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Words: Melanie Burton
Photography: Mick Fox
Featured in the December 2017 issue

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2017 has been an eventful year for businesses based in the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds area, including those in the ‘gem of the Wolds’  – and that trend looks set to continue.

The future of the town’s livestock market has finally been secured and the local authority, East Lindsey District Council (ELDC), has increased the support services it makes available to businesses in a bid to attract more investors and encourage new and smaller existing enterprises to make Louth their home.

In addition, much is being done to raise the profile of the area as a visitor destination in a bid to increase footfall into the town centre and to help boost the local economy.

The decision not to sell the busy and lively Cattle Market came as welcome news to the majority of the town, particularly those businesses whose trade is boosted through the numbers that attend the market day sales.

ELDC had been looking into three options for the site including selling it for redevelopment but following a public consultation exercise which showed eighty-four per cent of those taking part wanted the market to stay, it decided to not only withdraw from the sale but refurbish the market as well.

Portfolio holder for rural economy and market towns, Councillor Adam Grist, said the council had listened to the views of the town.

“The consultation response very clearly showed the strong feeling of the community towards the Livestock Market,” he said.

“And the council listened to that view in making its decision and will now bring forward a scheme to make the necessary improvements to the facility so it can continue to operate into the future.”

It is also planning to liaise with the Louth Livestock Market Auctioneers about its plans to make the market sustainable going forward.

“The site is large and still significantly underused. But I am looking forward to having a positive discussion with the Market Auctioneers on their plans to increase the site’s usage as a Livestock Market and what opportunities there may be in the future for the site to be used for a broader range of purposes.”

The Lincolnshire Wolds is designated as an Area of Outstanding Beauty and as such attracts visitors from far and wide, many of whom gravitate to the towns and villages fortunate to be located within the area – Louth being the principal one and looked on as the capital of the Wolds.

Much is being done to help boost tourism in the area with the latest initiative using the big screen to get the message across.

Three short new films were launched featuring different aspects of the Wolds, focusing on the active outdoors (including cycling and walking); food and drink; and heritage and culture.

Councillor Grist said the films celebrate what is wonderful about the area and the towns within it.

“They take in everything from the area’s history, the wonderful rolling hills and the natural beauty that remains a well-kept secret to many.

“We are so pleased to be able to promote this designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to the wider world and hope that it inspires people to come and visit.

Flora Bennett, joint owner of the Brackenborough Hall Coach House near Louth was pleased with the outcome of the films.

“These films really showcase what a beautiful place we’ve got around us, and the Lincolnshire Wolds as an undiscovered treasure,” she said.

“There’s now even more potential to boost the surrounding areas in the Lincolnshire Wolds and the films are a great way of supporting local businesses.”

Tourism development officer, Karen Edwards said the most recent research showed that from 2014 to 2016, the economic impact of tourism within the Lincolnshire Wolds Destination Plan area grew from £153 million to £166.58 million and attracted 3.4 million visitors in 2016.

“We are doing a lot of work at the moment to raise the profile of the Lincolnshire Wolds as a visitor destination,” said Karen. “We have invested in a dedicated website for the Wolds, www.lovelincolnshirewolds.com and we are currently focussing on PR and digital marketing to help raise the profile even more.”

In addition to the work being done to increase tourism a concerted effort has also been made to encourage investors to put their trust in their area as a centre for trade and business.

New and existing businesses looking to invest in the area can now access support more easily from East Lindsey District Council after it launched a range of new services to help boost growth and create jobs by encouraging investment in the district.

Underpinned by the recently launched Invest East Lincolnshire brand, the new services focus on ensuring that businesses that want to invest in the area can access the information and support they require from a single point of contact at the council to make their investment decisions.

The support provided to businesses is facilitated through the new Growth Team approach to client management and is comprised of a number of council departments which work closely in an effort to present businesses with a seamless support offer through their dedicated officer.

Officers are available to discuss a business’s investment plans, carry out site visits and help identify possible funding opportunities.

Portfolio holder for the coastal economy, Steve Kirk, added: “We value positive relationships with the business community and by working closer together we can improve the quality of the support we offer to businesses.

“Attracting new investors and fostering strong growth from our established businesses is important to the district’s economy and along with our partners we are looking to help drive that forward.”

In conjunction with the Invest East Lincolnshire brand and the strong focus on the Wolds in terms of tourism activities, there is also a drive to help the smaller and startup businesses find their feet in what is a competitive market.

ELDC offers a range of business support services through its Fairfield Enterprise Centre on the Fairfield Industrial Park with good road links straight onto the A16.

