Elegant town on the Welland

With a long and rich heritage, a Jacobean and Georgian style town centre and little shops tucked down back alleys, there is no wonder that Stamford is described as ‘the best looking town in Britain.’
It has again been named one of the best places to live in Britain by The Sunday Times – making the top 10 in the Midlands section of the newspaper’s annual ‘Best Places To Live’ list. In 2013 it was named the best in the country and it was runner-up in 2017.

Among the attractions given a special mention are the thriving Friday market, the historic Corn Exchange and Stamford Arts Centre while the Shop Stamford campaign, aimed at local independent businesses in the town, is also praised for its support of high street businesses.

A spokesperson for South Kesteven District Council said: “Stamford is steeped in history and full of character and it’s no surprise that it is so highly rated. It remains a wonderful place in which to live, work and invest.”

That fact was acknowledged and marked through a special celebration that shone the spotlight on the high streets of the four market towns in South Kesteven including Stamford.

Co-ordinated and delivered by InvestSK, the local economic growth and regeneration company, and South Kesteven District Council, music, art and poetry were brought onto the high street, as well as a scavenger hunt in and out of local shops and cafes.

The events were designed to celebrate the high street and encourage more shoppers to visit and support local retailers.

In addition to the day’s celebrations, InvestSK has ring-fenced £10,000 of its Town Centre Investment Fund for £2,500 to be made available to each of the market towns to bring forward initiatives that promote local independent businesses.

The £2,500 grants will be made available to a representative body in Stamford, Grantham, Market Deeping and Bourne where it can demonstrate that it will create more awareness of the value independent businesses bring to a town.

Steve Bowyer, chief executive of InvestSK, said: “Our high streets are the lifeblood of our market towns and we want to encourage more people to shop locally and support our independent retailers.

“We know that the shape of retail is constantly changing but the fundamental principles remain the same: if there are people to sell to, then shops, restaurants and cafes will thrive.

“We need to make the high street exciting and more diverse, and bring people into our towns. The campaign day was designed to do just that.

“The funding that we have set aside for each of the towns will also help to promote independent businesses and showcase all that the towns have to offer.”

Councillor Nick Robins, cabinet member for retail and visitor economy at South Kesteven District Council, added: “The District Council has made it clear that our high streets are a priority, and we are pleased to provide this practical support for our towns and independent businesses.

“We have fantastic companies and other organisations operating in each of our town centres and we need to promote that offer to residents and visitors alike.”

This idea is backed up by a new local campaign launched about six months ago that continues to go from strength to strength. Energy Clothing owner Sarah Sewell is the driving force behind the Shop Stamford campaign to support Stamford’s local independent businesses.

A newly formed Shop Stamford Advisory Group has been set up and it was agreed that Shop Stamford provided a great catalyst to further collaboration amongst the local business community.

Sarah said: “It was great to be able to bring this group together. The combination of their different but complementary businesses, knowledge, skills, assets and contacts provides a great foundation for collaboration which can be harnessed to bring benefits not just to the independent traders of Stamford but to the whole visitor economy.”

Steve Bowyer said: “Shop Stamford is leading the way in terms of the marketing of our local market towns.

“The formation of this group demonstrates how collaboration between local organisations, local authorities and businesses can enable joint delivery of actions which drive the local economy and we will continue to support those aims.”

Shop Stamford is now focused on creating a business plan which will include a programme of proposed activities for 2019 to promote Stamford’s independent businesses.

Sarah added: “Loads of great ideas were discussed and included the possible publication of a guide to Stamford independent businesses with maps, tips and secrets of the town for visitors.

“We also have ideas for more events and better promotion of current events, giving greater support to Stamford in Bloom, and producing Shop Stamford bags and giveaways.”

InvestSK, which is responsible for helping boost the arts, heritage and visitor economy offers, is behind a special funding programme aimed at supporting local community projects that conserve and protect the area’s rich heritage.

