City is powerhouse of commercial activity

Lincoln is a city that refuses to stand still and its movers and shakers are determined to get it better known by the wider world, as Glynis Fox finds.

This is a destination that really does have it all – a fabulous mix of national and independent shops, entrepreneurial new ventures and an ever-expanding educational and commercial base.

It also has an enviable location. The historic city is on the doorstep of fabulous countryside and in an hour or so you can be dipping your toes into the water at Lincolnshire’s popular coastal resorts.

If you want to soak up the city sights, do a spot of niche shopping, take a drive into the countryside and end up tucking into a fish-and-chip supper at Skegness, you can actually do it all in one day!

Lincoln, with its evolving street scene, growing University of Lincoln campus, mushrooming new developments and attractive Brayford Waterfront can, at first, seem unrecognisable to anyone who has spent a few years away from the city.

Outstanding developments, which are fast-changing the city’s skyline and broadening its appeal to visitors and locals alike, include the dramatic regeneration of The Cornhill Quarter, thanks to a phased £70 million investment by Lincolnshire Co-op.

Having already transformed the historic Corn Exchange building, to create a multi award-winning centerpiece, Lindum Construction has built a new Lincolnshire Co-op store at the corner of Sincil Street and Norman Street and nearby smaller shop units have been revamped to provide space for independent businesses which are keen to move into this area.

Work on giving Lincoln an Everyman Cinema is also generating plenty of interest, as shoppers and visitors stop to see how the building – which is due to open next spring – is progressing.

Lincolnshire Co-op has also invested in transforming part of Thomas Parker House in Silver Street. The move has seen the creation of a £1.8m co-working area designed to give digital businesses a great base where they can develop and collaborate with others. The digital hub is known as Mosaic.

Schools management information system-provider ScholarPack has also been signed up as flagship tenant in the building.

Lincoln-based chartered surveyor Banks Long & Co is proud to be acting as agent and project manager on both The Cornhill Quarter and Thomas Parker House schemes.

Lincoln BIG (Lincoln Business Improvement Group) plays a key role in a city which is proving a magnet for regional shoppers and tourists, by providing wide ranging support for more than 800 businesses and organisations.

Once again, with a five-yearly reballot of its levy payers currently underway, it is hoping to be given a mandate to continue its work. Voting papers were issued on 9th October and, by the time you read this, the reballot will be drawing to its close, at 5pm on 6th November. The result will be announced later the same evening.

Lincoln BIG levy payers are being urged to vote ‘Yes’ to trigger another five years of support (2020–2025). For the vote to succeed, sufficient people must vote ‘Yes’, but the total votes must be representative of the wide-ranging rateable values of levy payers’ premises.

Chief executive, Sarah Loftus said: “This is an exciting, but also nail-biting time but we are quietly confident that it will go well.

“Not everyone realises, but we provide around 40 support services, from security schemes, which include shop radios, to bus and parking passes, street cleaning services, lively events and attractions and much more,” said Sarah.

If Lincoln BIG secures the necessary ‘Yes’ vote, it will put £1 million a year to work over the next five years (made-up of levy payer monies and other income which it generates) with the aim of making a noticeable difference to the city.

During 2020 to 2025, Lincoln BIG aims to concentrate on three priorities – Welcome, Experience and Value – all are designed to offer a great deal for all levy payers.

Businesses in the BID area pay a levy which is based on their individual rateable values. The average amount they will pay is between £1.82 and £51.66 per week.

“That translates into the cost of anything from one cup of coffee a week for a small independent business to seven cups of coffee for a national retailer,” said Sarah.

Priority One – Welcome
Lincoln BIG wants to create a safer, cleaner and more welcoming city centre. In Year One, it pledges to continue its city warden service and respond to business requests to target hotspots for cleaning. It will do this by putting its gum removal machine and street vacuum to work, and also tackle the removal of graffiti.

Its Business Plan also states that Lincoln BIG wants to deliver four community clean-up projects, manage the Lincoln in Bloom scheme again and drive-up the number of venues involved in the Ask Angela Campaign and its Security Group membership (by 10 percent).

