Love Lincoln!

Glynis Fox finds visitor numbers are on the up as Lincoln prepares for summer, with new shopping opportunities, eateries and exciting events taking place.

Lincoln is ever-changing – blink or fail to pop into the city on a regular basis and you could be forgiven for being surprised to discover a new business has moved in or an exciting event is about to get underway!

It can be hard to keep up. However, no-one can say that Lincoln is without fresh places to go, as the city continues to attract any new eateries and independent shops and boasts a packed calendar of summer activities to enjoy.

For a long time, the city leaders have been hoping that Lincoln will grow in prominence. Those aspirations are already becoming the reality. Today more county people can find what they want on “home ground” and the city’s increasing vibrancy is proving an irresistible temptation for rising numbers of visitors from away.

It is true that some people will claim that Lincoln is attracting a wide variety of fast food and other foodie outlets, when they would like to see more fashion shops and service businesses.

However, recent footfall figures from Lincoln BIG reveal that visitor numbers have been on the rise and it is hoped this trend will continue as summer gathers pace.

Interestingly, shopkeepers who were already trading in other parts of the county have also decided that Lincoln is also THE place to be… and have acted and opened second shops or branches.

Lincoln BIG footfall figures for April 2023 (the latest available as we went to press) reveal the city attracted 402,320 visitors. That figure includes 145,457 “new” and 256,863 “repeat” visitors.

Comparable figures for April 2022 show there were 337,973 visitors, of which 69,179 were first-timers. Interestingly, this year people are, on average, staying in Lincoln for 241 minutes against 212 minutes at the same time last year, so we must be doing something right!

Lincoln Business Improvement Group (Lincoln BIG) said it is no coincidence that the rise in visitor numbers and the amount of time they spend in the city is increasingly driven by the many colourful events that are taking place.

As an example, the group cites #DinoCity, which itself welcomed almost 60,000 visitors to the recent DinoDig site in the city’s Cornhill Quarter during its sixteen-day period.

The growing number of new visitors coming to Lincoln clearly shows that they are choosing it for shopping, events, tourism or to visit hospitality venues. Lincoln BIG believes the city has something for everyone to enjoy and to see the data reflecting this, with rising numbers, is positive news.

It is hoped that the footfall data will continue to increase and have a positive impact on local business, as sightseers and residents inject more money into the local economy.

Lincoln BIG head of operations, Lee Roberts said: “We’re pleased to see general footfall figures and dwell times increase, meaning more visitors and locals are exploring and experiencing all that the city has to offer.

“As Lincoln BIG continues to host and support a range of free events, including the 1940s Weekend and Cornhill Cove, we’re positive this will impact the number of new and repeat visitors to the city, as families, students and shoppers alike enjoy the entertainment.

“Working with local creatives and businesses to animate the city and provide free entertainment for all has proved to be an amazing way to encourage more people into Lincoln.”

Exciting things continue to boost the city’s ever-changing scene. Not only has Lincoln welcomed new arrivals on the business front, but progress is also being made on new and regeneration projects, which are being supercharged by National Lottery and other funding.

Newer arrivals on the foodie front include Wendy’s Burgers in the High Street, Lincoln Bagel Co in Guildhall Street and Tap & Tonic in the upper High Street.

On the regeneration front, the city’s iconic Grade I-listed ancient monument and former museum Greyfriars is set to welcome visitors again in 2025, thanks to a successful bid for funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and partner organisations.

The distinctive building, off Broadgate, which dates to around 1230, is poised for a new lease of life.

Many people will remember it as a museum but, fascinatingly, it has also served as a mechanics’ institute, a free school, a Jersey knitting and spinning school and a house of correction!

Following an announcement of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund of £2 million, work will be carried out to repair and re-develop the building to create a fully accessible, multi-functional space for weddings, conferences and education and a café space for the community.

Funders for this entire project, which totals £3.032 million, include: The National Heritage Lottery Fund, the Be Lincoln Town Deal Fund, the City of Lincoln Council, Heritage Lincolnshire, Pilgrim Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation and Changing Places.

Works on the newly refurbished Lincoln central markets project, at the heart of the city’s ever-changing Cornhill Quarter, are progressing well and on programme.

