Tuesday 1st December 2020
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Words: Glynis Fox
Photography: Mick Fox
Featured in the November 2020 issue

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Despite unprecedented challenges over the past few months, it is great to be able to say that Lincoln continues to catch the eye of major investors and still has the power to bring new brands to the city. By Glynis Fox.

At the same time, our independent businesses have shown a real determination to do everything possible to ensure ours is a destination that now boasts the traditional and the trendy and offers people a real variety of shopping and other attractions.

It’s certainly true that no business owner or manager is having an easy ride, but everyone is trying to stay confident, at a time when we have plenty to encourage more shoppers and leisure seekers to discover Lincoln – and give local people good reasons to “shop local.”

Lincoln’s amazing Cornhill Quarter continues to evolve – and has recently seen the opening of the stylish bar The Botanist and the magnificent Everyman Cinema. Both are new names for the city and they have boosted the choice for a day or evening out.

Another arrival is Trent Galleries, which has expanded its chain of shops, after choosing Lincoln for its fourth outlet.

These brands have followed hot on the heels of the fashion houses Whistles, Phase Eight and Hobbs – all of which have diversified Lincoln’s shopping offer.

The growing success of the regenerated and award-winning Cornhill Quarter has also encouraged Lincolnshire Co-op – which is behind the multi million-pound, phased scheme – to open its own grocery store at the foot of Sincil Street and a nearby chemists too.

With the city’s transport hub now being one of the first things rail passengers see after leaving St Mary’s Street station, the massive investment in the Sincil Street “gateway” has certainly improved the welcome they receive.

The smart paved area fronting The Botanist and Everyman Cinema and the creation of Exchange Square are already attracting people to sit and chat with friends and enjoy a coffee and a lunchtime sandwich on a sunny day – but still more money is about to be ploughed into this area.

The nearby street scene in Cornhill Square is undergoing its own facelift. City of Lincoln Council has been successful in securing £1 million of funding through the Government’s Town Deal Accelerated Funding.

This is supporting the delivery of wider public realm works in the Square – to follow on from Phase One changes, including the demolition of the old kiosk (opposite the city’s new Boots store). The tree in this area has been kept.

The second phase of work is designed to significantly upgrade the paving and street furnishing in line with the quality of the recently refurbished Cornhill Pavement immediately to the east.

It also aims to improve connectivity between the Transport Hub, regenerated Cornhill Quarter and the High Street.

Upgrading work will create a high quality, flexible space which can be used for events, performances, outdoor trading, markets and pavement cafes and also provide an attractive place where people can sit and spend time.

Cornhill Square is a key site in the wider regeneration of The Cornhill Quarter and its redesign and reuse as a flexible event space builds on and complements the significant and ongoing investment in the wider Cornhill/Transport Hub area and the proposals that form part of the Heritage Action Zone.

City of Lincoln Council Leader, Councillor Ric Metcalfe said: “This is good news for the city. I look forward to seeing works progress in this highly popular area.

“They will form part of a wider programme of schemes that will form part of Lincoln’s Town Deal programme to support the recovery and vibrancy of the City Centre.”

The second phase of work in the Cornhill is due to get underway early next year and is scheduled for completion in Summer 2021.

But, things are not just happening in The Cornhill Quarter. American-style restaurant and bar chain Fridays is planning to bring its name to the city’s High Street in January 2021.

The news follows Lincoln-based chartered surveyor Banks Long & Co acting for the landlord of the former Carluccio’s restaurant and closing a post-Covid deal with the American brand.

The deal, negotiated whilst the country was in lockdown earlier this year, is yet more proof that Lincoln continues to be an attractive location for new investment, set against a difficult national picture for the food and beverage sector.

Banks Long & Co managing director, Tim Bradford said: “The Carluccio’s in Lincoln was not one of the restaurants bought out of administration by Boparan, better known for its Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner brands, so we had to move quickly to secure a new deal with Fridays.”

