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Words: Glynis Fox
Photography: Mick Fox
Featured in the March 2019 issue

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Success for today’s top towns and cities is all down to the “unique experience” they offer families and as Glynis Fox finds, Lincoln is among those showing the way.

Not so long ago, it was all about the level of retail therapy a destination could offer and whether a place was bursting with big name stores and popular brands, along with easy access of course.

Today’s super savvy family is much more demanding. It wants a diverse offer, ideally made-up of leisure activities, eating out, fun trails and a fabulous mix of mainstream and niche shops.

It’s a trend that’s become increasingly apparent and one that eagle-eyed developers, investors and planners have spotted and are responding to with great results.

Lincoln continues to attract a wide range of names in retail and leisure, as well as budding entrepreneurs who believe that Lincoln is the ideal launch pad for their bright and breezy ventures.

The University of Lincoln, Bishop Grosseteste University and Lincoln College continue to develop and attract students keen to study in a city which is seen as safe and welcoming.

The Universities’ campuses also offer business accommodation for ambitious and growing businesses and the Boole Technology Centre on the Lincoln Science & Innovation Park offers office, laboratory and workshop space for science and technology focused businesses.

Cranes can be spotted reaching for the skyline in various parts of Lincoln as investors splash the cash and show their confidence in a city which refuses to stand still.

Lincoln’s Cornhill Quarter is capturing the attention of movers and shakers keen to bring names to an area which is undergoing a stunning £70 million programme of regeneration.

An amazing revamp of the iconic Corn Exchange has already attracted tenants including The Cosy Club, Thomas Cook, Flying Tiger Copenhagen and Moss Bros.

Lakeland has relocated from the St Mark’s Retail Park to Sincil Street, and others are ready to follow hot on their heels.

Developer Lincolnshire Co-op, its agent chartered accountant Banks Long & Co and Lindum Construction are delighted with the progress being made.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s latest signing for the scheme is Seasalt, which will be moving in alongside the recently signed up coffee specialist 200 Degrees in Phase Two of the redevelopment, which has delivered 23,000 sq ft of retail space, as well as a bright attractive walkway through to the city’s new multi-storey car park.

200 Degrees is shortly opening its 90-seater café, which will serve freshly roasted coffee from its roast house in Nottingham. Cocktail bar The Botanist has also confirmed that it will be bringing its name to The Cornhill Quarter in early 2020.

Banks Long & Co managing director Tim Bradford said: “We are seeing Lincoln consistently outperforming the wider market due to the approach The Cornhill Quarter has taken in restoring and retaining the original street scene, the top name brands we have secured in just the last few months is testament to this.

“We are continuing the momentum of The Cornhill Quarter with a number of additional discussions taking place with other quality retail, leisure and lifestyle brands and we look forward to sharing these in the coming months.”

The refurbished Victorian shopfronts in Sincil Street – which will be home to both Seasalt and 200 Degrees – feature timber frames handmade by Lindum Joinery.

Lindum Construction managing director, Simon Gregory said: “We are delighted to see an additional tenant (Seasalt) has been signed up for Sincil Street and we look forward to welcoming yet another new name to Lincoln City Centre.

“It goes to show that, despite some of the challenges facing the retail industry now, if businesses are able to find the right space in the right kind of development, there is still a willingness to invest and expand.

“Work on Sincil Street, which forms Phase Two of The Cornhill Quarter regeneration programme is progressing well and we look forward to seeing the full impact of the restored shopfronts once all the scaffolding is removed. We have also begun work on Phase Three, which involves the construction of the new Everyman Cinema.

“This letting follows on from news at the end of last year that The Botanist will open a new cocktail bar in the third phase of The Cornhill Quarter development, sitting opposite the refurbished Corn Exchange building.”

Lincolnshire Co-op chief executive Ursula Lidbetter said: “We are seeing this development moving with great momentum attracting yet another great name to add to the mix, which is bringing together our vision for the development. Seasalt will provide an offer which we don’t currently have in Lincoln and will therefore attract residents and visitors from the surrounding area to the city.”

Newcomers, including those in other parts of uphill Lincoln and the city centre, are not only causing extra excitement, they are attracting additional footfall, which promises to create a positive knock-on effect for other businesses.

Their arrival and that of many other businesses are also encouraging families and visitors to spend even longer in the city.

Today, a typical day out might include shopping for clothes for the children, a trip to the cinema, a riverboat cruise and a meal out at a favourite family eatery.

Alternatively, it could mean meeting up with friends, enjoying a meal, then spending time at one of the city’s special events – many of which are organised by the Lincoln Business Improvement Group (Lincoln BIG).

Lincoln BIG provides a wide range of services and support for its levy-paying businesses based in an area stretching from the former Ritz Cinema in the city’s High Street to Newport Arch.

Many people know Lincoln BIG best for the highly successful and colourful Lincoln Barons’ Charter Trail and The Lincoln Knights’ Trail, which proved highly popular with families and raised lots of money for good causes, as well as many other events.

But it also plays an important role in helping to ensure that the city is clean, bright, welcoming and safe for visitors.