Among the first to receive an award under the Heritage Alive! funding programme was the Stamford Community Orchard Group which was awarded a £2,000 grant to produce botanical drawings of the six variations of apples developed by Brown’s Nurseries in Stamford and Grantham in the 1850s.

The drawings will highlight the loss of traditional apple varieties and encourage the planting and conservation of more local types.

The Heritage Alive! funding programme is designed to celebrate South Kesteven’s built and cultural heritage.

Another Stamford group has also benefitted from the programme. St Martin’s Church Conservation Trust was granted £2,199 towards its project to restore the Victorian lantern on the church porch. Metal work will be restored and missing glass panes replaced. The lantern will be converted to run on a sensor, providing lighting for the footpath and improving accessibility at night and in low light conditions.

Steve Bowyer said: “South Kesteven’s rich heritage is a huge asset to the district. With funding made available through the council, we’re delighted to support projects that conserve and protect this heritage so it can continue to be enjoyed by visitors and residents for years to come.

“Our Heritage Alive! grants are supporting charities, community groups and places of worship from towns and rural villages across the district to continue the fantastic work they do to conserve South Kesteven’s heritage.”

SKDC leader Councillor Matthew Lee said: “South Kesteven has a rich and diverse heritage which is enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. It is vital that we support these projects to preserve the district’s legacy for future generations and that is why the council has made this funding available through InvestSK.

“These grants provide very practical help to community groups and charities that work tirelessly to conserve South Kesteven’s heritage.”

Always a place of importance in the country’s history, the market town of Stamford evolved around a natural stopping point at a ford where the Great North Road (A1) crossed the River Welland.

For centuries this famous thoroughfare has brought trade and prosperity and provided convenient access to the rest of the country, ensuring a commercial importance that only declined with the advent of the railways.

Stamford was described by Sir John Betjeman as the finest stone town in England.

The town and its surrounding area boasts more than 600 listed stone buildings constructed from local limestone and is protected by its conservation status, which was awarded in 1967, making the centre of Stamford the first urban Conservation Area in England.

As a result Stamford has been popular with filmmakers, who have produced the television series Middlemarch and the film Pride and Prejudice in Stamford.

Stamford’s commercial importance dates back to the Saxons and, by the 10th century, the town was a borough whose rights were confirmed between 1462 and 1714 by successive Royal Charters (all of which may be viewed in the Town Hall).

Stamford is renowned for its wide range of small independent shops in the St Mary’s Hill area together with a surprisingly extensive range of retail outlets along the pedestrianised High Street and Ironmonger Street.

Of historical importance, the extensive Friday market sees stalls along Broad and Ironmonger Streets and the colourful and lively activity draws shoppers and day trippers from a wide area in search of fresh produce and bargains from the wide range of general stalls. The popular fortnightly farmers’ market is also well worth a visit.

Arch Label Agency is a small independent boutique housing pre-loved top end designer clothes and accessories for women at a fraction of the original price. Susie Archer, the owner, started the business over sixteen years ago and has since built up a wonderful loyal customer following who can’t resist popping in regularly to see what is new in.

A lot of the stock is sourced in London and a strict edit ensures only the best pieces hit the shop floor. Brands such as Dior, Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuittton, Mulberry, Vivienne Westwood, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin are the most sought after labels and can be found creating a buzz on the shop’s social media and website (www.archlabelagency.com) which is updated regularly with new stock and must-haves.

The Stamford Endowed Schools (SES) are three independent schools working together to provide education to pupils aged 3 to 18. Structured as a ‘diamond’, boys and girls are taught together at the co-ed nursery and junior school before splitting to the respective boys and girls senior schools until the age of 16. This allows for a more tailored education at every level, either as day pupils, flexi or weekly boarders, before coming back together in a joint sixth form. This model of ‘single-sex academic and mixed co-curricular’ provides the best of all worlds.