It is understood that Fridays had been looking for a suitable site in Lincoln for some time.

“We work closely with a wide range of food and beverage businesses, from national brands to local independents. We have an understanding of the market, not only in Lincoln, but across the UK. This extensive reach allows us to structure deals even in very challenging post-Covid market conditions, with excellent businesses such as Fridays, which is keen to put their stamp on Lincoln. The new lease is for a long term.

“This deal demonstrates that with the right constructive approach adopted by both landlord and tenant, deals can be structured to suit both parties, a message which we are keen to promote to allow our high streets to rebuild after the acceleration of the structural change in our city centre trading environments.”

And there’s news from the city’s Waterside Shopping Centre which has recently welcomed Grape Tree – a health and wellbeing products store which has created five new jobs.

Grape Tree marketing manager, Jodi Kirby said: “We know Lincoln and the Waterside incredibly well. We had a Julian Graves store in the centre some 25 years ago! We’d been waiting for the opportunity to return to Lincoln since we started the Grape Tree and we’re really excited to be back.

“Lincoln is a rapidly developing and growing city and the perfect location for us to open our newest store.”

Centre manager, Dean Cross, said he is delighted another national retailer has chosen to take space in the Waterside.”

“Grape Tree is one of the UK’s fastest-growing retailers and its excellent range of health and wellbeing products will be the perfect complement to the Body Shop and Superdrug, also located in the centre.”

If you think you know Lincoln, think again
Over the past few years, Lincolnshire Co-op has been delivering a regeneration programme to bring the historic and beautiful Cornhill Quarter in Lincoln city centre back to life as a shopping, dining and entertainment destination.

Lincoln has always been a favourite destination for visitors from all over the county. The city offers an experience that’s rich in history, combined with independent shops, great arts and culture and a wealth of places to eat and drink.

In August, the transformational Cornhill Quarter development hit an exciting milestone with the opening of the Everyman cinema, The Botanist bar, Hobbs, Phase Eight and Whistles.

Open spaces and new places
The Cornhill Quarter has mastered the combination of historical architecture alongside new contemporary design. The ambitious project has brought a host of new fashion and lifestyle brands and an incredible line-up of restaurants, cafés and bars, all set around the new Exchange Square. A welcoming and open new public square in the heart of The Cornhill Quarter, Exchange Square brings a sense of space and provides an intimate focal point between the Corn Exchange, Sincil Street and the new cinema building – a beautiful setting to sit and enjoy.

The highly anticipated Everyman Cinema has brought a whole new experience to the city – from the sofa seating for film viewing, to the luxurious bar and dining experience on the roof terrace, with stunning views of the Cathedral in the distance. Below the cinema is The Botanist cocktail bar, with its enticing and varied drinks menu, stunning décor and fabulous food. The Cornhill Quarter really is the perfect spot to end a fun-filled day trip, or start a great night out.

The vision to transform The Cornhill Quarter began with the restoration of the Grade II listed Corn Exchange and the opening of the Cosy Club restaurant and lounge, which overlooks Exchange Square. Meanwhile Sincil Street has been lovingly refurbished to celebrate the Victorian streetscape with plenty of new brands and fantastic local shops to explore.

Plan your perfect visit to Lincoln
With so much more to discover at The Cornhill Quarter, it’s well worth a visit. Whether you’re planning a family day out or date night, there really is something for everyone. Come and experience the transformation for yourself! It’s easy to plan your trip, with Lincoln train station and bus station on the doorstep, and a stone’s throw from the 1,000 space Central Car Park. Lincoln comes together in The Cornhill Quarter, we hope to see you soon…

Get the perfect night’s sleep with the help of Forty Winks
Forty Winks have been established for 15 years. They are a local Lincolnshire family business. From working in the shop, to doing the accounts and even delivering your local purchases, everyone who works at Forty Winks is a family member.

