Thursday 22nd October 2020
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Words: Melanie Burton
Photography: Mick Fox
Featured in the October 2020 issue

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The community of Grantham is showing a determination to move forward despite an uncertain year, with continued investment in high street businesses, education and local spaces, as Melanie Burton finds.

A multi-million pound bid to revitalise Grantham’s town centre, improve access and support local businesses was submitted to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund at the end of July by South Kesteven District Council (SKDC).

If successful, SKDC will receive just over £8m from the fund and aims to attract around £11.5m in match funding from the private sector, bringing the total investment to almost £20m.

The aim of the fund is to revitalise town centres by investing in key capital projects to increase footfall, diversify the use of buildings and public spaces, and provide a safe and welcoming environment.

Deputy Leader of SKDC, Councillor Barry Dobson, said: “This is an exciting bid that would help to transform Grantham, bringing new life and opportunities for visitors, residents and local businesses. We all know that high streets must change to reflect present and future consumer demand so that they remain vibrant and resilient.”

Recommended options in SKDC’s bid were based on fund criteria and the council’s priorities for Grantham, and include the regeneration of the railway station approach, public realm improvements, town centre developments and bringing vacant town centre spaces back into use.

The options are central to building the town’s resilience, making the arrival at Grantham railway station the open welcome to the remodelled town centre, future-proofing against changing consumer demands, improving access and parking facilities, and celebrating Grantham’s unique identity by providing an engaging visitor experience.

The four-year project includes the appointment of a town centre manager.

A draft was submitted back in March following internal and external consultations that included meetings with key stakeholders and a public survey.

Cllr Dobson, who is also a director of InvestSK, said: “Grantham has significant potential to play a prominent economic role in South Kesteven, Lincolnshire and the surrounding areas with its unique infrastructure to all parts of the country via road and rail.

“These are areas where Grantham has been underperforming and where the town desperately needs to improve its support of commerce and industry to grow and prosper in a rapidly changing world.

“Through the creation of high quality and inclusive spaces, Grantham will become a town in which all people want to live, shop and visit. Ultimately, the creation of a more engaging and attractive town centre will attract visitors, encourage diverse businesses, residential and leisure opportunities, leading to greater economic sustainability and resilience going forward.

“This investment will reshape Grantham into a successful and vibrant town meeting the requirements of the 21st century.”

Gareth Davies, MP for Grantham and Stamford, who supports the bid, said: “The potential for Grantham is immense. The Future High Streets funding can help us generate a town centre that draws people to it and which maximises the town’s fantastic infrastructure to attract the wider economic spend of Grantham’s potential catchment area.”

Speaking at the recent InvestSK business breakfast, which was held remotely online, council leader Councillor Kelham Cooke said: “The projects included in the proposal will transform the access gateway into the town, convert empty retail units into new homes and workplaces, and invest in other vital infrastructure and public realm enhancements.

“It’s such an exciting once-in-a-generation opportunity for Grantham and we’re looking forward to hearing the outcome of our bid in due course. So while we’re all firmly focused on continuing to navigate our way through this crisis to a post-Covid way of working, I hope you’ll see that we’ve also got one eye fixed firmly on the future.”

Councillor Cooke also said he looked forward to supporting local firms in meeting the challenges ahead and that he had been inspired over the past few months by how much work the business sector has been doing to adapt to such unprecedented times.

The town’s award-winning Wyndham Park may also be having some more improvements following a survey of park users.

With new park facilities, an extended car park and a £1m-plus investment from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, South Kesteven District Council was keen to hear feedback and suggestions for further improvements.

Last year Wyndham Park saw the introduction of an outdoor gym, table tennis tables, pay per play model boats and the installation of a defibrillator. In 2018 a Lottery-backed project was completed to restore it to its former glory as a World War One memorial park.

Councillor Annie Mason, SKDC’s cabinet member for communities, said: “We have the most wonderful community asset at Wyndham Park, and it’s no coincidence that it has won the national Green Flag award for excellence for the past eight years.

“We are always keen to hear the opinions of people who use the park to see what it adds to people’s lives and how we might improve it.

“Green space has become even more important during the coronavirus crisis and we want to know how people feel about the park, both now and looking to the future.”

Questions include how safe people feel in the park, and whether SKDC’s safety messaging on signs has helped during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Grantham’s Heroes Commemorative Orchard, which is located in Wyndham Park, has a new disabled access and viewing area to improve public accessibility.

Funding for the orchard, planted in March, was raised via the CrowdfundSK initiative with the campaign co-ordinated by Wyndham Park Forum, which also manages the site.

Councillor Mason said: “The Heroes Orchard was the first fundraising success through CrowdfundSK, and there could not be a better example of how our crowdfunding initiative has enabled a true community initiative to go from a vision to a reality.”

Ian Simmons, Forum chair, said: “This is a wonderful community asset, creating a place for people to remember and reflect and we wanted to ensure that the orchard is as accessible as possible for everyone.”

Grantham company MKM Building Supplies contributed some of the materials and local company Belvoir Landscapes carried out the work.