The new restaurant unit* built on the site of the former “butcher and fishmongers corridor” next to the main market building was due to be completed by the end of May/early June. The overall completion date for the market hall works and external repaving works across City Square, which will deliver new seating and greenery around the square to enable people to enjoy food and drinks from the market hall, is expected to be Autumn 2023.

The stone arches on the north and east elevations of the building have now been replaced with glazing, allowing visibility and light into and out of the building, providing a more attractive and welcoming place for people to visit.

Inside the market, a new heating system, roof, flooring, lighting and toilets are being provided with refurbished perimeter stalls and new island stalls across the main market hall.

Under the new mezzanine there will be a fresh produce area with its own glazed screen entrance.

Project lead, the City of Lincoln Council capital projects manager Maria Clayton said: “The vision has been to design a building of destination; an attractive and modern retailing and leisure space, offering a mix of stalls and delivering a place where people want to visit and dwell rather than simply pass by en route to the High Street or the transport links in the city.

“A successful market will provide opportunities to support and nurture local business, creating jobs and opportunities for the local community and also provide opportunities to showcase local produce.”

The project is part of the government’s Be Lincoln Town Deal, a £19 million investment plan in which City of Lincoln Council has received funding to support the growth and development of the city. Funding has also come from Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme and Historic England. 

*As we went to press, it was confirmed the Caribbean-inspired bar and restaurant Turtle Bay is to open its first Lincolnshire restaurant in the city on the site of the former Lincoln Central “butchers’ corridor”.

The brand, famous for delivering the flavours and spirit of the Caribbean, is set to open its doors later this year, with the building officially handed over to the company and now ready to be fitted out.

Lincoln is certainly a “happening place,” which is why it is always worth finding out what’s on, especially if you are planning a family visit.

Summertime is especially busy and one of the current multi-faceted attractions is the Cornhill Cove, which has returned to the heart of the city and which will stay in place until the end of August.

Organised by Lincoln BIG, it offers people the chance to try their hand at free crazy golf, tuck into street food, grab a drink from the onsite bar and sit down to enjoy pop-up entertainment and performances.

Lincoln BIG has teamed up with Open-Air Events to provide four months of summer excitement at the Cornhill. The pop-up entertainment will also feature live DJs, musicians, science workshops, circus skills events, interactive challenges and street theatre.

Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a round of golf, spend time with family and friends and relax in the heart of the city this summer, because Cornhill Cove aims to offer fun for all ages.

Lincoln BIG head of operations Lee Roberts said: “Following the success of the event in previous years, we were excited to bring the cove back bigger and better than before.”

Mr Roberts said local businesses have also comment that the Cornhill Cove is a brilliant spot to visit during lunch breaks.

Turn back the clock and get ready to soak-up the special ambience that will be created in the city with the return of Lincoln’s 1940s Weekend. Make sure you are around on 22nd and 23rd July!

Experience the spirit of 1940s Britain during two days of vintage performances, activities and classic vehicle displays in Lincoln’s historic Cathedral Quarter and across the city. This event has become a popular, free, regular attraction in the summer events calendar and is not to be missed.

The weekend schedule will be packed with entertainment, including live music, singing and dancing. The Bailgate and Castle Hill areas will be filled with entertainment and vintage vehicles from the era, alongside traders offering antiques, vintage clothing confectionery and artwork.

Lee Roberts said: “We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the Lincoln 1940s event.
“We encourage everyone to come in period dress to add to the family-friendly atmosphere, with prizes on offer for the best-dressed visitors as well as best-dressed business.”

The free, two-day Spark Engineering Festival is coming back to Lincoln Cathedral on 7th and 8th July.

A celebration of Lincolnshire’s excellence in engineering, it has been organised as a partnership event by the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, the Lincoln Engineering Breakfast and representatives from local businesses as well as education providers.

Siemens Energy has also been announced as the headline sponsor at the biennial festival along with other sponsors, including City of Lincoln Council, Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Investors in Lincoln, and Abbey Access Training Centre.

Spark aims to promote Lincolnshire as an engineering hotspot now and in the future and inspire local young people to consider a career in the science, technology, engineering and maths industries. This is the first year the festival has returned since before Covid.

This year will see the addition of a 3D printed 9-foot futuristic robot and Audi’s first all-electric super car, the Audi E-Tron GT, along with the return of exhibits from Lincolnshire engineering businesses.