Their customer service sets them apart from the rest, offering a complete start to finish, first class service. Choose from an excellent selection of high quality products in the warm and friendly showroom, where you are encouraged to try the mattresses, and take your time to find the perfect bed or product for you. Their complete customer service to you continues through their quality delivery service, where their delivery personnel are so good they even take their shoes off! The team will take your items to the room of your choice, and assemble if required. They also offer an old bed disposal service.

Visit Forty Winks at 100 Burton Road or visit www.fortywinkz.co.uk

Time to consider a kitchen bespoke to your lifestyle
The team of talented designers at Turnbull Kitchens and Bathrooms use their expert knowledge of working with the trade to bring a professional planning and bespoke design service to their retail customers.

Showrooms to inspire your choices
Browse the displays of working kitchens to consider how Turnbulls can make a stunning transformation for your home. Olivia Hopkins, group showroom manager and the team at Turnbull Kitchens and Bathrooms, Lincoln understand that trust is important for private clients; they want the reassurance of quality and expertise.

“Our spacious showrooms provide a safe and socially distanced environment in which to meet with clients,” said Olivia. “We are a local, family business which aims to make the experience a pleasure from entering our welcoming showroom, to delivery and the final handover from the installer.

“Our advisors are on hand to listen, suggest and help our customers create a kitchen which fits their budget but surpasses their expectations.”

Relaxed and reassuring
When a client visits the showroom they can sit back on comfy sofas to go through their ‘wish list’ or, depending on the scope of the project, discuss requirements at the residential property or site. This type of full consultation will enable the skilled designers to produce a CAD layout of your kitchen. Turnbull have created a unique ‘Inspiration Point’ in each showroom where clients can mix and match their own ‘mood board’ for their kitchen.

“With hundreds of samples and choices, this is where clients can really pick up inspired ideas to co-ordinate colourways, finishes, cabinets and worktops. Whether you want the kitchen to be the functional heart of your home or a stunning space for entertaining, there are styles to suit every taste.”

Recipe for success
In Turnbull’s beautiful showrooms there are wide ranges of working kitchen displays from UK and European makers. Recently chef Darren Rogan was invited along to cook recipes as part of the virtual Lincoln Sausage Festival 2020. “Watching these videos will not only inspire your home cooking but also give a real insight into some of the exceptional appliances by leading brands such as Neff, Bosch and Siemens, Quooker boiling water taps as well as extensive choices of wall tiling, floor tiles, handles and fixtures.”

You can watch and find details of Darren’s recipes at www.turnbullsonline.co.uk

Ready to go with planning projects
Fytche-Taylor Planning offer a refreshingly modern approach to planning consultancy services. From their headquarters in Torksey Lock, their growth has continued at pace throughout 2020 despite the challenges facing the development sector.

“In our experience Lincolnshire businesses have responded positively and with vigour to the risk of an economic downturn,” points out managing director Oliver Fytche-Taylor. “We have been proud to have worked with our clients to deliver a range of successful planning projects this year, including bespoke leisure developments, large-scale commercial and office premises and a range of new residential sites, both in the city and throughout the county.”

Alongside their consultancy arm, the company have started selling their own ‘ready to go’ building plots in response to a surge in demand and enquiries from outside the county. “We continually receive interest from people eager to build their own home in Lincolnshire – this has presented a great new opportunity for us,” added Oliver.

A professional stump removal service
The autumn months are a good time to reshape and tame your garden and that can leave you with troublesome tree stumps. Looking ahead to next year, you might be planning a new project or new garden design. If tree stumps are stopping you from creating space and projects in your garden, call Stump Beaver, the professional independent stump grinding business based in Lincoln covering Lincolnshire, Humberside, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire.

Their aim is to get their customers, whether domestic or commercial, the right stump removal solution. From small to large, single or multiple stumps, they have the right equipment to cope, with competitive prices and all jobs carried out to the highest standard.

