Kevin and his team work with clients to ensure each piece of furniture is designed, made and finished to fit with your lifestyle. Their pieces blend naturally in your surroundings and the team prides themselves on the quality of the finish and service they give to their clients.

The team specialise in English oak, making their pieces a lifetime investment.

Visit Kevin and his team at The Old School, Cadney Road, Howsham or visit

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