Priority Two – Experience
“This will focus on creating a World Class experience for people. During Year One, we want to provide five quality events, a sculpture trail and to manage existing seasonal trails in the city. We also want to develop tourism projects with our partners, devise five High Street experiences and come up with a public spaces plan by working with landowners,” said Sarah.

Priority Three – Value
“In the first year, we want to increase the take-up of the BIG Bus and Car Park passes by five percent, to give up to 40 businesses 12 hours of support under the Collaboration4Growth programme, enable more businesses to access this programme, highlight our Park & Ride service and work with partners to promote Lincoln’s uniqueness through three campaigns.”

Share the magic of Christmas with Stokes
For many in Lincoln the festive season really starts with the city’s nationally famous Christmas Market. This year the event is being held from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th December when The Lawn, Cathedral Quarter and Castle are bustling with seasonal stalls and visitors. Stokes at The Lawn are at the centre of the celebrations, presenting a Narnia-themed attraction. As well as enjoying their famous teas, coffees and delicious menus, visitors will step through wardrobe doors to enter a magically lit passageway, with festive chalets and meet the Snow Queen with her own animatronic dragon.

Stokes will be serving a Christmas themed Afternoon Tea during December in their High Bridge and Lawn cafes. Be sure to book your place well in advance. If you are searching for gift inspiration, Stokes has a range of Barista Experiences, with a behind-the-scenes look at their roastery at The Lawn. Prices start from just £20 per person.

Gift vouchers which are valid for 12 months are available to purchase. These can be used for a Stokes experience, for Afternoon Tea or for your favourite beverages. If you have a particular Gift Box you would like the team at Stokes to make up for you, just give them a call and they will compile your favourites to meet your budget. Share the magic of Christmas with Stokes.

Lincoln Imp Trail
Lincoln has gained a great reputation for its wonderful sculpture trails, which have attracted people worldwide to the city.

Now, in the wake of the Lincoln Barons’ Charter Trail in 2015 and the Lincoln Knights’ Trail in 2017, Lincoln BIG (Lincoln Business Improvement Group) has announced it is working on the Lincoln Imp Trail, which will be a major city attraction in 2020.

Lincoln BIG chief executive Sarah Loftus said: “We recently launched a call for sponsors at a reception at the New Theatre Royal, where we announced that we were looking for backers for our full-sized Imp sculptures.

“That has quickly fired the imagination of business owners, who have already thrown their hats into the ring, because they don’t want to miss out on a fantastic promotional opportunity.”

The Lincoln Imp Trail is also offering five community sponsors the chance to get on board.

Lincoln BIG is partnering with public arts expert Wild in Art, The EBP and St Barnabas Hospice – the charity which will benefit from the proceeds of the auction of the Imp figures, after the Trail finishes.

Romantic setting for your special day
At the White Hart Hotel, located immediately next to the beautiful Cathedral, they understand the need and importance of planning for your big day.

Their dedicated Wedding Manager and team believe passionately in the attention to detail of even the smallest items to ensure that your special day is exactly how you’ve planned and imagined it would be, ensuring the planning is faultless and stress free.

With food prepared by their award-winning kitchen brigade and served in the air-conditioned King Richard and Eastgate private function suites, contemporary accommodation so your guests don’t have to travel and endless list of ideas and suggestions for both daytime and evening entertainment, you and your guests will be able to make fantastic memories to last you a lifetime together.

The White Hart offers wedding packages to suit all sizes and budgets as well as offering a bespoke service if you’re looking for something a little different. Call their dedicated wedding manager today to arrange an informal chat or arrange a show round of the hotel.

Special occasions begin at Coffee Bobbins
Coffee Bobbins is not only a favourite for a quick cup of coffee or tea while out shopping, it is also a favourite venue for get-togethers and special celebrations. Customers flock to enjoy delicious light lunches, homemade cakes baked on the premises and excellent afternoon teas.