Customers are their top priority. The team at Stump Beaver always leave each job neat and tidy, to allow you to continue obstacle free for the season ahead.

For more information or to get a quote call 01522 278278 or visit www.stumpbeaver.co.uk

Experts in print services
WITH more than 41 years of trading, Lincoln Print & Copy Centre have been in business through difficult times as well as good. This year they have continued to provide the best print solutions for customers in the Lincoln area and beyond, giving the service and advice customers need to keep their businesses open and running, especially for notices, information signs and leaflets, disposable menus and so much more.

Specialising in printing for smaller businesses, understanding the need for flexibility on design, sizes, quantity and speed, their experience allows them to adapt to suit each customer’s requirements, offering a same day service on many items, providing the rapid response required.

There is a Covid-secure customer collection area, free parking and a courier service to deliver direct. Whether you need a straight forward print, copy, scanning service or something more involving design or print finishing, let Lincoln Print & Copy Centre be your print team.

Enjoy coffee at its best
Based on the outskirts of Market Rasen on the A46, Seven Districts Coffee is a speciality roasting company which prides itself on offering a rich selection of hand-roasted ethically sourced speciality coffee.

Each single origin coffee roasted has been graded by the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) to ensure consistent high quality for discerning customers and businesses across the UK.

Inspired and named after tales of folklore woven throughout the Seven Districts of Lincolnshire, each bag of single origin coffee features an intriguing story and illustration on the back of the packaging.

“We are excited to make our mark on the speciality coffee scene and to show novices and enthusiasts alike the coffee roasting process,” says Ben Southall, co-founder of Seven Districts Coffee. “We work with farmers to give them the best price possible and source only speciality graded green beans to provide the highest quality coffee.”

As well as hosting coffee tasting sessions and bespoke training, expert baristas at this popular dog-friendly coffee house ensure a first-class experience for coffee lovers in search of a perfect taste.

For more information visit www.sevendistrictscoffee.com

Take Timeout for yourself
Launched in 2009, Le Sanctuaire’s Timeout Wellness Centre is a welcoming hub for people in search of beneficial therapies and positive activities to help relieve mental health barriers, to achieve their aspirations and empower them to move forward.

The Early Intervention Therapy Service Hub, which is launched at the end of November, features a mosaic pattern of infinite variety of sessional opportunities in a relaxed and positive environment, focussing on treating common mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, isolation and eating disorders.

The Centre is open three days a week – Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday – between 9.30am and 7pm.

For more information contact 01522 535553 or visit www.timeoutwellnesscentre.co.uk

A treasure trove of history
Originally established in 1995, Lapid Art has gained popularity throughout the decades and is celebrating 25 years of trading. Specialising in crystals, fossils and jewellery, this hidden gem is really worth climbing Steep Hill for, especially since its refurbishment and rebrand earlier this year. With something for everyone, from the dinosaur mad toddler to beautiful crystals for your home, it’s definitely worth a visit. New owner Gabriella says: “I really feel honoured to be able to carry on the family business following my uncle’s passing. He created a treasure trove of history loved by generations. Even now we have customers visiting with their children telling stories of when they would visit the shop as children 20 years ago. It really is a beautiful thing to have a wonderful legacy created from your passion and I hope I can continue for another 25 years.”

Tourism sector talk
Tourism is a multi-million pound contributor to Lincoln’s economy, but businesses working within the sector have had to ride out some tough times this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Throughout, Visit Lincoln - which has more than 240 partners - has offered a variety of support to businesses which rely heavily on the city having a vibrant tourism and visitor sector, and more help is on the way.

Visit Lincoln business growth and relationship manager, Samantha Pover said: “We send out tourism and visitor economy policy updates. Visit Lincoln is a member of the Tourism Alliance and briefings are shared outlining the latest information that relates to our partners.”

Visit Lincoln has also kept in touch with members through regular virtual Coffee Catch-Up sessions.