Spark Engineering Festival chair, John Latham said: “We are delighted to bring this festival back after a three-year break due to the Covid pandemic and are thankful to Siemens Energy for once again pledging their support as headline sponsor and making the event possible.

“Before Covid, Spark had really gained momentum and quickly became one of the standout events in the annual calendar for engineers, teachers, students and businesses from all over the county but this year we are delighted the appetite is still there and we have the support of the fantastic businesses across the county.”

Visitors can expect to see several interactive displays and impressive exhibits, including the world record breaking Monowheels, along with a display about the use of robotics in engineering. Science busking demonstrations will also be taking place, as well as a variety of hands-on activities suitable for all ages.

This free event will be open to local schools on Friday 7th July and will showcase innovative developments in science, technology, engineering and maths happening across the county right now.

On Saturday 8th July, the festival is free to the public who are welcome to explore the exhibits, as well as the magnificent Lincoln Cathedral, an engineering masterpiece in its own right.

Visitors to the city will be pleased to learn that the Lincoln Sightseeing Tour Bus is back on the city’s streets.

During June and October it is running during weekends and on Bank Holidays, only; but throughout July, August and September people can get on board seven days a week and enjoy a live commentary, which brings to life Lincoln’s 2,000-year history.

It’s a great way to discover about Lincoln’s Magna Carta, the Cathedral and Castle, Roman Lincoln, aviation and much more.

Excitingly, £250,000 of funding support is opening the door to a three-year boost for Lincoln’s parks and open spaces.

The money follows a successful bid of £249,925 to the National Lottery’s Heritage Fund, which was put forward by the City of Lincoln Council. It will allow a programme of community activities to get underway across the authority’s heritage parks and open spaces.

Named “Lincoln’s Green Museum,” it will add to the offer of these already well-used, sociable places, in ways that advance equality, make the best use of the natural heritage in the areas, increase knowledge, engagement, inclusivity and wellbeing.

The programme aims to inspire younger people today and in the future through activities that connect them with the past. There are also plans to deliver meaningful activities and initiatives which connect under-represented groups to heritage.

Those at the helm will work closely with social prescribing link workers and use person-centred, heritage-based ways of improving people’s wellbeing.

The programme also aims to collect people’s memories and hear less-obvious narratives and there are plans to develop an online legacy archive, so as to record and celebrate the heritage of Lincoln’s city-wide green spaces for current and future generations to see.

The project will also build on the existing digital archive for Boultham Park, curating the information already held at all City of Lincoln Council’s heritage green spaces, to create an archive for each of the spaces, with the help of members of the public, volunteers, students and partner organisations.

The total value of the project is £299,925. In addition to the £249,925 from the Heritage Fund, a further £35,000 will be provided through volunteer works and in-kind contributions and £15,000 will come from the council.

The main open spaces included in the project, which gets underway this summer, are the West Common, South Common, Cow Paddle, Hartsholme Country Park, Arboretum, Boultham Park and Birchwood Nature Park.

All have heritage designations and/or have played an important role in the history of their community and the wider city.

Councillor Bob Bushell, Portfolio Holder for Remarkable Place at City of Lincoln Council said: “Our city green spaces have a wealth of heritage to offer, are free to use and are available to all.

“This project will provide opportunities for visitors to connect with and learn about these important places through a wide range of activities, initiatives, and events, together with the creation of a comprehensive online archive which will be accessible to everyone.

“For our heritage open spaces, the benefits are multiplied: heritage promotes personal and community wellbeing, it gives a sense of place and identity, it provides links to the past, a sense of perspective and a better understanding of today.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to curate our heritage before it is degraded or even lost, gathering memories and information into an online publicly accessible archive and I look forward to seeing this progress.”

Lincoln Councillor Biff Bean has become the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Lincoln and is the 818th person to be recognised as the city’s First Citizen. News follows Coun Bean serving as deputy mayor in 2022/23 and he is delighted to have taken up his new role.

“As someone born and bred in this great city, I feel honoured to represent it as the 818th Mayor. This is the proudest moment of my public life and I will do my very best to promote the city for all who live, work and play in it,” he said.

Wendy Bean is the new Mayoress, Councillor Neil Murray the City Sheriff and Ms Dorinda Hudson the Sheriff’s Lady.Councillor Alan Brigg is the Deputy Mayor and Wendy Mager, Deputy Mayoress.

