Town gears up for summer welcome
With spring and summer just around the corner, communities up and down the country are getting ready for the next phase of the easing of lockdown – and there is a strong air of optimism in traditional market towns such as Louth. By Melanie Burton
Just as 12th April saw the hospitality sector start to welcome back customers outdoors and non-essential retailers open their doors to shoppers, 17th May is the next milestone in the return to business as usual.
From that date the limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible will hopefully be eased, and people will be able to meet up indoors allowing pubs, restaurants and cafes without outdoor areas to reopen although the rule of six or two households, will still apply.
There are many plans in the pipeline to help areas get back on the road to recovery.East Lindsey will receive £226,238 to help its market towns reopen, support its coastal resorts, and safely welcome shoppers and holiday makers back in the coming months.
The investment forms part of the Government’s ‘Welcome Back Fund’, totalling £56 million to help councils across England boost tourism, improve green spaces and provide more outdoor seating areas, markets and food stall pop-ups – giving people a range of safer options to reunite with friends and relatives this summer.
The district will also further benefit from additional hands-on support through the new High Streets Taskforce, a group of elite high street experts who will visit the area to provide advice on how to ensure high streets continue to thrive in the years ahead.
hese initiatives include enabling businesses like pubs and restaurants to use their land more flexibly, for example by setting up a marquee, for the whole summer. Pavement licenses are also being extended for another 12 months, so venues can continue serving customers ‘al fresco’ for longer periods without red tape.
MP for Louth & Horncastle, Victoria Atkins said: “We are lucky to have a wealth of fantastic independent shops, businesses and hospitality venues in our area, and it is vital to support our market and coastal towns as we plan to begin easing restrictions.”
Louth has made the most of the first ease in lockdown to introduce a cafe culture in the town. The Cornmarket has been closed to traffic on all non-market days (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and possibly Sundays) to allow the area to be repurposed so participating businesses could serve food and drink outdoors. Buskers, bunting and floral decorations complete the scene.
Chairman of Louth Independent Traders, Gary Dennis, said: “All the businesses have been working together and the aim is to really create an atmosphere. We hope it will be the start of a new era and it will help bring the town back to life.”
New homes, improved sports facilities and conservation are all on the cards for Louth and the surrounding district.
Plans for 237 new homes on land on Brackenborough Road in Louth have been given the go-ahead. The 25-acre development by Gleason Homes will be known as Bracken Park and construction is set to begin in summer 2021, with the showhomes opening in February 2022.
Wayne Sutton, operations director at Gleeson, said: “This will be our second site in Louth and our fifth in East Lindsey. With our affordable homes, we are determined to ensure that the housing market better serves young first-time buyers and families on low to average incomes. We anticipate that many people from the local area will be interested in Bracken Park and expect that the majority of personnel on site will be made up of local labour and contractors.”
The estate will feature two, three and four bedroom semi and detached homes, and the ‘Help To Buy’ and ‘Home Reach’ schemes will be available. Gleeson will also contribute £605 per plot to the NHS which equates to just under £150,000, and will donate £844,070 towards education in Louth and the surrounding areas.
The company has also said it will donate £150,000 to fund a new local bus service, and a bus stop will be incorporated into the new development. It will also provide £5,000 towards travel planning and £5,000 towards Traffic Regulation Orders to make the area safer.
A programme of investment in sports facilities in the district is also being planned with Louth’s London Road Pavilion set to get a new £130,000 Astroturf surface to replace the existing pitch which is now 20 years old and reaching the end of its life.
Louth Hockey Club, one of the principal users of the facility, has also committed to contribute towards the project, providing a total of £50,000, through an initial £10,000 lump sum and a further £40,000 interest free loan from the district council.
Works are set to commence on the replacement facility before the end of the current financial year.
The District Council also agreed to provide £170,000 towards a new 3G all-weather football pitch, subject to feasibility work and securing additional external funding.
The Lincolnshire Football Association has identified a need for new 3G pitches in East Lindsey. A new pitch of this type would provide a state-of-the-art playing surface for football, facilitating both training and competitive matches.
It is estimated that a new facility will cost in the region of £825,000 and ELDC will now work with its leisure and culture partners, Magna Vitae, the FA, local football clubs, and schools to progress the proposals.
Aeneas Richardson, executive director, from Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture said: “London Road Pavilion plays a huge part in the leisure and sporting offer in Louth and this significant funding will help ensure that the site remains one of the district’s leading venues for outdoor sports and recreation well into the future.”
Louth is situated on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds and is commonly referred to as the ‘Capital of the Wolds’.
The market town originated in Saxon times either side of the River Lud where it was crossed by the ancient trackway along the east edge of the Wolds. The name Louth derives from Hlud or Loud, referring to the fast flowing river that powered up to 13 watermills.