In addition, bitesize interviews are also carried out with local businesses and partners and their achievements celebrated on Visit Lincoln’s community spotlight page, its blog and through its social media channels.

Businesses are also being offered special courses to help them to grow and develop for the future – the most recent being an Instagram Bootcamp designed to appeal to everyone from beginners to professional users.

“We have a set of new fully funded courses coming up which will concentrate on topics such as HR, Net Zero, finance, sales and marketing, business model innovation, change management, public speaking and any other topics where there is high demand,” added Samantha.

Proudly independent
2020 will certainly be remembered for being a year like no other, but Lincoln Business Improvement Group (Lincoln BIG) has been doing everything it can to help shoppers (local and from away) to feel confident about visiting their favourite stores, eateries and leisure outlets.

Members of the Lincoln BIG team have been “wearing down their shoe leather” by getting out and about chatting to business owners and managers and the organisation has sent out regular newsletters to ensure that traders are up to date with Government announcements.

Chief executive, Sarah Loftus said: “Many independent businesses have said – and are still saying – how pleased they are with Lincoln BIG’s ongoing support throughout ever-changing Government guidelines. They say its newsletters and social media posts have reassured them they are doing everything possible to Keep Lincoln Safe.

“They have also noticed and commented on the Keep Lincoln Safe signage around the city, including floor markings and litter bin signs.”

Following a group visit to other cities, the Lincoln BIG team is proud of the ways in which levy payers have made the city safe for the general public and visitors, and a place where they can relax, stay and spend.

“The independents which have an online presence have pretty much said that that has most definitely helped their sales throughout this horrible pandemic,” said Sarah.

There is upbeat news from Carl Jacklin (owner of Agatha Boutique and Todd’s Menswear): “We have three sales avenues – our shops, our website and our social media virtual shop (via Instagram and Facebook).

“Despite a decision to close at 4pm on Mondays and Tuesdays and all day on a Wednesday, we have been doing much more business. Some people are shopping less but actually spending more money when they do. Our social media virtual shop is performing brilliantly – people love the fact that we are staying in touch with them.”

Sarah Loftus added that the Eat Out to Help Out initiative has helped the hospitality businesses – with some extending the scheme throughout September. She said it had been a “very good idea” by the Government. Retailers said the move had also helped their trade, because it had encouraged people to spend longer in the city.

Businesses are also being encouraged to take part in the December late-night shopping evenings and to sign a Lincoln BIG pledge form, so the organisation can highlight these and tempt locals to shop locally this year.

Let’s look forward!
Christmas is on the horizon and – despite the lack of events this year – Lincoln BIG is aiming to inject some fun and sparkle into the festive season.

So, operations manager (Events & Street Management) Lee Roberts and his colleagues have put their thinking caps on and come up with things to look forward to.

Lincoln BIG chief executive Sarah Loftus said: “We are planning a Christmas Spirits Safari, to run from 14th November to 31st December. This will follow on from our Autumn Monster Hero Safari.

“People will need to look out for 10 characters hidden in shop windows across the city. Families will then use their phones to scan the QR code on each character to learn more about them, and to collect each one. Once they have all 10, they can download a free e-book, telling the story in more detail.

“We will also be installing a 4m x 4m illuminated Christmas present on High Bridge. This will add a burst of colour to the High Street and we will be putting out a letter box, for letters to Santa – at the Visitor Information Centre in Castle Hill – as well as creating other Christmas photo opportunities along the city’s Brayford Waterfront.

“Excitingly, families will get a chance to Glimpse the Imp (the naughty star of the Imp Trail, which has been put on ice due to the current pandemic). Sixteen Christmas-themed imps will be spotted ‘at home’ in different shop windows in the lead-up to Christmas.”

The Lincoln Visitor Information Centre will also be selling clay imp figures for families to decorate at home and play with.

“We are also delighted to announce that Lincoln will have Late-Night Shopping evenings on Thursdays, 3rd, 10th and 17th December,” added Sarah.

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