Jon Burgess, economic development manager, said the centre was a serviced office-based complex with thirty-six offices of varying sizes, reception services, meeting rooms and conference facilities.

“There is a high level of occupancy, around ninety per cent, and it is a very good model in Louth where smaller businesses can grow and establish themselves before taking on their own town centre office,” he said.

The centre opened in 2008 and is marking its 10th anniversary in January 2018.

“There are only five or six vacant units because some businesses have moved forward into their premises,” said Mr Burgess.

“One of the latest was a recruitment agency which started out in the centre using one unit, grew into three separate offices, consolidated its growth and then moved into its own town centre offices late last year.

“It costs between £5,000 and £7,500 a year depending on the size of the business. But it is quite an affordable way for small businesses to start off.”

When businesses do move on, the support on offer doesn’t end there. ELDC is working towards promoting its support services to attract new investment into the area.

“We realised with Fairfield and the Invest East Lincolnshire brand as well we needed to raise the profile of the district to people who wanted to have their own business,” explained growth and promotions service manager, James Gilbert.

“The role of the council in terms of supporting businesses is that we are a friendly voice.

When a customer contacts us they get a single point of contact who can source the answers to their questions and the feedback we have received has been very positive and they like the service they receive from us so far.”

LOUTH INDEPENDENT TRADERS
Louth is renowned for its range of independent shops and businesses which draw people into the town on a regular basis, and they are all gearing up for the busy festive season.

It begins in earnest with the Christmas market and lights switch-on, which has been organised by the Louth Independent Traders’ group and which promises to be an event not to be missed.

With a variety of festive stalls, refreshments, entertainment and Santa himself, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The programme of entertainment includes a stone painting competition, Louth Playgoers and a magician and there will be carol singing from Churches Together and St Michael’s School Choir to herald the switching on of the Christmas lights.

There will also be a Naughty Christmas Pudding trying to cause mayhem while his fairy companion tries to keep him on the straight and narrow – and Disney characters will be there to entertain the children.

The festive atmosphere will be enhanced by the presence of a steam engine, steam organ and a vintage fire engine and it is hoped that representatives from Louth Fire station will also be able to attend the event.

There will also be the opportunity to have a picture with Santa at a cost of 50p, with all proceeds going to Louth Foodbank.

“This is the third Christmas market we have organised and it is bigger and better every year,” said Gary Dennis who is chairman of the Louth Independent Traders Group.

“All the shops support the event and there will be lots of stalls and entertainment to enjoy.”

Louth Independent Traders is a non-political organisation.

“It is a group of independent traders who have got together to provide events for the community in the hope of making the town more vibrant and viable,” Mr Dennis said. “It is all about the town and about keeping it as independent as it can be.”

The Christmas market takes place on 3rd December from 10am to 4pm.

PLENTY IN STORE FOR CHRISTMAS
Right at the heart of a bustling market town stands Louth’s independent department store Eve and Ranshaw. It can confidently boast standing the test of time, having traded on the site successfully for well over 200 years and happily hosts an outstanding collection of vibrant and interesting brands to entice shoppers to visit.

Louth itself boasts a main shopping area that lacks many of the usual big retailers that boringly stereotype today’s high street. Instead it attracts a wealth of smaller independent shops, each with their own fascinating and exciting mix of products and services.

We at Eve and Ranshaw like to think that we epitomise all that is reliable and solid… yet quirky about Louth, beating right at its core. And in an ever changing and somewhat uncertain world remain faithful to our principles of offering quality and choice, whilst really valuing our customers and striving to offer them the very best in customer service and delivering an unparalleled shopping experience.

So as we approach Christmas and yet another chapter in what has proven to be a very challenging time for high street retailers everywhere, Eve and Ranshaw look forward to inviting shoppers to break with the constraints of the high street and take a peek at the the more unusual, the outstanding and the incomparable offer we have to share.

ORIGINAL AND INNOVATIVE
Established now for 35 years, the creative studio headed by Clive Rhodes in Louth continues to fulfill a diverse range of domestic and commercial projects around the country. A current preoccupation is a swimming pool room under renovation, where the theme is derived from the Greek myths and legends.The photograph shows the ceiling where a suitably resilient fabric has been printed and stretched over the old surface.The blue sky has been printed with drifting summer clouds and overprinted with heroines and heroes descending from the heavens.

Running concurrently is the creation of a discreet hair salon where lines of poetry, referring to hair colours and styles, ancient and modern, have been artistically incorporated into the decor.