Louth is now the largest market town in the District of East Lindsey covering an area of 4,394 square miles and has a population of approximately 17,000 with approximately 8,200 properties (2019).
At the time of the Domesday survey in 1086, Louth had a population of about 600 and was one of only five boroughs in Lincolnshire and one of only 50 markets in England.
The town boasts some fine examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture and has the Greenwich Meridian of zero longitude running through it.
Louth is home to St James’ Church, a nationally acclaimed 15th-century perpendicular church with 16th-century crocketted spire which rises 295 feet and is thought to be the highest parish Church of England spire in the country.
Louth also has an imposing mid-19th century Town Hall which houses an imposing ballroom and the Compton theatre organ.
To the west of Louth lies the beautiful Hubbard’s Hills, a picturesque steep sided valley formed by glacial melt waters. It has beech clad sides, a grassy floor and the river Lud flows through it. Hubbard’s Hills has been parkland since 1907 and is much loved and used for recreation and study.
Traditional orchards are a much loved part of our British heritage and countryside, often occupying the same piece of land for centuries.They are hotspots for biodiversity and have been shown to provide a refuge for over 1,800 species spanning the plant, fungi and animal kingdoms.
Once a common sight within the landscape, the traditional orchard habitat is now under serious threat so within the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan, traditional orchards are identified as a Priority Habitat meaning they are in need of conservation. For that reason East Lindsey District Council has a new project, Bearing Fruit, which will see 10 orchards planted across the area including Louth.
Having successfully secured funding through Natural England’s Nature Recovery Network Seed Funding programme, ELDC has worked with community groups, parish councils and Platform Housing (who have contributed towards the funding of the three sites under their ownership) to identify sites for the orchards.
The trees were delivered in March and planted at sites in Westgate Fields and The Gatherums. The orchards will range between five and 20 trees.
The orchards planted as part of the Bearing Fruit project will help create new habitats for the future, contributing towards national tree planting targets and carbon capture.
Residents will also be encouraged to get involved with managing the orchards and training will be provided later in the year on how to prune and look after the trees.
Wolds Outdoor Festival
The easing of Covid-19 restrictions means certain events and activities can now go ahead once more and with Louth being a gateway to the picturesque Lincolnshire Wolds, it is a popular destination for tourists and holidaymakers alike.
But organisers behind the Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor Festival have announced that the inaugural event, originally set to take place this May, has now been postponed until 2022.
The Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor Festival was set to be the successor to the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival, which attracted thousands of visitors to the area during its 15 year history. However those behind the event say that, despite the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, it would be difficult to do the festival justice.
Chair of the Outdoor Festival steering group, Geoffrey Newmarch, said: “It is with sadness that the Outdoor Festival has had to be postponed until next year but I hope that everyone will understand that first and foremost we have a duty of care to both activity providers and those who would be attending.
“Despite the easing of restrictions, we feel that we wouldn’t be able to put on a festival that fully did justice to the wonderful Lincolnshire Wolds, whilst ensuring full Covid security.
“Thanks go to all the activity providers and the organising team who have put so much planning and thought into their events despite the pandemic. Having spoken to them in recent weeks, many have said they are very keen to carry over their events and make next year’s festival even bigger and better. They can see that life will be a lot more like normal and we can enjoy ourselves as we should.”
The Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor Festival is being developed collaboratively by a steering group of organisations, including: The Ramblers, Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service, British Mountaineering Council, Heritage Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire County Council, East and West Lindsey District Councils, and North East Lincolnshire Council. The festival will now run from 30th April to 5th June 2022.
The Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival took a break last year because its senior lead partner for the last five years, Heritage Lincolnshire, stepped down from the hosting role. The organising committee also felt the time was right to reassess the format and look at broadening the appeal of the festival.
East Lindsey District Council agreed to step into the breach left by Heritage Lincolnshire and become lead partner.
BRING YOUR BATHROOM TO LIFE
Established in Cannon Street four years ago, Lavish Bathrooms offers a professional design and installation service for discerning customers in search of bespoke solutions.
Owned and run by Nicola Dixey-Chambers and Simon Tisseman, the couple pride themselves on offering a quality service which has earned them five-star reviews on Checkatrade and Google.
“We offer the full package; from ripping out an old bathroom to creating a beautifully decorated sanctuary, ready for you to jump into your shower and enjoy,” explains Nicola.
“Our beautiful showroom offers an abundance of ideas and once we have your exact measurements, our team will put a design together using the latest design software before inviting you to pop in to finalise your requirements and make any tweaks.
“We aim to provide a relaxing buying experience with no pressure, enjoying refreshments in our design snug, or sitting outside while browsing through brochures and chatting over ideas with our design team.
