Growth makes town a popular choice for families and business
With the busy A15 running through the centre of the town, Bourne offers a natural route to destinations further afield – but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t stop and take a walk of discovery, says Glynis Fox.
Locals have long known about the benefits of living, working and shopping in this historic market town, which is currently ablaze with colourful floral decorations. Many have also stayed loyal when it comes to supporting traders throughout the recent difficult months.
Now, word on the street reveals that many more people are eager to make Bourne their home and new housing is also attracting new brands and services to this growing destination.
The town, which has a population of around 30,000 people, is proving particularly tempting for families looking to move to this part of south Lincolnshire which, along with the county at large, has a strong reputation for offering people a great quality of life.
Bourne has seen good growth over the past few months, with another phase of new homes being built on the Elsea Park development on the edge of the town. At the same time, established small businesses and new niche enterprises are injecting further diversity and vitality into town premises.
This mix is complemented by a wide range of larger employers based on the town’s commercial sites.
The popular Bourne in Business group remains popular, with a 70-strong membership of business owners and managers working across a variety of sectors.
Add the availability of good schooling, leisure facilities and heritage attractions, and there are plenty of good reasons to discover the town’s treasures.
North Street and South Street are home to a wide variety of shops and eateries, with footwear outlets, cafés, gift shops, hardware retailers and many more. However, they only tell a fraction of the story.
If you love tracking down independent businesses, it’s also worth exploring Bourne’s ‘alleyways’. Look out for Angel Precinct, which leads into Crown Walk (off West Street), Wherry’s Lane and The Burghley Centre.
Estate Agent Newton & Fallowell sales negotiator Kieran Chadwick said: “We are very very busy at the moment. The current situation is that we haven’t got enough (housing) stock, whilst we’ve loads of potential buyers, including buyers coming in from the London area, including Essex.
“They are attracted by the housing prices and by local schools, such as Bourne Grammar and the Bourne Academy, which have good reputations. Another phase of housing at Elsea Park is also under construction.”
Renu in Abbey Road comprises well-established health, beauty and fitness studios. The team is headed by owner Claire Gray.
“We have done our very best to support our customers through recent tough trading times and we are still doing that, by offering a full range of treatments to ladies who are keen to look after themselves physically and mentally. We continue to provide lots of fitness classes, which include some like pilates, which can be accessed online,” said Claire.
“I think it is a credit to all of the town’s small businesses that most have survived the recent ups and downs. That is due to the great support we receive from the residents of Bourne. There is plenty of evidence that local people want to shop locally.”
Bourne is also attracting a variety of growing businesses and major retail brands.
“There are good reasons to have faith in the future too. For instance, the former ATS garage and Fenland Stores site across the road from Renu are currently being redeveloped to create a range of small retail units. Many have already been let to businesses such as Domino’s Pizza, One Stop Stores and Bourne Dance Studios,” added Claire.
Despite today’s cost-conscious environment, it seems that plenty of families are determined to get away for sunshine breaks, irrespective of travel hassles!
Just over a year ago Shaun Taylor opened Inspire Travel by Shaun in the former Co-op Travel premises in Abbey Road. Things are now going so well, he has taken on travel consultant Penny Lipscomb (who actually used to work in the same premises).
“I had 15 years of experience within the travel industry. After I was made redundant by Tui I decided to work for myself. Now I have my own business (but I am also a member of a bigger group) and I am offering full travel services, including foreign currency.” said Shaun.
“I also feel it’s a great achievement to have been shortlisted for two travel industry awards. The first is due to be announced this month (July) and the second, for Best New UK Travel Agent, will be revealed in September at an event in London.”
Shaun added that Europe, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand are currently among hot getaway destinations.
Bourne in Business chair (and Landmark Finance IFA) Paul Ross said: “Bourne seems to be expanding quite a bit. There is activity on the housing front with Elsea Park growing and we are seeing the population increase massively.
“The town has attracted new supermarket investment and brands like Wetherspoons, as well as small businesses which have become established.”
Redundancy during the pandemic in 2020 encouraged two ladies to pool their expertise and plough it into a new venture, which is now providing accountancy services for local businesses and others across the UK.
Janine Goodman and Helen Constanti, who are still growing their venture J & H Accounting Freedom, are delighted by its early success.
Janine said: “It seemed to be an obvious move. We had been working together on something else but we knew we had the right qualifications and experience and that gave us the confidence to make the move.
“We started from scratch and it has gone very well. We have already built up a following of 25 clients, who are finding us via Google search, referrals, networking groups, our website and social channels.
Helen added: “Our portfolio includes everyone from sole traders to limited companies based in a variety of industries, who tap into our compliance, management reporting, consulting and finance protection services.”
Sharron Woodward trades as Stamford Virtual Services but, despite her business name, the Castle Bytham mum-of-two is conveniently placed to include clients within Bourne.