The outgoing Mayor, Coun Rosie Kirk said: “It has been an incredible year. I started by helping to plant an oak tree at the International Bomber Command Centre to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the women’s section of the Royal British Legion. It was a very poignant first event, planting a tree.

“Over the past 12 months, my Sheriff Jasmit Phull and our Civic Party have been to hundreds of events, meeting wonderful people and organisations.

“With lighting a beacon at Lincoln Castle for the Platinum Jubilee to the services for the Queen, the Proclamation of the King to the Coronation, there will be few Mayors of Lincoln who would have experienced such an historic year,” she added.

The 10th of June saw the exciting launch of a fabulous sculpture trail which is designed to boost awareness of the work done by St Barnabas Hospice, which needs to raise £6.5 million a year to continue providing vital services.

The HeART Trail will see dozens of heart-shaped fibreglass and bespoke sculptures, with the theme of “Love Lincolnshire”, pop up all over the county, highlighting the county’s beauty but also celebrating St Barnabas as a charity at the heart of the community.

The trail has created a feel-good activity, providing fun for the whole family, giving participants the chance to view beautiful artworks and support local hospice care.

St Barnabas Hospice chief executive, Chris Wheway said: “Twenty sculptures will be based in Lincoln, with five more in Skegness and along the East Coast. Another five can be found in towns where St Barnabas has a Wellbeing Centre – Louth, Boston, Grantham, Spalding and Gainsborough.

“The HeARTs are all absolutely beautiful. Some show off typically Lincolnshire sights, including Lincoln Cathedral, Steep Hill, Boston Stump, Tattershall Castle and the Red Arrows. Others honour our stunning landscape and seaside, the seals at Donna Nook and the many animals that make up Lincolnshire’s wildlife population.

“It is going to be a fantastic experience walking the HeART Trail, so please do get involved.”

Handy HeART Trail guides feature a special scratch-off map and information about each sculpture and its artist. Blank miniature pottery hearts will also be available for people of all ages to decorate with their own designs after taking inspiration from the trail.

These can be bought from St Barnabas charity shops, Lincoln’s Visitor Information Centre and the trail’s HeART Hubs, which will be hosted across the county this summer. These are listed online at:

Each sculpture was created by an artist (nicknamed HeARTist) who submitted their design for consideration. St Barnabas presented these designs to local businesses and organisation sponsoring the trail, who chose their favourite to put their name to. The result was 30 gorgeous sculptures.

For the duration of the trail, people can also find the mini trail Young at HeART at the Waterside Shopping Centre in Lincoln.

This is a collection of sculptures made by students of 19 schools and nurseries around the county, to help young people understand the importance of supporting local hospice care, as well as providing a great collaborative educational art project for young minds.

Each year St Barnabas provides high-quality, free care to over 12,000 across Lincolnshire.

The Sturton-by-Stow Gelder Group is among businesses which have put their heart into St Barnabas Hospice’s colourful fundraiser. The company’s heart sculpture was painted by the well-known Lincoln artist Mel Langton.

Gelder CEO Steve Gelder said: “We had great fun taking part in Lincoln BIG’s Knights Trail. We think these sculpture trails are an excellent way of supporting charity. They are enjoyed by local families and visitors alike and they are a great way of getting our name out there whilst supporting a charity which does such fantastic work locally.”

Jazz takes centre stage in Lincoln’s spectacular cathedral on 14th, 15th and 16th July when this historic landmark plays host to a weekend festival featuring leading UK musicians with international credentials.

As the only jazz festival to be staged in a major UK cathedral, this event celebrates a range of jazz styles offering the very best of entertaining, accessible and creative music.

The weekend opens with award-winning vocalist Clare Teal and includes the cream of UK jazz artistes, including Martin Taylor, Tim Garland, Jason Rebello, Paul Booth, Alex Wilson, Djanco, Bryan Corbett and the Festival’s artistic director, trombonist Dennis Rollins.

Sunday morning’s Jazz Eucharist service features a jazz quartet and The Cathedral Choir under musical director Aric Prentice.

All the events take place in and around the cathedral, making use of the visitor centre facilities.

be a jam-packed weekend full of top-class jazz acts, which also includes some free events.

For more information visit

Roger Davis, Lincoln’s leading supplier of fine interiors, curtains and blinds, is now the proud suppliers of the new outdoor collection from Luxaflex® which incorporates awnings and pergolas, with a selection of external solar screens to help maximise outside space.