For MKM Grantham, branch director James Truman said: “As a company we are helping to build for the future, but the past is important to remember and we were delighted to contribute to people’s enjoyment of such a beautiful site.”

Make a Will to control your estate
Recent statistics show that over 50% of adults in the UK have not made a will, and more alarmingly 74% of co-habiting couples do not have a will. Without a valid will, your loved ones will have little control over the inheritance of your estate.

The team at Ringrose Law understand your life is busy, and taking the time to make a will can seem like a real hassle. They have lots of experience in helping people write their wills and can ensure the whole process is fast, easy and as stress-free as possible. They also offer a free will review service and advise clients to review their will every 5-10 years, or when something major happens in their life.

Nerina and her team can arrange face to face appointments for you or speak with you over the phone. Contact 01476 590200 or email enquiries@ringroselaw.co.uk for further help and advice.

What is the core purpose of education?
Grantham Preparatory International School believes the purpose of education is to give children the confidence and capacity to flourish in an uncertain world.

They do this by offering pupils a range of opportunities in school in order to develop their self-confidence and by creating a stimulating learning environment, where children are able to work hard and enjoy school life. The school is one of a group of schools and part of the IES-SEK organisation, with friends all over the world.

Headmistress, Mrs Korcz, says: “The challenges we have all faced this year, with the arrival of Covid-19, have taught us the importance of being resilient and being able to adapt. Our children demonstrated under lockdown how quickly they could adapt to the new normal of a full timetable of online learning and live lessons.

“In June 2020, again our children demonstrated how quickly they could adapt to being back in school full-time. They returned happy and eager to learn. Once again our school was full of children laughing and learning together.”

Grantham Prep School is a happy, vibrant, tolerant place of learning where all are valued and children learn to respect one another and be proud of themselves. They are nurtured with kindness by experienced teaching staff, and are at the heart of the school.

“Albert Einstein once said ‘Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school’. Our children have the opportunity at Grantham Prep to develop their imagination at school and become curious about the world around them. We want our children to continue learning throughout their lives and develop a strength of character that enables them to always think ‘I can’.

“Our children leave us at 11 as independent, confident individuals, compassionate, kind and courageous, ready for the next stage of their education whether it is at a local grammar school, independent school or other excellent, local schools. They leave us with the important values and positive attitudes that will support them as they meet new challenges throughout their lives.”

Nomination for the new savoy
Grantham’s major Savoy Cinema development made the shortlist for a prestigious building industry award recently.

Though it was pipped at the post, the scheme was a finalist in the East Midlands regional finals of this year’s Local Authority Building Control Building Excellence Awards.

It was nominated for the Best Large Commercial Project by East Midlands Building Control, which ensured both were fully compliant with building regulations.

“Building work on the 20,000sq ft Savoy Cinema, which opened last year, was led by contractor GF Tomlinson.

“The complex also includes a new centre for the University of Lincoln, bringing higher education opportunities to the town.”

The chairman of SKDC, Councillor Jacky Smith, said: “This multi-million pound development is a major investment in Grantham and is a vital part of our overall vision for improvements to the town centre.

“To be nominated for the LABC awards is testament to all the hard work that went into this project.”

Give the gift of bespoke jewellery
Established in 2001 MD Jewellers is one of Grantham’s longest standing independent, multi-award winning jewellers, whose philosophy is to offer excellent products and customer service that simply isn’t comparable.

Their passion for jewellery was born at the bench in Birmingham’s historic heart of jewellery, The Jewellery Quarter. Goldsmith and designer James apprenticed in and mastered the techniques of traditional craftsmanship, working in environments where skill was of greatest importance and perfection was the only acceptable standard.

James explains: “Jewellery is so much more than metal and stone; it’s emotive, a lasting memory, a legacy, a manifestation of love, a celebration.

“Being a Goldsmith isn’t just putting metal and stone together, it’s more than taking the rawness of earth’s materials and turning them into a commodity. It’s a preservation of moments in time, a three-dimensional photograph documenting some of life’s most important and memorable occasions.”

The final farewell
As a long established, privately owned company, Robert Holland Funeral Directors, which serves the community of Grantham and surrounding towns, prides itself on delivering the best bespoke service to every family with great attention to detail.

Based on true family values, the professional and friendly funeral directors offer guidance and support throughout the process, which means clients’ expectations are often exceeded.

From music, flowers from the in-house florist, orders of service, personalised coffin, obituary notices, and funeral reception, to monumental masonry and managing charitable donations, the company ensures personal wishes are carried out to the highest standards.

“Our friendly and approachable team is always on hand to answer any questions you may have, and nothing is too much trouble,” says Robert Holland. “Our vast local knowledge in the funeral directing profession means that we are able to offer a personal level of service specific to your own requirements. We’re here for when you need us most.”

For more information visitwww.rholland-funerals.co.uk

Plots now available at 5 Star Wagtail Country Park
Wagtail Country Park, which holds a 12-month holiday licence, is situated in peaceful, tranquil Lincolnshire countryside with breathtaking views and amazing sunsets and an abundance of wildlife. Their exclusive luxury lodges are built to British standard BS3632 and come fully furnished. The lodges are thoughtfully positioned around the park and are built to the highest standards. The quiet, beautiful setting of the park offers you an ideal holiday location and dream lifestyle for people seeking a gentler way of life. If you are a keen fisherman you can also enjoy free fishing in the well stocked lakes as a lodge owner.