“I had always worked as a secretary/PA, but I got fed up with travelling up the A1 and so in 2017 I decided to go it alone and I love working from my garden office,” said Sharron.
“I am particularly used to the surveying industry which accounts for most of my work, I am used to the layout of documents. I worked for a building surveyor for more than 20 years, so I know my specifications and schedules of work and more. I love it.”
CARE HOME FUN
A brilliant afternoon was had by all when students visited a Bourne care home recently – now more youngsters and their parents have been invited to follow suit!
Residents at The Cedars Care Home enjoyed a game of bingo and tucked into sweet and savoury treats made by students of the Charles Read Academy in Corby Glen.
The June get-together saw the home welcome the group of young people, aged 11-16, who were keen to run a fun-filled afternoon.
The Cedars Care Home senior general manager, Rebecca Aldred said: “The residents at our home had a lot of fun playing bingo with our visitors. The treats (including sausage rolls and cakes) created by the students were wonderful and we thoroughly enjoyed them.
“The children enjoyed talking with our residents and getting to know them over tea and cakes, before helping them with their bingo games. If anyone ever wants to stop in for a lovely afternoon with their children, or just for a cuppa and a break, we’d love to have them join us.”
The care home is run by Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers. It provides residential and nursing care for 56 residents, from respite care to long-term stays.
DID YOU KNOW?
There are many interesting facts about Bourne and places worth exploring.
Grade I listed Bourne Abbey Church, which is believed to have been founded in 1138, sits alongside Bourne Eau and is open to visitors.
Robert of Bourne, who was a teacher at Bourne Abbey, is credited with being the first person to write in English.
The founder of British Racing Motors, Raymond Mays, lived in the town, which is where the ERA and
Bourne Heritage Centre (Baldocks Mill) is a museum and shop. It features the Raymond Mays exhibition, the Charles Worth Gallery (French fashion designer born locally) and a third highlighting Bourne’s history. It is usually open from 2pm to 4pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays (except Christmas) – but do check before you travel.
Wellhead Gardens and Bourne Memorial Gardens extend to 21 acres of parkland. The area includes the site of St Peter’s Pool – an ancient pool filled by seven underwater springs. It’s a lovely area in which to relax.
DISCOVERING TREASURED COLLECTABLES AT GOLDING YOUNG
As dedicated individuals in their field, the professional and friendly team of chartered auctioneers and valuers at Golding Young provide a five-star service to buyers and sellers alike. Established in 1864, this family-owned business offers expertise in auctioning an expansive product range from antique furniture, art and automobilia, to jewellery, medals, collectables and much more.
Opened in 1984, the Bourne Auction Rooms are located on the main A151 Spalding Road, just half a mile from the town centre, on the former site of the BRM Formula One workshop.
Regulated by the RICS, Golding Young, which also has branches in Lincoln, Grantham, Louth and Stamford, holds monthly Collective Sales across its three Lincolnshire salerooms in which a core section is dedicated to antiques and collectables, as well as specialist sales of Asian art, fine art, toys and automobilia several times a year.
In 2019, Golding Young became the first saleroom in the area to host its own online bidding platform with ‘GY-Live!’, which has proved vital through the past years to host auctions online.
“With a world of buyers viewing our catalogues, we remain one of the UK’s leading salerooms for the sale of antiques, collectables and specialist collectors’ items. If you are thinking of selling with us, look no further than our catalogues for upcoming lots and past auction sale results.”
Golding Young’s team of specialists also carries out insurance valuations, probate valuations and house clearances, going the extra mile in helping to maximise your return and also offer free auction appraisals throughout Lincolnshire and surrounding counties.
“Regardless of size or quantity, we are always on hand to help with all your valuation and house clearance needs. Our experienced and skilled team offer a range of valuation services, so please do not hesitate to get in contact with us to find out how we can help.”
For more info visit www.goldingyoung.com
A CELEBRATION OF GEORGIAN LIFE
Set up in 2020, the Aveland History Group represents local history around the ancient Aveland Wapentake, covering an area from Bourne in the south to Osbournby in the north.
The group’s mission is to get hands-on with history, bringing to life skills and knowledge for all ages.
On Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September, the group returns to Folkingham to host a Georgian Living History festival. Thanks to a grant from South Kesteven District Council, the weekend is free access.
Visitors can join in a number of talks and events, including Those History People – providing activities for children based around crafts such as spinning, soap and candle-making, inks and printing – and The Mannered Mob, a specialist society of re-enactors. Regency dancers and a regiment of the 1815 Coldstream Guards bring the era vividly to life. As well as a variety of food stalls, visitors can enjoy street entertainment, vintage farm machinery, puppet shows, circus skills and a carousel.
For more information visit www.theavelandhistorygroup.com
Photographs: Mick Fox