There are plans to expand the number of themed events throughout the year including forthcoming storytellers with Nordic Tales over Christmas and in the New Year ‘Hygge’ cosy nights to fend off those winter chills and blues. In 2020 there will be plenty of opportunity to treat a loved one for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and more.

Coffee Bobbins feature a large range of Lincolnshire produce on their menus and this shines through with the flavour and freshness of the dishes.

If you would like to enquire about celebrating a special occasion at Coffee Bobbins contact them on: 01522 719546 or visit

Sensational dining experiences this Christmas at Doddington Hall
Enjoy the very best of festive food and drink at Doddington Hall’s award-winning restaurant this Christmas. Doddington’s chefs work closely with local producers and the estate’s own Kitchen Garden team and gamekeeper to create menus that showcase home-grown, home-reared and local produce.

Doddington’s Christmas lunch and evening dining menus provide one of the most sensational festive dining experiences available. Each menu will feature produce from Doddington, such as estate pheasant and partridge, Doddington reared Lincoln Red beef and seasonal fruits and vegetables from the Kitchen Garden.

You can also book fabulous home-made, ‘Christmassy’ afternoon teas in the restaurant and Christmas Eve breakfast in the cafe.

The festive Christmas lunch menu is served daily from 12noon-2pm and Christmas Afternoon Tea is served Monday-Saturday from 3pm. Christmas à la carte evening dining is served on Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm (29th November–21st December) while Christmas Eve Breakfast is served from 9-11am (booking is essential – 01522 812505).

To view menus and find out more about Christmas at Doddington Hall & Gardens visit

University opening its doors
Thousands of visitors take advantage of the University of Lincoln’s Undergraduate Open Days, when prospective students, their friends and family get to explore its campus, courses and accommodation options close-up.

And the University is also a great place to go to hear top flight speakers.

Upcoming Undergraduate Open Days are taking place on Saturdays 16th and 30th November and on Wednesday 11th December.

The autumn season of Great Lives free public lectures will feature TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham on 5th November, satirical cartoonist and illustrator Gerald Scarfe on 22nd November and Emmy award winning Professor Brian Winston on 28th November.

Print solutions
Now in their 40th year of trading, Lincoln Print & Copy Centre continues to provide the best print solutions for customers in the Lincoln area, giving the service and advice customers need to run and promote their businesses and organisations.

With experienced and friendly staff, a modern range of equipment they can adapt to suit each customer’s requirements, and a same day service available on many items, customers get the rapid response required.

Whether you need a straightforward print, copy, scanning service or something more complicated involving design or print finishing, discuss it with the staff at Lincoln Print & Copy Centre and you can be sure a solution will be found. Products include business cards and business stationery, leaflets, manuals and brochures, carbonless pads, architectural drawings and posters.

An Ordnance Survey Map Data Centre provides maps for planning applications, historic and area maps from the Ordnance Survey archive. Contact them today to discuss your requirements.

Quite a coup for CAODS staging Evita
In early 2019, The County Amateur Operatic and Dramatics Society Lincolnshire (CAODS) offered an open invite to anyone who would like the chance to be involved in their most ambitious production to date. To mark CAODS’ 70th anniversary, Society chair, Eira Hammond and director, Janie Smith proposed to stage one of the most iconic and famous musicals of all time – Evita.

We spoke to Eira and asked her what makes this show so special to her: “When I first saw the 1996 film version it was so moving, I had tears in my eyes… So I was delighted when our director Janie Smith agreed to support us again for our 70th anniversary production of Evita as I know we could really bring something to life onstage that was different from any previous production! The sound is going to be immense and I think the audience will really be blown away by the sound and visual experience.”

Director Janie Smith says: “Evita is Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice’s most brilliant and most complex work, and CAODS are among the first amateur societies to be granted the rights to produce it. The people of Lincoln now have the opportunity not only to see this musical at the New Theatre Royal but to see it in a way that no professional company could afford to with over 70 performers on stage.”