With a convenient and extensive bus route service from Newark, Grantham and Bourne, the SES day school and weekly boarding options are providing many pupils across Lincolnshire with an outstanding education. With strong historic ties to Burghley House (William Cecil being one of the Schools’ alumni), and set in a beautiful market town with acres of open land, students enjoy extensive facilities both in and out of the classroom.

The Stamford Endowed Schools, which are steeped in heritage dating back to 1532, provide an unusually broad range of opportunities to inspire pupils, encourage curiosity and instil a love of learning. The Schools take pride in helping to shape well-rounded individuals who achieve their full potential, nurturing them to become who they want to be.

Where people start in life often defines who they become. This is illustrated by the impressive array of the Schools’ alumni with a wide range of diverse careers. Independent minds are at the heart of the three Schools, preparing Stamfordians for the ‘21st Century Boardroom’, wherever and whatever that might be.

Joint pain is no joke, especially for those who live with osteoarthritis. Many who suffer the effects of the musculoskeletal disease often know little about the world’s most common joint ailment.

The painful and stiff joints synonymous with osteoarthritis are caused by a slow degeneration of the surrounding cartilage, which causes the bones to eventually rub together.

Most therapy approaches can only slow down the osteoarthritis’ progress, even when coupled with painkillers or intravenous infusions. Many people tend to stop exercising soon after diagnosis, but this is actually the worst thing to do, especially if they hope to avoid the stress of future surgery.

The chemical reactions necessary for generating healthy cells are created by movement, so the most effective way to tackle osteoarthritis is to adhere to an active lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly will do wonders for the short and long-term effects, and as always, hydration is essential.

Those who suffer the symptoms of osteoarthritis don’t have to resign themselves to the constant cycle of pain-relief. The key might just lie on the edge of Stamford: in a healthcare clinic that’s home to an innovative technology boasting a wealth of advocates.

Cell Regeneration is a family owned and operated clinic and has spent the better part of a decade treating osteoarthritis sufferers in the Stamford area and far beyond. It is the flagship centre for administering MBST, the pioneering technology at the heart of the breakthrough therapy. At present there are just four clinics offering the therapy in the UK, but as word spreads that number seems certain to grow in the near future.

Many claims are made about the miracle cures offered by new technologies and are often rightly met with an air of scepticism. The only meaningful evidence lies in the studies that further support the therapy’s benefits and the affirmation from patients who have been successfully treated by the process. MBST has amassed ample praise from patients who have seen a long-term relief to their osteoarthritis and other degenerative ailments.

The technology uses harmless magnetic resonance (similar to MRI technology) to communicate directly with the cartilage, which stimulates the affected cells into regrowth and preserves the natural joint.

Once the MBST therapy is complete, the cells have been sufficiently stimulated in order to continue regenerating by themselves, reducing pain and allowing for greater movement and therefore a better quality of life.

The technology was pioneered in Germany in 1998 and has been causing something of a stir on a global scale ever since. Administered only by healthcare professionals, the therapy is coupled with an in-depth analysis of the patient’s injury or ailment. In the case of Cell Regeneration, that responsibility falls to Ann Clare, a reputable local physiotherapist and the first healthcare professional in the UK to champion the technology, twelve years ago. She is joined by her son and daughter, Charles and Liz, who run every aspect of the company, even serving as technicians on the sleek looking machines.

Ask an MBST patient about the therapy and you’ll be hard pushed to find someone who doesn’t sing its praises. In over 20 years and 1 million-plus hours of treatment, not a single patient has reported any side effects. It’s non-invasive, requires no drugs, injections, surgery or recovery time. So Stamford continues to innovate and step forward into the future of medical therapy.

“I was recommended the treatment by a friend who had previously been through the same treatment that I have just been through. The treatment has been easy, not painful, and the results speak for themselves… I found the service [to be] first class. The people involved have very nice personalities and explain everything as you go along.” – Mr Dodd.

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