“We also provide a Covid-19 safe virtual reality headset which takes customers on a virtual tour around their proposed bathroom, ahead of work commencing, so your finished bathroom is exactly as you envisaged it to be.”
As a special thank you to customers, everyone also receives a complimentary gift and aftercare pack, “so you can look after your investment and ensure it lasts as long as possible”.
For more information visit www.lavishbathrooms.co.uk
STRIACROFT JEWELLERS PROVES A GEM
Established in Butcher Lane since 1978, Striacroft Jewellers is the longest established family run specialist in the town offering a wide range of quality diamond, gold and silver designs, as well as repairs, engraving, valuations and insurance.
Owned and run by Philip and Ranka Cartledge with son Oliver, members of the National Association of Goldsmiths and The Guild of Master Craftsmen, this experienced team, rated Excellent on Trustpilot, take pride in offering five-star customer service.
“Our shop is staffed by family members while our other staff member has been with us for more than 20 years,” explains Oliver. “We stock items for all budgets, from £10 -£10,000, and if we don’t have what a customer is looking for, we always try and source what they need.”
Striacroft Jewellers, where you’ll find sought after watches such as Citizen, Iron Annie, Kronaby and pre-owned Rolex models, together with jewellery brands including Fei Liu, Amore, Unique & Co and Real Effect, also has an onsite workshop where the majority of repair work and engraving is done.
For more information visit www.striacroft.co.uk
MAKING YOUR GARDEN BEAUTIFUL
Seasoned professionals in all things gardening, Mark Egan, proprietor of Wolds Gardening and his team are infectiously passionate and enthusiastic, offering an efficient, quality service tailor-made to meet clients’ requirements.
“Recently, we had a new customer who rapturously told us about the most amazing garden she had seen in a nearby village. She said it was so beautiful, she had even taken photographs of it. When she described where it was, we were delighted to tell her this was a garden we had been developing over the past few years,” explains Mark, who launched the highly regarded business five years ago.
Experts in transforming large and challenging gardens into beautiful outdoor spaces, Wolds Gardening aims to build lasting relationships with clients in order to deliver a dependable, personalised service.
“If you’re looking to give your garden a face-lift, we’ll provide free estimates and can also offer a 3D design service to help you visualise new concepts,” says Mark. “We take pride not only in being efficient and dependable, but doing our best for clients and completing every job to a high standard.”
For more information visit www.woldsgardening.com
SPECIALIST CARE IN THE HEART OF THE WOLDS
The Wolds Care Centre provides a home for life within its specialist dementia, nursing and residential care communities. All rooms are spacious, boasting their own en-suite with shower and furnished to a very high standard. Residents and their families are encouraged to personalise their rooms, creating their own unique environment, reflecting the individuality of the resident.
Designed around a Community Hub, the home has the luxury of a café, shop, cinema, activity rooms, library with internet access and a sensory room. Residents can also enjoy the use of the on-site hair and beauty salon. A dedicated Activity Coordinator arranges for meaningful and engaging activities to be available daily, for everyone.
“Due to changes in the Government’s guidelines we are delighted to say visitors are being welcomed back. Safety procedures remain in place and all visits will have to be pre-booked. We will only be able to permit visits if the home is deemed safe to receive visitors.”
For more information call 01507 602360.
BUY UNIQUE, SHOP BOUTIQUE
As small independent retailers, Orchid Boutique and Daniella’s offer a personal service and something original and different, whilst the experience of buying locally from a friendly face offers a dose of normality that many people have missed.
Now is the time for these boutique shops to shine. What better than a few hours’ downtime, now we are able once again to meet a friend for an al fresco coffee, a light lunch and some retail therapy.
The Spring/Summer collections are a riot of colour; pinks, yellows and oranges contrast with the earthy shades of nature, so what better than a wardrobe update after a year of dressing down? The collections include: Monari, Naya, Bianca, Just White, Frank Walder, Le Comte and Gollehaug and garments are carefully selected to co-ordinate together through the ranges, creating personal outfits, tailored to you.
This season Orchid has introduced the Spanish brand Paz-Torras, whose mix and match styles afford elegance that is expressed through sensory fabrics.
As the saying goes ‘Accessories Make An Outfit’, so why not complete your new look and treat your feet? Daniella’s are stockists of some fabulous, quality brands, including: Geox, Unisa, The Flexx, Vionic and Hogl. The footwear is carefully chosen in styles and colours to complement the clothing: beautiful soft loafers and pumps, on trend trainers, classic courts and sandals for every look and event.
“Small businesses like ours are at the forefront of responding to challenges and evolving our much loved town centres to enrich local communities, adding value to people’s lives. Now is the time, more than ever, to show your locale some love.”