Following ten intensive months of work, the show opens at the New Theatre Royal Lincoln in November – the seed of an idea has grown into a massive production featuring a company of over 70, an orchestra of 19 and one of the largest sets ever designed for the New Theatre Royal.

Tickets are selling very quickly – visit for availability or call the box office on 01522 519999 for more information.

Martin Smith Opticians – UK Practice of the Year 2019
Martin Smith Opticians is an independent, award-winning practice in Saltergate, Lincoln, which has received recognition within the industry for the skills and excellence of its professional team.

The Association of Optometrists presented Martin Smith Opticians with the 2019 awards for the Practice of the Year, Optometrist of the Year, and Dispensing Optician of the Year, hailing the practice the best in the profession.

The practice has again achieved another significant milestone – as Dr Martin Smith has now completed the second part of his specialist glaucoma qualifications.

One of the UK’s highest qualified optometrists
Dr Martin Smith, BSc DOptom DipTp(IP) Higher Cert Glauc MCOptom, achieved a distinction in the Higher Professional Certificate in Glaucoma which combined with his Independent Prescribing qualification enables Dr Smith to diagnose and treat raised pressure inside the eye (Ocular Hypertension) and suspected glaucoma.

Private consultations
There are only a small number of UK optometrists with this notoriously demanding qualification, establishing Dr Smith as one of the UK’s most highly qualified specialists. “One and a half million people in England have ocular hypertension and glaucoma and treatment can halve the risk of developing glaucoma, the second most common cause of irreversible sight loss,” states Dr Martin Smith. Private glaucoma consultations are now available at the Saltergate practice which can be booked by calling 01522 521100.

Client satisfaction is key to success
Martin Smith Opticians have invested in excellence in staff training and the latest technology to offer advanced customer service and eye-care which could be compared in the hospitality industry to that of a boutique hotel or Michelin starred restaurant. Every detail is taken care of, every need met before it is asked for. It is a business uniquely attuned to the requirements of each individual customer, from the high-tech sight test with one of the country’s top optometrists to the personal dispensing service offering the finest individualised lenses and hand-made frames from around the world overseen by two of the country’s best dispensing opticians.

Choice and style
The practice specialises in custom-made lens designs from Rodenstock and Hoya, and holds the most beautiful collection of frames from independent niche suppliers. These include Blackfin – handcrafted from superior Japanese titanium and manufactured in the Italian Dolomites; Etnia Barcelona, a colourful and original collection, and Bevel from Japan.

“Our goal is to continue to ensure our customers receive the best possible eye-care and clinical care that the industry can provide whilst remaining personable and friendly,” said Dr Smith. “Our customers tell us they are delighted and that is our main and constant motivation.”

The practice is accepting new patients and bookings for private glaucoma consultations. Customers are advised to book well in advance to secure the best appointment options.

A comprehensive eye examination showcases the best of the most ground-breaking technology and Martin Smith Opticians are the first UK practice to offer Paskal 3D sight testing, Rodenstock DNEye scanning, Zeiss Cirrus OCT and the Impressionist 4 digital measuring mirror. All eye examination are always with Dr Martin Smith.

Martin Smith Opticians, 22 Saltergate, Lincoln LN2 1DH, Tel: 01522 521100,, or message us on facebook

It’s all about growth!
The number of people now furthering their education at the University of Lincoln has risen to 14,000.

Students are studying a variety of courses across the University’s Brayford Pool (Lincoln), Riseholme and Holbeach campuses.

Among the latest arrivals are the varsity’s first cohort of medical students. These doctors of the future have embarked on their studies in one of England’s new generation of medical schools, marking the start of a new era for the NHS workforce.

Lincoln Medical School is a partnership between the University of Lincoln and The University of Nottingham to deliver first class medical education in Lincolnshire.

Until now, our county was the largest in England without a medical school of its own. Once at full capacity, it will provide training to about 400 medical students at any one time.