Lincoln BIG is responsible for subsidising the glorious floral arrangements that brighten the city’s streets throughout the Summer. It provides a radio link service for businesses, has set up two pub watch groups, its wardens continually give street furniture a lick of paint, 2019 is a key year for Lincoln BIG. In the autumn it will be asking businesses to vote “Yes” (in its five-yearly ballot) and give it the green light to continue its work.

Chief executive Sarah Loftus said: “We are determined to make an even bigger difference to our city and the fortunes of our levy payers during these challenging, but exciting times, for Lincoln.

“My over-arching aims are to make Lincoln safer, cleaner brighter and greener. We are keen to animate the city to ensure it is the “go to destination” of choice for people living local and those visiting from away.

“We produce numerous events, many in partnership with others.

“During 2018 we helped to stage a phenomenal 350 events across the city. Lincoln BIG received lots of great feedback and we are confident that these brought millions of pounds of extra spending into the local economy.

“We love being able to offer the Lincoln in Bloom scheme, because we know that the fabulous floral arrangements bought by our levy payers, along with the many giant planters we pay for ourselves, add a touch of the ‘wow’ factor to the street scene.

“Every city has to work extra hard to attract locals and visitors these days and it is vital that they can access us easily. That is why we have a Park & Ride Scheme, which allows drivers to park up at Waitrose, off Nettleham Road and travel by bus into Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter and the commercial heart of the city.

“We also help businesses to attract and keep staff, by promoting the use of public transport, cycling or walking. Fifty thousand people used our Park & Ride service during 2018.”

There’s plenty for families to look forward to in the coming months, including Lincoln Fashion Week (10th–17th May); the return of Lincoln By The Sea (22nd July–31st August); 1940s Weekend (10th–11th August) and the fantastic Steampunk event, Weekend at The Asylum (23rd–26th August).

It’s not all about local people of course. Lincoln is growing its reputation as a ‘must visit’ destination for tourists from home and abroad. For some, their first taste of the city’s warm welcome and special ambience is when they explore the world famous Lincoln Christmas Market. Many are so impressed, they are quick to arrange a repeat visit – and hopefully, in many instances, a much longer stay.

Visit Lincoln has reported a great start to 2019 with more people than ever checking out the Visitincoln.com website to discover the city’s attractions and events. Encouraged by the rising website traffic, the Visit Lincoln team is refining its digital strategy to build on this growing momentum, and there is every confidence that 2019 will be another impressive year for Lincoln.

SAVOUR THE FLAVOURS OF DODDINGTON HALL THIS EASTER
Doddington Hall in spring is a magical destination with seasonal colour throughout the gardens and Easter Trails as well as a captivating programme of events for the whole family.

The popular Doddington Hall Food & Drink Feastival returns to the Coach House on Easter Sunday, 21st April, 10am to 4pm.

This celebration of fresh, seasonal and local produce from a fabulous range of local artisan food and drink suppliers will showcase their produce including tastings and exciting new line introductions.

The Hall’s Farm Shop team will be on hand to talk about their favourite products and recipe ideas. Entry to the Feastival is free.

On Easter Sunday and Monday, 21st and 22nd April, 11am to 4.30pm (last entry 3.30pm) you are invited to follow the Easter trail through the gardens with Jolly the Unicorn.

Join the Easter Eggsploration and help Jolly the Unicorn find all of the rabbits to get your very own chocolate treat. You can also look forward to family fun on the Croquet Lawn and a choice between an I-spy trail or Easter fact-finding trail in the gardens.

All trails (and trail treats for children) are included in Gardens admission (Adult £7, Child £3.50, Family £18). House admission applies.

Make a day of it: The Cafe will be open for breakfast, lunch, drinks and cake. The Coffee Shop will also be open for tea/coffee, cake and light lunches.

Book Hall and/or Gardens tickets online or pay on arrival at the Gatehouse. www.doddingtonhall.com

AWARD-WINNING, INVITING AND DELICIOUS
The White Hart has a special place in the hearts of residents and visitors alike in Lincoln. The iconic and historic venue is at the centre of the Cathedral Quarter on Bailgate, a picture perfect location for weddings, receptions and special occasions, but it also is a favourite venue as a stylish rendezvous for cocktails, relaxing lunches and evening fine dining.

Head chef Myles Mumby and his kitchen cohort offer award-winning seasonal menus in The Lincoln Grille, using the best of the county’s ingredients. Diners will find comprehensive information on local sourcing as well as dietary preferences as they make their choices. Holders of an AA Rosette Award and Gold Citations in the Taste of Excellence Awards, The Lincoln Grille is a stylish and sophisticated venue for any time of the day and evening. 

If you are planning your wedding and are looking for a city centre location why not visit The White Hart on Sunday 10th March during the Bailgate Wedding Fayre. Several rooms and suites in the hotel offer stunning views across to Lincoln Cathedral. Whether you are welcoming 10 or 200 guests, the hotel has a selection of rooms to cater for intimate or lively celebrations. With a choice of two rooms licensed for civil ceremonies, The White Hart can accommodate your special day all under one roof with delicious menus and first class accommodation with your day individually tailored in a truly unique location. The White Hart is the perfect place to say ‘I do’.