Prices start from £135,000 for a 20x36 lodge with the option of larger ones available.

Sculpture unveiled
A sculpture of a WW1 Tommy in silhouette has been unveiled at Wyndham Park in Grantham.

The 5ft work of art was created by Chris Kennedy of Roll and Scroll who, along with his wife Michelle, thought SKDC’s award-winning park would be the most appropriate home for it. The sculpture, all materials, time and workmanship were donated free of charge.

Chris said: “My work really is a labour of love. The pieces I produce carry a message with them and it is an honour to see my work enjoyed by visitors to Wyndham Park.”

It was unveiled by SKDC chairman Councillor Jacky Smith, with Councillor Dr Peter Moseley and local member Councillor Graham Jeal in attendance.

Hydration is key to skin care
We visited the new Downtown Beauty department and asked the friendly team what they recommend to help our tired, dry hands and face.

Now we have moved into autumn the weather has cooled and harsh air is taking a toll on the delicate skin of our face and hands. This skin has also had months of battering, what with the constant washing and harsh sanitising, cruelly draining the skin on our hands, and mask wearing causing friction to our face and neck, leaving the skin red and rough.

For your face it’s all about hydration, starting with a super-rich serum such as Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Bi-phase Serum. This intense hydrating bi-phase serum quenches irritated, dull skin, refines the skin’s texture and smooths its surface.

Apply the product to your skin in a slow, considered way, so you also benefit from a relaxing pamper. Firstly warm the mixture to skin temperature for instant effectiveness. Apply to your neck and décolletage using your hands, without pressure. Next, drain to stimulate circulation by gently pressing your hands three times on the cheeks, three times on the forehead, and five times on the neck and décolletage.

Then protect with a luxurious moisturiser such as Bare Minerals Bare Haven™ Essential Moisturising Soft Cream. Bare Haven™ is a comforting creamy moisturiser which effortlessly blends into skin to help enhance a natural, healthy-looking glow. Plus, its blend of peptides, ceramides and amino acids helps soften rough texture, whilst reducing redness and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Next, the Downtown team explained how to tackle sore hands, as washing them throughout the day can leave them dry and cracked and using anti-bacterial gels frequently can also dehydrate the skin as they contain alcohol. For people with really dry hands, the L’Occitane Shea Intense Hand Balm is the best hand lotion. You can apply a thick layer of the cream and put gloves on before bed, this will act as an overnight mask.

Your body and face love a good scrub – but your hands need exfoliation too. Once or twice a week, use an exfoliator that is designed for the hands and gentle on the skin, to eliminate dead skin cells and leave your hands ready to soak up all the benefits of a moisturising cream.

Now nourish your hands. The secret to beautiful hands? Hydration, hydration, hydration. Your hand cream should be your faithful companion, ready to be applied whenever needed, to help maintain the hydrolipidic film that naturally protects your skin. It has to nourish, moisturise and protect.

An effective hand cream contains fatty substances and moisturising agents, such as shea butter, as well as antioxidants, such as Vitamin E. This moisturising blend lies behind the success of the Shea Butter Hand Cream, which has been L’Occitane’s top bestseller for over 20 years. Squeeze out a generous amount of cream and gently massage into your hands, nails and cuticles.

Downtown Beauty is now available at Wyberton Chain Bridge, Boston PE21 7NL and at Downtown, Gonerby Junction, A1 Grantham NG32 2AB and at oldrids.co.uk

Boutique accommodation for business or leisure
Just off the A607 outside Grantham, is a hidden gem – Honington Grange, where the Coney family have developed some of the most luxurious self-catering cottages in Lincolnshire in a stunning Ancaster stone courtyard.

On their working farm old stone barns and farm buildings have been tastefully converted to the most up-to-date design, building and environmental standards to provide a warm welcome.

Named after apple varieties: Pippin, Bramley and Discovery there are three luxurious two-bedroom, two-bathroom cottages plus nearby April Cottage with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, providing boutique hotel style accommodation with all the comfort and flexibility of self-catering for visitors.

The cottages are packed with contemporary comforts like underfloor heating, leather sofas, fur throws, tartan furnishings as well as flat screen TV, Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchens, hotel quality bathrooms, laundry facilities, stylish kitchenware, modern glassware, large patio doors opening onto private patios and lovely garden and courtyard views – all providing a stylish home from home. We gather many visitors are coming back four or five times already!

Across the peaceful courtyard, two inspiring meeting rooms provide a great setting for daytime business meetings, with the oak-trusses of the conference room and the modern glass-walled board room connected by the reception atrium. They are also perfect rooms for small special occasions, wedding receptions, christenings or a party.

Cottages available weekly: short breaks and longer lets for business or to bridge between house purchases are possible by arrangement.

Please call Tracey or Wendy at Honington Grange on 01400 259429 for availability and bookings. www.honingtongrange.co.uk

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