The move follows a successful application to Health Authority England to deliver some of the extra 1,500 undergraduate medical education places being created across England, supported by Lincolnshire’s healthcare community.

Students are studying Nottingham’s world-class BMBS Medicine degree at the University of Lincoln, with the first cohort of 80 students in 2019/20.

A further 17 will study at Lincoln on Nottingham’s innovative BMBS Medicine with Foundation Year, designed to widen participation in medical education. Initially, they will be based in existing science and health education facilities on Lincoln’s main Brayford Pool Campus, where more than £21 million is being invested to create a bespoke new medical school building.

News from Lace Housing
Following the successful opening of LACE Housing’s developments in Ingham and Washingborough, a third scheme for 2019 is nearing completion. Situated off Deepdale Lane, The Burrows, named by children from the local schools, was made possible thanks to a grant from the Government’s Homes England as part of its Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes programme and is part of 82 new Lincolnshire homes LACE Housing are developing this year.

“With an ever-increasing ageing population, it is essential that we do all we can to embrace the challenge of providing much-needed homes that are affordable and designed to support independent living.”

The Burrows offers 22 self-contained two-bedroom apartments for rent and 14 bungalows, on a shared ownership basis. The scheme offers a communal lounge and kitchenette, mobility scooter store, landscaped gardens, car parking, plus communal seating areas throughout to encourage interaction between residents, with the goal of preventing loneliness and isolation.

Special hampers arrive
Some of Lincolnshire’s favourite food and drink producers are celebrating their goods being selected for inclusion in four fabulous new gift hampers.

The British Hamper Company, which is based in Lincoln and North Carlton, has chosen home-produced preserves and packaged cheeses, beverages, sweet treats and plum bread for a new range, designed to appeal to people looking for presents for Christmas and other occasions.

Jenny Smith of Jenny’s Jams and the Davenport family who produce Cote Hill Cheese’s five varieties are among those whose foods have ‘made the cut’.

Jenny makes 24 different lines, including jams, marmalades, chutneys and a sauce.

“Having my preserves chosen by The British Hamper Company, which sells its lines worldwide is fantastic. Apart from the potential increase in orders, it means that people thousands of miles away will get to enjoy a true taste of Lincolnshire,” she said.

Ross Davenport said Cote Hill Cheese now produces 22 tonnes of cheese each year. The business makes a variety of soft and semi-soft cheeses, but it is its Cote Hill Red which is going in The British Hamper Company’s Lincs Cheese & Treats Hamper.

“It gives the whole family a real buzz when we attract a new customer or hopefully, in this case, potentially new customers. It makes all the effort and care we put into cheese making well worth it,” said Ross.

The other new county hampers from The British Hamper Company are the Taste of Lincolnshire, Traditional Lincolnshire Afternoon Tea and the Gourmet Lincolnshire Hamper.

The British Hamper Company is headed by managing director James Tod and his parents directors Mike and Liz Tod. The firm’s hampers are shipped to customers in more than 50 different countries.

Liz Tod said: “We are aware that our county, which is often referred to as the ‘bread basket of the UK’, is attracting rising numbers of overseas visitors. Many enjoy Lincolnshire’s fine foods while they are here and want to take a taste home with them. We offer them an easy way to order their favourite hamper which can be delivered to them wherever they are in the world.”

In addition to Jenny’s Jams and Cote Hill Cheese, the company has sourced products from Lincolnshire Poacher cheese, The Lincoln Tea & Coffee Company, Grantham Gingerbread, Naked Marshmallow, Pipers Crisps, Duffys Chocolate and Welbourne’s for its new hampers.

Leading motorhome broker has 5 star rating
Motorhome Depot, Europe’s leading motorhome broker have almost 50 agents across the UK helping clients buy or sell motorhomes and campers. They operate in a similar way to an estate agent but with a much more personal and friendly approach. This is backed up by their impressive 5 star rating within the Trustpilot platform.