These examples of original and innovative thinking are the hallmark of the Clive Rhodes team’s mission to enhance the visual equity of your property.

BEST BOOTS TO BEAT WINTER
Winter is coming fast and finding the best boots is essential at this time of year… so you don’t want to miss this hidden gem, hiding on Little Eastgate in Louth.

Daniella’s pride themselves on providing quality, stylish and comfortable shoes for a range of occasions. They have something to offer all ages and you can be sure to find the perfect footwear tailored to your style.

With Christmas just around the corner, why not treat yourself to a present? After all, you deserve it. Or what about that all-important family member, do they deserve a nice treat too? It might be a pair of shoes, a handbag, a scarf or if you’re still unsure what to buy them then Daniella’s have gift vouchers available. Discover their full range in store now and give your look a glamorous take.

What are you waiting for? Let the winter come.

FASHION FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON
As Christmas is fast approaching, you may be forgiven for forgetting yourself and your wardrobe. But don’t fret, the collections at Orchid Boutique offer the essence of versatility, giving everything in comfort and style, to ensure you look and feel amazing, leaving you to concentrate on getting super prepared for the festive season.

With winter now established, Orchid’s long knitted jackets and super-soft comfortable sweaters are the perfect companion for the cold days and are also the perfect treat to put under the tree.

And who can resist an elegant scarf? Just the thing to make the day for any trend-setting woman in your life. Plus Orchid’s free gift wrapping means you’ll have Christmas all wrapped up in no time! However, should the choice be just too hard, opt for the easy alternative of a gift voucher; available in any amount that will certainly fulfil her Christmas wish.

Happy shopping and Merry Christmas X

STRIACROFT JEWELLERS
Striacroft Jewellers, now in its second generation, are Louth’s longest established jewellers, trading from their Butcher Lane store since 1978.

The small shop is packed with something for all ages and budgets with a large range of high quality diamond, gold and silver jewellery, engagement rings and wedding rings.

Plenty of jewellery brands are in stock for the Christmas season, including Aurum by Guðbjörg, the Icelandic Jewellery designer who takes inspiration from the unique landscape of her country, and all items handcrafted there. Other new collections inlcude Aviv handmade jewellery, David Dayong and Fei Lui fine jewellery, the award-winning designer.

A new ladies watch brand from Paris, XME, offers affordable and elegant timepieces made in France.

There are also ranges from Citizen, Junkers, Daniel Wellington, Zeppelin and Lorus.

Striacroft offers clocks and giftware, pre-owned jewellery and luxury watches, including Omega & Rolex. A large range of their products are available to view and buy online at www.striacroft.co.uk

BOUTIQUE HOSPITALITY
Combining 300 year-old features with modern touches, the Masons Arms in Louth is a Grade II listed building built in the eighteenth century.

The boutique hotel has ten well-appointed en-suite bedrooms, a restaurant, lounge bar, ballroom and library which offer a timeless escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Their restaurant serves both traditional and modern British cuisine in a stylish and inviting surrounding. The Habits lounge bar is possibly one of the most elegant spaces in Louth, where guests can choose from a selection of specialist gins and whiskys as well as signature cocktails, champagne, premium spirits and local beers.

The Masons Arms Ballroom is a spectacular and historic space, perfect for any celebration or gathering. The grand entrance offers a wide, sweeping staircase overlooked by an extravagant chandelier.

The Masons Arms, 13 Cornmarket, Louth LN11 9PY, Tel: 01507 621200, Web: www.the-masons-arms.com.

GETAWAY TO SUIT ALL GENERATIONS
Lincolnshire has many opportunities for staycations, from bucket and spade fun to tranquil retreats.

Sometimes we travel far only to find that a well-deserved break and the chance to wind down with friends and family are on our doorstep.

Kenwick Park Estate, located within 320 acres of park and woodland, is well known for its nationally renowned golf course, country house hotel, restaurant and ClubSpa, offering the latest health, fitness and wellness facilities. A more recent addition has been the luxurious self-catering, Norwegian style lodges which lie adjacent to the 18 hole golf course within peaceful woodland and walks.

The appeal for guests of the Retreat Lodges is the chance to experience not only the privacy of their own property but also the opportunity to make the most of the other facilities. Ideal for family holidays, retreats and getaways, Kenwick Park Estate has plenty to offer a wide age range. 

For further information contact: Kenwick Park Estate, Kenwick Park, Lincolnshire, LN11 8NR, Tel: 01507 608806, Email: info@kenwick-park.co.uk.

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