For more information visit: www.whitehart-lincoln.co.uk or call 01522 526222.

FLYING START TO 2019 FOR VISITLINCOLN.COM
January saw more people than ever before visiting VisitLincoln.com.

The Visit Lincoln team, saw its web traffic in January 2019 reach over 60,000 unique visitors in one month.

“It’s really encouraging to see more people searching for information about Lincoln”, said Lydia Rusling, chief executive at Visit Lincoln.

“VisitLincoln.com is working really hard for our city, it’s a 24/7 shop window for Lincoln – our job now is converting this enhanced web traffic into more visitors coming to the city in 2019.

“Visit Lincoln’s presence on social media is absolutely invaluable and redirects traffic back to our website.

“Our social media strategy is methodical, meticulously structured and constantly evolving to meet the needs of the digital age – this year we’re investing in more video marketing which will bring the experiences of the city alive no matter what sort of traveller you are.”

The team is now looking forward to the rest of 2019 and thinks it will be another impressive year for the city, with a theme of discovery and Victoriana reflected in the programme of events.

It also launched a new food project ‘Taste Lincolnshire’ at the Business Expo in January.

“Food and drink play such an important role in the overall visitor experience and we want to use the expertise of the team to shine a spotlight on it alongside our tourism marketing,” said Lydia.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT LINCOLN CATHEDRAL

Organ Concert Series 2019
This year’s Organ Concert Series kicks off with Lincoln Cathedral’s Organist Laureate Colin Walsh in concert on Saturday 18th May. With tickets at just £8.50, including a drink on arrival, it would be a pity to miss it. You will have the opportunity to see what happens in the organ loft during each concert, as it is projected on a screen. You’re welcome to stay after the concert and enjoy a drink with the organist.

For details of the full concert series please visit www.LincolnCathedral.com or phone the Events Team on 01522 504 394.

‘Rights & Freedoms Today’ – Magna Carta Lecture 2019
Thursday 27th June, 7pm. This year Lincoln Cathedral welcomes the Shadow Attorney General and a member of the House of Lords, Shami Chakrabarti to give the annual Magna Carta Lecture.

Baroness Chakrabarti is a lawyer, an Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Manchester, Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford and a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple. She was previously Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University and then the University of Essex.

Baroness Chakrabarti was director of Liberty, the National Council for Civil Liberties from 2003 to 2016, and a member of the panel of the Leveson Inquiry, the judicial inquiry into UK phone hacking in 2011.

Called to the Bar in 1994 she worked as a lawyer in the Home Office from 1996 until 2001 for Governments of both persuasions.

Tickets £5 available from www.LincolnCathedral.com, 01522 504 394 or the Cathedral Shop.

MAGNET FOR INVESTMENT
Evidence of Lincoln’s power to continue capturing the attention of top flight investors was highlighted when city property consultant Banks Long & Co reported closing one of the largest investment property deals seen in Lincoln in recent times.

Valentine Court – a new 469 bedroom student community being built next to Valentine Retail Park – is being delivered by Castle Square Developments (CSD) which has been investing in Lincoln since the early 1970s.

CSD is not only using Banks Long as its development consultant and project manager but local architects Stem Architects as designers, building contractor Lindum Construction to build the project and Wilkin Chapman Solicitors to handle the complex legal elements.

Banks Long has arranged the sale of the completed development to a major UK institution for an undisclosed multi-million pound figure.

Valentine Court is due for completion in September 2019 and comprises purpose-built four-storey blocks with on-site car parking. The development will be operated directly by the University of Lincoln.

THE QUAYS ORTHOTIC PRACTICE CELEBRATES SIX YEARS AT ITS BURTON WATERS HOME
The Quays Orthotic Practice was founded by Pam Coulton in 2011, after years of experience working as an Orthotist in the NHS. Pam was a Principal Orthotist within the NHS as well as being the Clinical Lead for one of Europe’s largest private companies. All Quays Orthotics patients benefit greatly from the time that can be afforded to them, but also from the in-depth explanation of how and why Orthotics can assist them.

Pam’s vision was to be able to provide a quality service, which placed the patient at the heart of the care process, and which was designed to be of benefit to the young, as well as the young at heart, to those who play sports or who engage in rigorous fitness programmes, but also for those who may be less energetic, in fact anyone experiencing pain, for whom surgery is neither available, nor a preferred option.

In January 2013, Pam opened the Burton Waters Clinic on the waterside at the beautiful marina complex on the outskirts of Lincoln. Today, the Burton Waters Clinic is home to a team of Physiotherapists, a Foot Health Practitioner, two Orthopaedic Consultants, and of course, the Orthotics practice which continues to go from strength to strength.

So, if you are living with pain, or feel that you perhaps trip or fall too easily or frequently, then book your FREE initial consultation with the Quays Orthotic Practice today, and let them help you to increase your mobility, reduce your pain, and help you to live your best life. Call 01522 520362 or check out their website www.quaysorthotics.co.uk for more details and to book your appointment.

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