“For sellers we can take over the sale completely, leaving you to enjoy your free time without the worry of time wasters, scammers or just lookers, we really can offer your vehicle to the entire market with finance and part exchange options. A secure client account is put in place to safeguard the transaction. You will either have your vehicle safe on your own drive or the funds in your bank account.

“For buyers we have over 600 vehicles listed, appraised and presented accurately all at attractive market generated prices and with tried and tested protocols in place to make it easy to drive away your chosen leisure vehicle legally.”

Independent opticians invest in diagnostic equipment
Walters Opticians is your local independent family run opticians based in Gainsborough and North Hykeham, Lincoln.

Established for nearly 22 years they pride themselves on offering a professional and bespoke service.

Many services are available at both practices including:
• Private and NHS eye examinations
• Contact lens clinics with access to the best contact lenses currently available which suit all individual lives and budget,
• Tear clinics specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye
• Colorimetry/Visual stress tests
• A huge selection of many well-known designer brands for both ophthalmic and sunglass frames such as Gucci, Tom Ford, Jimmy Choo and Dior.

“In our Gainsborough Practice we have recently invested in a Heidelberg OCT retinal scanning machine which is used for all of our eye 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.

“As an independent optician, we make sure that we offer the very top quality lenses on the market. We proudly offer Essilor lenses who are the world leading brand for varifocals. Essilor are the inventors of the Varifocal lens, with the brand name being Varilux. Due to the very latest technology we can offer a Varilux lens which is a bespoke lens made uniquely for you, with precise measurements taken on the Visioffice. We have a Visioffice in both of our bespoke practices.”

Walters offer a 0% finance option allowing you to get those perfect spectacles and spread the cost evenly over the coming 12 months.

If you require any further information, call the practice on 01427 616505 or visit: Unit 5, Hykeham Green Shopping Centre, North Hykeham LN6 8NH or 34-36 Market Place, Gainsborough DN21 2BY.

Peace of mind for your property
If you want the security and assurance that your property is secure and safe after hours or when it is vacant now is the time to talk to Static Security Services based on Limekiln Way, Lincoln. The company has earned a reputation for excellent customer service with tailored security packages for domestic and commercial properties available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Their keyholding services are combined with an alarm response which is ideal for keeping your premises safe overnight but Static Security Services can also provide static guarding, mobile response as well as locking and unlocking procedures.

Mention you are a reader of Lincolnshire Life and you could receive a 20% discount off the keyholding charge for an annual contract.

If you are a business owner, landlord or private home owner Static Security Services would be delighted to give you a quotation to help you achieve peace of mind for your property.

Call them on 01522 537133

Co-Operative launches festive extravaganza
In the summer Harding House Gallery held its 25th Anniversary Exhibition to celebrate 25 years as an artists’ co-operative. Some research was done into the history of the Grade ll listed building and it was found that in the 16th and 17th centuries the building was occupied by skilled craftspeople, as it is today with the members of the co-operative running the art and craft gallery where they sell their own work and the work of around fifty other artists, local and national.

The gallery’s festive extravaganza this year is titled ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ and will take place in the upper gallery. It will be full of original handmade artworks created by invited artists; ceramics, paintings, textiles, metal, wood, jewellery and more, from large pieces to unique greetings cards and small gift items – something for everyone. The show will run from 16th November to 5th January.

Get the perfect night’s sleep with the help of Forty Winks
Forty Winks have been established for fourteen years. They are a local Lincolnshire family business. From working in the shop, to doing the accounts and even delivering your local purchases, everyone who works at Forty Winks is a family member.

It is their customer service that sets them apart from the rest. They do this by offering a complete start to finish, first class service. They offer an excellent choice of high quality products in their warm and friendly showroom where they encourage you to try out the mattresses, and to take your time in choosing the perfect bed or product for you. Their complete customer service to you continues through their quality delivery service where their delivery personnel are so good they even take their shoes off! Their delivery team will take your items to the room of your choice, and assemble if required. They also offer an old bed disposal service.

Visit Forty Winks at 100 Burton Road or visit

Never miss a copy!

Big savings when you take out a subscription.