Not only will a Luxaflex® awning, pergola or screen provide homeowners with a shaded space when enjoying time outdoors, there are also additional benefits for the home. External screens can help reflect and block up to 96% of solar heat, preventing interiors from overheating with the additional benefit of energy-saving as there is less reliance on cooling systems such as air conditioning and fans.

Luxaflex® offers a collection of fabrics, including classic stripes, jacquards and plain hues that complement outdoor tones and textures, combined with fabric technology which protects the fabric colour so it won’t rot or fade with a UV treatment to assist in blocking out the sun.

Additional features include motorised functionality with operation via a remote control, plus finishing touches such as LED lighting and heating, allowing homeowners to enjoy their outside space into the evening.

For more information visit

As a well established and highly regarded traditional law firm, Burton & Co Solicitors LLP has been serving clients in the heart of Lincolnshire for more than 200 years.

“Dedicated to customer service excellence with a history you can trust, Burton & Co, which has offices in both Lincoln and Sleaford, is a modern, friendly firm offering expert advice for a range of legal matters, from commercial conveyancing to rural land disputes and everything in between.

“Clients also benefit from one-to-one meetings with their appointed lawyer, to whom you will have direct access throughout your case. For those who live further away, or have difficulties travelling, online appointments via video conference are offered, or where appropriate, a home visit.

“We combine the service you expect with the local knowledge you need from our experienced legal team.

We also hold a Legal Aid contract for the provision of housing, family and criminal matters, so, regardless of your financial situation, we may be able to help.”

For more information tel: 01522 523215 or visit

Lincoln Print & Copy Centre has continued investing in new equipment and recently bought new booklet making equipment to be able to offer folded and stapled booklets and brochures with many more pages.

This has been useful straight away as, recently, a customer needed scripts with many pages, as low a cost each as possible and a quick turnaround. We were able to offer exactly what the customer needed.

Other new equipment also meant a supplier to the NHS could have wire bound books to suit their needs.

Particularly popular at this time of year are leaflets and posters advertising upcoming events and brochures for commercial companies attending trade shows.

Paper prices have become more stable, which helps customers be more confident in the prices they will have to pay.

Lincoln Print & Copy Centre continues to work with paper merchants to ensure supplies come from sustainable sources and as much waste as possible goes into the recycling system.

“We work with customers to ensure the printing fits their needs and budget, helping all customers stand out from the crowd.”

For more information tel: 01522 546118 or visit

If you’re looking for personalised promotional products to suit any occasion, County Cups offers a wide range of special commemorative awards, including medals, cups, trophies, shields and glassware to suit all budgets and styles.

As Lincolnshire’s leading trophy and award suppliers for the past 30 years, this well established firm has a wealth of knowledge and takes pride in sponsoring local talent such as Lincoln Snooker Club and Jenson Ackerman Karting. An in-house engraving service is also offered.

The company, which has a showroom in Lincoln, as well as an online shop, supplies a wide range of trophies and awards to councils, police authorities, fire brigades and the RAF, as well as national bodies, schools, clubs and societies, both locally and nationwide.

County Cups, which is known for its fast and efficient turnaround and friendly service, also supplies banners and signs, alongside providing a bespoke service for garment printing and embroidery, ideal for all types of personalised leisurewear, workwear and uniforms.

For more information contact or tel: 01522 541628, visit

If you’re looking for professional expertise to help inspire, design and fit your dream kitchen and bedroom, the Cook and Sleep team are on hand to help.

Based at their showroom in Navenby near Lincoln, their friendly, skilled team advise and guide customers through choices to suit all budgets with a full service from design to installation.

Family owned and run, Cook and Sleep are members of the Federation of Small Businesses and retailers of Schüller Kitchens in Lincolnshire, also supplying Kitchen Stori and Aisling Artisan Furniture. Browse a variety of kitchens, worktops, storage solutions and appliances. Transform your bedroom into a space that meets all your needs with a range of styles, colours and finishes to choose from.

“We supply more than 50 designs in total and our mix and match service allows you to select the aspects you love and leave the rest. We will be on hand from the very start until your last piece is fitted and your dream kitchen becomes a reality!”

Showroom open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 9.30am to 1pm. For more information visit

Photographs: Mick Fox

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